Whether just entering the world of dance or already a seasoned performer, students are in good hands when they step into one of American Theater Dance Workshop's studios. The faculty boasts professional dancers and choreographers with backgrounds on Broadway and in well-known ballet companies. Some have even starred in films, as is the case for instructor Leslie Browne, who garnered an Academy Award nomination for her role in 1978's The Turning Point. There's one other professional artist you'll find in most classes: a pianist, who plays live music during the lessons. Aside from ballet, the studio teaches other dance disciplines, including musical theater, tap, and modern.
Harlem Globetrotters Playing Three-on-Five
Since forming in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters have continued to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2014 tour, a rotating [roster](http://gr.pn/PHdb6w) of Globetrotter favorites?including three female players?takes to the hardwood each game. Spectators might spot veteran guard [TNT](http://gr.pn/rOe0P4) sharing a behind-the-back pass with dunker [Quake](http://gr.pn/QTIGVh), whose high jump once cleared 7 feet, cruelly dashing his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Globetrotters might also present a study in contrasts with 5-foot-2 [Too Tall](http://gr.pn/PHdmPh) and 7-foot-4 [Stretch](http://gr.pn/1dYrbUt), the team?s tallest member. During each Globetrotters game, youngsters laugh along and witness the jovial jocks performing classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti. To infuse their visits with an extra shot of unpredictability, the Globetrotters also let fans in each city vote on special rules for every game; past rules have included the use of a four-point shot and the installation of a penalty box. Over the years, similar antics have followed the Globetrotters around the world, including to 122 countries and territories and all six continents on which basketballs grow naturally. The Globetrotters? extensive travels haven?t gone unnoticed: they?re one of the few teams to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as ambassadors of the sport.
Since opening with a Frank Sinatra performance in 1990, the stadium now known as Times Union Center has seen more than 15 million guests pass through its turnstiles. That’s only slightly smaller than the population of the Netherlands and roughly equal to the number of people worldwide who enjoy candy corn. Besides attracting such entertainment titans as the Rolling Stones, U2, Disney’s “On Ice” series, and the Harlem Globetrotters, the multifunction arena is also home to the AHL’s Albany Devils and college basketball’s Siena Saints.
At Movie World Cinemas, a recently added caf? draws in early arrivers with pizza, chicken tenders, fries and fresh cappuccinos. Patrons can linger there before heading to one of seven handsome screening chambers with projection capacity for traditional film and 3-D movies. Once inside, guests recline on shiny, new seats styled by Mobiliario Seating. Each throne includes cushy upholstery, a built-in cup holder, and ergonomically engineered lumbar support. Newly installed digital projectors show crystal-clear images while digital surround-sound speakers shake seats with the screeches of onscreen car chases and the weeping of James Bond?s dry cleaner. In the large main lobby, the digital burble of a small arcade stirs air scented heavily by sunshine-hued popcorn. The staff has spent the past few years working on a series of updates and improvements, and the movie palace regularly hosts special events and children?s parties.
Queens Dance Project’s team of lifelong dancers coach students through workout-oriented dance routines. During the newly unveiled pole-dancing workshops, students build muscle tone while executing spins and tricks under dimmed studio lights. Alternatively, Zumba classes keep heart rates high by pairing hip-swiveling moves with Latin beats, and tap-dancing sessions teach students how to make it rain using just their shoes. Youngsters can also build coordination and confidence at the studio, which has an age-stratified youth program to nurture kids 2 years and older with mat work and musical instruments.
Hosted by youthful rib tickler Jay Alexander, Phatt No Limit Thursdays Comedy Nite locks audiences into wild chortlecoasters during spirited performances from seasoned standups. A veteran of Def Comedy Jam, Shaq All-Star Comedy Tour, and Showtime at the Apollo, Capone busts guts with his racy monologue and an over-the-top persona, epitomized by his sobriquet "The Gangsta of Comedy" and his side job running rubber-chicken rackets. Special guest Dior Allen brings acting experience gleaned on the sets of 50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct and 30 Rock to craft endlessly amusing stage personas before featured comic BlackBarry storms the stage. After comedians flush every last laugh out into the open, DJ Stakz will commandeer the turntable, blasting out an exuberant mélange of hip-hop, reggae, R & B, soca, and kompa. While beats incite unabashed rug cutting, Groupon holders will have a chance to meet Capone to pose for pictures, gain knowledge on the history of the spinning bow tie, and obtain autographs.