Newcomers might walk into Dance Reverie with two left feet, but they leave with a graceful waltz-tempo spring in their step. Emphasizing a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere, instructors lead first-time students through an energetic array of dance styles including tango, swing, fox trot, samba, and merengue. Classes break down each dance into its constituent parts while participants learn with partners or solo. But whether the studio is hosting private lessons or group parties, the enthusiastic staff ensures each experience is as enjoyable as it is educational.
Presented by B. Arts Presenter, The African American Spiritual showcases the singing talents of a trifecta of honey-voiced chanteuses as they soar through a set of complex, hymn-inspired vocal arrangements. Sherry Boone, Harriett D. Foy, and Brandie Sutton lend their euphonic pipes to the inspirational properties of the spiritual, warming hearts left cold from winter weather and endless snow-eating contests. The program features seminal works from such legendary composers as Hall Johnson, Roland Hayes, and Edward Boatner, all of whom played a hand in getting the spiritual recognized as a refined, challenging art form. Merkin Concert Hall cradles the majestic melodies in its austere, brutalist frame. The 450-seat performance space's acoustically focused design keeps sound waves happily bouncing into ears, creating a sonic clarity usually achievable only through headphones or paying tiny singers to hold a concert in the ear canal.
Jorday Rivera's passion for hip-hop and Latin dance infuses her classes with rhythmic energy during each meeting at her namesake studio. Jorday's interest in dance began at a young age when her parents took her to the bustling streets of Broadway to watch colorful stage productions and the spontaneous musical numbers that would take place during each rainstorm. By the time she reached adulthood, Jorday had garnered extensive experience in mambo, salsa, cha-cha, and hip-hop disciplines and had danced side by side with the likes of Eddie Torres and Mario Diaz. This accumulation of hip-swiveling savvy eventually led Jorday to cultivate a love of teaching, finally opening her own dance studio in 1997. Today, the studio houses a variety of dance classes, from modern and hip-hop to belly dancing and Latin, led by a cadre of instructors trained in a panoply of styles.
Usher yourself into one of Cinemart’s five screens, each boasting 100-plus seats and a Dolby Digital sound system, and let the flickering phantasm of film whisk you away from reality. Movies, like jogging addicts, run daily—put your ticket toward features such as Inception or The Girl Who Played with Fire, which is based on the best-selling novel. As you look for imperfections on the faces of those onscreen, munch on a small popcorn and sip a small soda, while enjoying unlimited free refills on your drink.
As a native of the Dominican Republic, Claudette Munné loves merengue beats—but as classical pianists, she and her husband Massimiliano Facchini also cherish traditional piano pieces by European composers. To celebrate these dual passions, the pair arranged a series of fresh, merengue takes on old classics, a project that resulted in a sold-out two-piano show at Carnegie Hall and an interview with NBC.
Revamping traditional piano music isn't the couple's only collaboration, however. They also worked together to found Belle Arti Center for the Arts, a music school that caters mainly to children. Their toddler classes focus on training young ears and building a sense of rhythm that moves beyond freestyle clapping. During private lessons, they train students on instruments from the guitar and violin to woodwinds. Their classes follow a semester schedule, with each semester session culminating in a recital for family and friends.
A restaurant, a rock-climbing wall, batting cages, and a custom embroidery shop are all housed in Artistic Stitch’s 30,000 square foot facility. At the cages, Probatter Simulators accelerate batters’ learning processes with sophisticated programming that allows for different types of pitches, aiming lobs in the strike zone, around it, or directly at the nearest Ming vase. A 20’ rock-climbing wall invites visitors to ascend to new heights, and soccer and doge ball games spark friendly competition. In addition to general recreational play, day-camp sessions and birthday party packages allow children to let loose and engage in energetic matches. Famished athletes can replenish their energy at the on-site restaurant, Saverio’s Bistro, which serves up piping-hot brick-oven pizzas, paninis, and pastas.