As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
When discussing his teaching philosophy with reporters from Central Florida Lifestyle, the owner of Salsa Heat quipped, "if you can walk, you can dance." He himself didn't know much about dancing when he took his first salsa class in the early 90's, but he caught on after just a few sessions, falling in love with the dance's energetic spins and rhythmic movements.
Today, a team of professional dance instructors teach salsa spins and footwork to students of all experience levels. Zumba and bachata classes provide tutoring in other Latin dance styles, and salsa classes for kids teach youngsters dance fundamentals that hone coordination and motor skills. Throughout the year, the staff hosts special events on their spacious dance floors, such as salsa socials, salsa Christmas parties, and salsa-infused celebrations of Robert Heinlein's birthday.
Melanie LaJoie’s dance career began almost three decades ago and has since taken her to Morocco, Egypt, and Russia, where she developed her expertise in an impressive number of ethnic dance traditions. Today, she directs the instructors at A Magi Temple Belly Dance and choreographs and performs pieces at local sites such as Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, and the House of Blues. Her students, who can include ladies age 10 and up, learn everything from warm-up exercises to routines in Bollywood, belly-dancing, and flamenco classes scheduled five days per week.
Legendary rock icon and influential multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter struts his decades of musical savvy as his latest tour rollicks generations of fans. A child prodigy, Winter has built a long-lasting career on imagination and inimitable virtuosity. Famous for such classic-rock staples as “Tobacco Road,” “Free Ride” and the hummable No. 1 hit “Frankenstein,” the performer left his forever stamp on popular music by pioneering the use of keyboard body straps, synthesizers, and solar-powered kazoos in his live shows. Winter whisks away audiences on an electrifying trip through his oeuvre, hitting all the hits and running through genres with no regard for the genre guard.
For more than three decades, the Orlando Ballet has infused the stage with a mixed repertoire of graceful classical ballet and fiery contemporary programs. In the second production of "Battle of the Sexes," male and female dancers surge forward with sensual volleys of arms and legs timed to the choreography of Robert Hill. Gaze in awe from the middle or upper balcony as sultry silhouettes perform flying leaps and spins in tandem under red lights and full-bodied music. En pointe enthusiasts can purchase multiple Groupons and accompany their family, friends, or passing tour group to the ballet.
From its inception in the 1980s performance-art scene in New York, the Blue Man Group?s shows have evolved from impromptu sets in Central Park to stages across the world. The eponymous blue-skinned trio, described by the Chicago Tribune as ?ever-curious, ever-hopeful, ever-restless,? remains unchanged by its decades-long stint in the spotlight, still bewildered by the telescoping tubes of PVC piping it uses as instruments and the appreciative applause of the audience. But the group's shows are nothing if not timely, deftly posing questions about technology and stardom.
The spectacle is equal parts aural and visual, with live rock bands accompanying the men as they tap out rhythms on tangled snarls of pipe and flail wobbly poles covered in neon lights. Videos provide context for the speechless drummers, as well as a constant stream of wry humor. Evenings with the Blue Man Group build to an electric conclusion, thrilling the audience with brilliant bursts of light, cheery floods of color-changing balloons, and an adrenaline-laced original score.