Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change package, which helps promote the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car—it cools the motor and helps prevent moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians—all of which have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)—service vehicles at Jiffy Lube. In addition to performing oil changes, technicians offer preventative services such as air-filtration and electrical-system maintenance, among others. Jiffy Lube’s quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, complete a service only after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine?s 2012 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop?s reputation grew, and so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&M?s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
After years of working at other salons, stylist Lisa Mayo Wilfong decided to venture out on her own, and opened Cutting Image Salon in New York?s East Village. To her delight, the three-chair salon earned tons of positive press in New York Magazine, Beauty News NYC, and the coloring book of her niece. So in 2007, she and her husband Stephen introduced the brand to North Carolina markets. The concept?high-fashion services at reasonable prices?was a big hit and led to the salon?s new slogan, ?NYC Style at NC Prices.? Today, the L?Oreal Professionnel salon operates out of three North Carolina locations. Junior, senior, and master stylists offer haircuts, coloring treatments, and chemical relaxers, all backed by a satisfaction guarantee.
Each day, students on horseback gallop alongside attentive instructors on Creekwood Farm’s 30 acres of undulating terrain, learning the subtleties of English saddle-seat riding during private and group lessons. In addition to helping everyone from beginners to advanced riders improve their technique, instructors also take time to teach the essential non-saddle skills of grooming and tacking horses. They encourage each fledgling jockey to learn at his or her own pace, whether riding goals include competing in American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas shows or simple pleasure riding. The farm’s indoor and outdoor facilities ensure that lessons take place throughout the year, unaffected by winter cold, summer heat, and horse spring break.
Having begun as a single tanning shop in Greenville during the autumn of 1990, Ultratan has since blossomed into more than 70 locations throughout the Carolinas and Georgia due to its popularity and commitment to quality service. Over the years, the collection of spas has accumulated numerous awards such as Best Tanning Salon from the Daily Gamecock for providing the best equipment in both tanning beds and spray-tan technology. As a member of the International Smart Tan Network, its commitment to safe tans also encompasses a passion for keeping their customers educated about responsible tanning routines and never tanning without a helmet.