In 1974, the charismatic Johnnie High lassoed a stray guitar picker, fiddle twiddler, and a handful of troubadours to star in Johnnie High’s Country Music Revue. The collective heft of the house ensemble, the Superpicker Band, anchors each sophisticated journey into the country music anthology. In addition to the regular cast, featured performers and surprise special guests vary week to week. Dave Alexander summons the spirit of Western swing on June 18, and the patriotic "American Made" show on July 2 pays tribute to the colors of our nation's flag. Loftily lauded revue alumni include LeAnn Rimes, inaugural American Idol Kelly Clarkson, and young Yosemite Sam. Seating is based on best availability at time of ticket collection.
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.
It's a good idea to arrive early at Movie Tavern, and not only if you hate missing the opening credits. Early birds can peruse the extensive menu of chef-crafted American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. But even after the show begins, the snacks keep coming. Unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. Guests can even sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the full bar before heading in to the theater. The family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies.
As for the entertainment, audiences get to enjoy all-digital presentations of first-run films any day of the week, plus Retro Cinema every Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. as well as Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Audiences also benefit from Movie Tavern's membership program. Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free bag of popcorn, plus a free ticket every year on their birthday, special offers, movie news, and invites to screenings and other special events.
Certified Tribal Belly Dance teacher Heidi Wunder embraces every creative aspect of her art, from its empowering twirls to the traditional hip scarves that she crochets herself. She welcomes women of all ages during her classes, where she tutors tummies on the low-impact, largely improvised dance style. The form's various cues allow participants to step in unison without planned choreography or flowcharts taped to their foreheads. Because of the dance's social element, Heidi views her 2,000-square-foot space as a venue for guests to make lasting bonds while they discover their potential for strength and grace.
Heidi also handmakes many ornamentations to complement her students' routines. Custom-sewn clothing and spiraling henna patterns comprise striking tribal ensembles.