Keeping alive the tradition set by the legends of the original American Association—where players such as Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays once toed the batter's box, before the league was absorbed by the professional ranks—the Grand Prairie AirHogs take the diamond to face off against rivals. As part the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, the club brought sandlot glory to their fans in 2011, when they won the Association's championship. Mirroring the on-field excitement, the new QuikTrip Park turns each outing into a memorable shindig with a party deck, a 17,000-square-foot kids' zone, and a pool adjacent to the outfield. Between innings, fans can fuel up at the stadium’s sports bar or leapfrog over each of the park’s 5,445 seats.
Authentic Belly Dancing Entertainment & Academy's staff of professional dancers pop up around Dallas, shimmering across the stages of restaurants, dazzling guests at private parties, and stealing the stony hearts of competition judges. During their weekend performances and special events, solitary dancers, partners, trios, and troupes perform traditional and Egyptian belly dance movements. They spice up routines with swords, candles, and fire while astounding audiences by manipulating their stomach muscles to pour shots or stop errant cannon balls.
Back at their headquarters on the hardwood studio floors of Dana's Dance Academy, the professional swirlers impart their art to aspiring dancers in beginner and advanced belly-dancing classes throughout the week. A social and enjoyable form of aerobic exercise—unlike sleep dancing, which is essentially solitary—the classes also aim to boost students' confidence, grace, and poise.
Academy students can take their skills to the public stage by performing at Harem Nites at Stratnos Greek Tavern, where, on the first Thursday of every month, professionals and first-timers alike dance together in front of a live audience of spectators, friends, and family.
The performing and fine arts community in Irving welcomed a new home in 1990 with the completion of the Irving Arts Center. The Arts Center's 10-acre complex features two fully-equipped theaters; four galleries; meeting, classroom, reception and rehearsal facilities; and a verdant sculpture garden.
Keeping the sweet strains of the classical tradition floating through Irving and north Texas, the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving presents yearly cycles of thoughtfully programmed concerts that mix blockbuster standbys and little-known gems from throughout the centuries. The orchestra has entrusted its baton to Dr. Sergio Espinosa, the head of the UT Arlington string program. In addition to his Texas positions, Espinosa has honed his baton-waving skills in front of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Northern Orchestra of Portugal, and various clouds of gnats.
Boneyard Haunted House has been featured in numerous local media outlets, including in a story on CBS 11 news exploring whether or not the space is actually haunted. Rumors swirl that the large, formerly abandoned building that operator Dan Hall has converted into a haunted house harbors some very real ghosts. To give his guests a proper Halloween fright, Hall has outfitted the building's downstairs area with more than 40,000 square feet of realistic-looking skeleton scenes, elaborate designs, and passageways that reduce one’s line of sight to up the surprise factor. But, as Hall told CBS 11, other unintentional things have been happening inside the haunted house. Rolls of receipts have rolled across the floor and trash cans have accelerated across the room, all seemingly of their own volition. The phenomena have even caused paranormal investigators to come in with recording technology to try to contact the spirits of any lingering souls or prolific Ouija boards that might be stuck on the premises.
For guests who have walked through the haunted house in previous years, every season brings new and scary surprises. A writer from the North Dallas Gazette reported on the effort, noting that "each year, the haunt is completely taken down and the team starts fresh building exclusive rooms and new props." The attraction also boasts an indoor festival area with games, music, concessions, and vendors.
Located close enough to the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff to be conveniently considered a cool location in Winnetka Heights, The Kessler Theater sits on the corner of Davis Street and touts a colorful marquee and equally vibrant history. It’s the lime green and yellow brick art deco look you’ll notice first, while the façade and dusty red signage draw the eyes further. Inside is a more traditional rock venue, long and dim and pulsing with energy during performances that belie its early beginnings as a humble single-screen movie house. Today, the 70 year old venue stands tall as a venue for popular touring acts, while still playing true to its heritage – one of the eight-seat suites is named after guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn, a former Oak Cliff native.