At Lauridsen Ballet Centre, the well-timed tinkling of piano keys accompanies each leap and plié. Live musical accompaniment is just one of the ways in which the school's professional instructors, led by artistic director Diane Lauridsen, preserve the classical traditions of their art. They maintain a careful balance between encouraging attitudes and rigorous lessons, cultivating physical poise at the same time as mental focus.
Classes for ages three and up accommodate all skill levels, from beginner to pre-professional, and performances through the non-profit South Bay Ballet company showcase students' skills. Though they consider much of their choreography timeless, the staff does not neglect advances in the science of dance—they incorporate current discoveries in the fields of anatomy and movement to enhance both children's and adult classes. Their summer camp intensive also helps attendees to achieve new levels of grace and balance.
This clean, modern studio offers 1,100 square feet of smooth hardwood floors, enabling enthusiastic rug cutting or slicing of welcome mats into tiny shreds. An impressive roster of instructors shepherds youthful lambs and aged cloven hooves through a selection of dance styles. Plié through Perry Brown’s classical ballet class, or learn the more relaxed style of modern dance with courses based on both the expressive Limón-based technique and the athletic Horton-based method. Bouncy big-banders and frenetic be-boppers can explore jazz-dance fundamentals with contemporary jazz teacher Joseph Decker, who has choreographed stage productions of Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors, among others. Mix and match classes to sample the colors of dance, like biting into a crayon sandwich. Morning and evening classes are held Monday through Thursday and morning classes only on Saturday and Sunday; check out the schedule for a complete list of times.
Were it not for the discerning ears of Harvey Kalmenson, the childhood classic All Dogs Go to Heaven and the popular video game Call of Duty might sound much different. Alternatively, under the skillful direction of Cathy Kalmenson, 329 voices lent their vocal talents for the 1992 Emmy nominated television mini-series The Wild West. Those are just a few examples of the Kalmensons' casting prowess in a long list of high-profile clients. The veteran husband and wife duo of voice-casting directors are the team behind Kalmenson & Kalmenson, a casting company that scouts actors for voice-over work (clients include celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Jim Belushi) and teaches the art of inflection at voice-acting classes. The companies also cast for commercials with a résumé that includes casting for the original Budweiser Beer frogs, Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger, and the voice of BMW.
The Victory Theatre Center has worked with emerging playwrights to dramaturge their work for the past 30 years. The process includes selecting materials based on submissions from literary agents and referrals - and polishing and refining the scripts with numerous staged readings and workshops.
In 1971, Gary Berman and Adam Malin, then just two teenage sci-fi fans, founded Creation Entertainment. Throughout the '70s and '80s, they helped develop and promote local comic-book conventions, but by the '90s their interests had turned to genre films and TV. It was smart timing: at the peak of Star Trek's popularity, the duo were running upward of three Trek-related events per weekend.
These days, throughout the US, Canada, and Great Britain, Creation Entertainment hosts conventions and events for various sci-fi and horror franchises, including Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and Xena: Warrior Princess. A who's who of Hollywood luminaries have all made past appearances, including actor Jack Nicholson, author Ray Bradbury, and George Lucas, the famous director of the Indiana Jones: Space Cowboy movies. Along with its events, Creation Entertainment manufactures merchandise ranging from pictures signed by Lord of the Rings actors to water bottles emblazoned with the Supernatural logo.
“Dance has altered every aspect of our lives in the most positive ways,” declares Sergio Leal, lead instructor and owner of Latin Dance Pro, on his bio page. Through his Latin dance classes, such as salsa and cha-cha, he hopes to instill that positivity in his students. In beginners' classes, he teaches up to 70 pupils at a time, creating a vibrant social setting for people to learn the sensual hip swings and intimate eyebrow flexes of the bachata. Whether strutting the Argentine tango or twirling dance partners during the cumbia and merengue, Sergio and his team of dancers, which includes Armen Way from Dancing with the Stars, bring humility to the environment that allows for a unintimidating, casual atmosphere where everyone can enjoy learning new moves at their own pace. Aside from group lessons, they also provide professional choreography, private lessons, and entertainment. Additionally, Sergio has his own line of dance apparel.