Theater should inspire wonderment. That's the view at Tennessee Shakespeare Company, an artistic organization dedicated to bringing new life to William Shakespeare's words. Each of its productions aims to burrow beneath the play's familiar surface, finding deeper explorations into psychology, government, and philosophy. This approach brings new life to the timeless works—TSC's Macbeth, for instance, highlighted the civilian cost of civil war, while an all-female Julius Caesar embodied "a bold new way to look at honor, womanhood, and power," according to The Commercial Appeal. That same sense of exploration is extended to contemporary pieces. Once a year, the company members hang up their iambic pentameters to produce the Southern Exposure festival featuring new works from the region.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 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.
Professional artist Donna LaBonia-Wrentmore focuses more than 25 years of painting experience into each brushstroke as she teaches artists of all ages and skill levels to unleash creative right brains. Adult artists can happily toast their canvasses during open-paint nights, taking home a completed painting to match a lonely frame or cover embarrassingly hued wall safes. Aspiring Seurats can brush up on color theory and perspective during fine-art classes available for ages 6 and older, and young ones can attend family workshops or skip to summer art camp to carouse with like-minded surrealists-in-training.
Opening doors for 24 hours a day, seven days a week is an exhausting proposition for any doorman, unless he's a robot. That's why Anytime Fitness—having redirected its robot budget into tanning beds, cardio equipment with built-in TVs, and Precor weight machines—installed a keycard-activated security system instead. The electronic guardian keeps gym members secure while admitting them at any time of day or night for their workouts.
During daylight hours, certified instructors incinerate calories with Les Mills–designed group fitness classes or Latin-inspired Zumba dancercise. Personal trainers coach clients in one-on-one sessions, tailoring regimens to each individual's level of fitness, past injuries, or number of tentacles. To relax after workouts, staffed tanning beds stand by to bronze bodies, while water-jet-powered HydroMassage beds blast away tension.
Burgeoning painters of all ages find inspiration at Art and Soul, where talented instructors guide novices' brush strokes to conjure fully developed pieces of art. After choosing images such as a cute panda bear or blossoming daisy from the large gallery of options, students saddle up in front of the blank whiteness of an included 16" x 20" canvas or gigantic marshmallow to create their own magnum opus. With paintbrush in hand, pupils blot and swish their way through a two- to three-hour sessions, leaving at the end of the evening to take home their creations. The only thing apprentice artists need bring is their choice of inspiration-lending libation, for the studio dons each attendee with the easel, brushes, and paints needed to craft each piece of wall art or Freemason pamphlet. Customers can study and interpret the online calendar for Open Paint Night times.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.