There’s no water underneath Napoli School of Music and Dance’s floating dance floor. Instead, there’s high-density foam, which absorbs precise steps, occasional stumbles, and the dog pile that ends every classical ballet. Atop the foam lies marley, the same vinyl composite surface used in Riverdance. Within this professionally equipped studio, Napoli’s experienced dance faculty teaches small groups of aspiring dancers, starting with three- to five-year-olds in creative movement sessions. For older students, instructors focus on an array of dance styles, from the axel turns of jazz to the heel clicks of tap.
Similarly proficient teachers – including graduates of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music—staff Napoli’s music faculty. During one-on-one sessions, they focus on each student’s specific musical goals and interests, always drawing examples from pupils’ favorite musical styles. While instructors of guitar, bass, and drums train the next generation of arena rockers, woodwind and brass teachers guide players through classical clarinet melodies or jazzy trumpet solos.
A pencil peeks out of hole in the lid of a shiny red apple, bits of yellow and black fleck a butterfly's wings, and blue and green glass curves to catch the light from the candle it holds. These are just a few of the projects invented at Busy Bees Pottery and Arts Studio, where visitors can paint bisqueware, sculpt clay, or fuse glass to make homes or city-bus windows more beautiful.
Long tables sprawl across the studio's checkered floor, and plates bearing pastel treats and serene landscapes polka-dot the walls for inspiration. A paint bar arrays samples of tiles painted in each color so artists can preview their ceramic's finished looks.
For Maria de Sousa, tango dancing was part of her Argentinian heritage. She embraced the style as a way to reconnect with her native country, and traveled back and forth between her American home and Buenos Aires to master her steps. Conversely, for Pierre Baston, his passion for tango began as a foreign fascination. He watched a dinner show while visiting Buenos Aires that enraptured him, inspiring him to immerse himself not only in dance lessons, but historical and cultural research—he still collects authentic tango sheet music from the early 20th century. Both dancers became certified through a master's program at the Escuela Argentina de Tango in Buenos Aires, and now elucidate the art of dipping and spinning at eight Philadelphia locales.
Maria and Pierre walk students of all experience levels through tango's passionate choreography. They host group classes for social learning experiences, and lead private seminars at their studios or a venue of the client's choice. Because they coordinate all the necessary partner match-ups and music, their protégés needn't bring a companion or play Keep Away with a violin's bow to make it whine.
A streak of silver zips across the road, like a shot from the barrel of a gun. But it’s not a silver bullet heading toward the heart of a werewolf; it’s the Audi R8, picking up speed to go from 0 to 60 in mere seconds. And the Audi R8 is just one of LuxLife Exotic Rentals’ luxury cars. The agency puts drivers behind the wheel of everything from Hummers, Bentleys, and Aston Martins to Ducati motorcycles. Those not interested in driving can instead slip into the backseat of a Rolls Royce Phantom and head to their wedding, prom, or business meeting with Mr. Peanut in style.
The talented faculty of Chestnut Hill Music Academy fosters creativity in kids with one-on-one music lessons. To help kids learn quickly, lessons are customized to each student's talents, interests, and learning style. They cover a full range of instruments, including woodwinds, brass, piano, and voice. Recitals let kids show off their newly honed talents and the photo collage they glued on their tuba.
As memory cards replaced film reels, many photographers—both professional and amateur—felt befuddled by the new technology. That's where Digital Photo Academy stepped in. Since 2007, the business has facilitated workshops that explore all aspects of digital imagery, from operating cameras and uploading digital files to editing images and airbrushing realistic mustaches. Seasoned professionals lead the courses, helping understudies hone their use of light, framing, and timing. Students furnish their own cameras, and can tote along any ancillary equipment such as tripods, laptops, and flashes that relate to the course at hand.