Since 1938, the keepers of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden have cultivated more than 85 acres of floral displays with a mixture of science and art. The gardens are lush with plants valuable to scientists and educators, and the tropical landscapes designed by William Lyman Phillips are like ever-evolving canvases, blooming and fading as the seasons change. Most of the palms, cycads, flowering trees, and vines were collected from the wild, but the grounds also harbor endangered plant species.
Guides give English and Spanish tram tours as well as walking tours through specific parts of the gardens, or visitors can explore the displays at their leisure, wandering through the 16,428-square foot two-level Tropical Plant Conservatory exhibit, which blooms with orchids, fruit trees, and rare palms. Cascading waterfalls punctuate the stream flowing through the 2-acre Richard H. Simons Rainforest, where visitors admire the diverse plant life and reflect on the worldwide threat of rapidly vanishing rainforests. The Wings of the Tropics exhibit features thousands of exotic butterflies with tropical fish and rare plant life. Butterflies are released twice daily and the Butterfly Metamorphosis Lab lets kids experience them up close. The water gardens combine tranquility pools with waterfalls, sculpture, and lily pads to evoke a sense of calm.
The silent church seems to lean in with anticipation as Dr. Karen Kennedy raises her arm into the air. With a graceful flick of her baton, the artistic director of Master Chorale of South Florida—an accomplished conductor and teacher—coaxes forth the opening strains of Bach’s Magnificat from the flock of singers and musicians in front of her, weaving their voices into a tapestry of crescendos and soaring notes. Since its creation in 2002, Master Chorale of South Florida has performed their awe-inspiring concerts in churches, cathedrals, and high schools across South Florida, delighting audiences with a diverse choral repertoire. Audiences can expect to hear many musical periods represented in each performance, from the baroque stylings of Handel to Debussy’s impressionistic melodies and Aaron Copland’s epic pieces that blend traditional American folk songs with traditional Bruce Springsteen hits.
The instructors at Perfect Balance Fitness & Martial Arts Training strive to create a happy marriage between Eastern and Western philosophies. Master Al Agon draws from the discipline and fitness ideals of ancient martial arts techniques and modernizes them with instruction tailored to help kids build discipline and focus in school and professionals cope with stresses at work. To earn a black belt, students must exhibit devotion not only at the gym but also in other important aspects of life, such as relationships and school work, striving toward a lifetime of fitness and overall contentment. In addition to the martial arts program, the venue also hosts intense kickboxing classes in which students pummel punching bags until they agree to share the secrets of withstanding a pummeling. One-on-one personal training sessions also adhere to Agon's training philosophy and are tailored to help clients meet their individual wellness goals.
The most recent addition to Paragon Theaters’ repertoire of upscale movie venues, Paragon Deerfield 8 Movie Theater cushions customers in the plush luxury of its newly renovated theaters. Stadium-style seats pad posteriors as their owners gaze upon the silver screens from clear vantage points. An expanded concessions menu sates the palates of moviegoers by presenting a range of hearty fare and, for those of age, beer and wine.
Sony HD digital projectors bathe the towering screens in crystal clearness, granting films a visual crispness so pronounced it has enabled sponsors to advertise their logos in actors' pores. The company plans additional upgrades and outdoor seating to bring all the amenities found in its locations in Miami, Florida, and Burnsville and Rochester, Minnesota, to the new Deerfield Beach location.
A true family business, Ella Bella Rozio's Institute of Fashion combines the talents of founder and 25-year fashion-industry veteran Rocio Sanchez with her daughter Gabriella Tello's fresh take on trends and her son Fernando Tello's marketing savvy. While Fernando handles business matters, the mother-daughter duo helm the school and its workshops, leading fledgling designers through courses in fashion history, window display, and wardrobe planning.
Students find inspiration for their own creations in the custom-made gowns of Rozio Couture. Though the designers focus much of their energy on bridal and red-carpet wear, they also nod to the needs of everyday fashion with creations such as the ella 1 dress, a simple black tube that attaches to swooping skirts, dramatic ruffles, or elegant flotation devices.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.