The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, 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 cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
Loyalty to digital cameras’ factory settings can hinder photographers shooting in unusual venues. Photographer Paulo Jordao teaches his students to manually adjust their settings to suit their surroundings during hands-on workshops, whose curricula also emphasize lighting, composition, and post-shoot editing. Open to all skill levels, the workshops can expand semi-professionals’ skill sets or aid parents trying to document their tots’ childhoods without adding extensive footnotes to their height chart.
When he’s not teaching workshops, Jordao, along with his wife, Peggy, who is also a photographer, can be found snapping photos of newly engaged couples, capturing sultry boudoir shoots, and shooting videos for special events.
Seven extreme athletes and one Royal Marine banded together to design Spartan Races' intense miles-long courses, each strewn with obstacles to test resilience, stamina, and strength. Clad in event T-shirts, runners collect smudges and stains as they clamber across mud pits, slide unscathed under barbed wire, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as three miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
Beautiful waitresses clad in plaid mini kilts crisscross Tilted Kilt, hoisting trays of Celtic-themed pub fare as sports fans catch games on high-definition TVs. Almost a decade old, the Tilted Kilt franchise originated in Las Vegas, where restaurateur Mark DiMartino first conceived of a sports bar with Irish touches—an idea that has since spread across the country. Patrons can stay out late at the pub, spending the night sipping on beers while sampling burgers, fish ‘n’ chips, or shepherd’s pie filled with beef and veggies. On a weekly basis, musicians enliven the already party-like atmosphere, strumming tunes or throwing up fistfuls of counterfeit money on the eatery’s patio.
Caffe Martier's menu yokes together gourmet salads, sandwiches, and Mediterranean fare served in a café with the élan of European-bistro sophistication. Salmon, cream cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes adorn the cod salmon pizza starter's whole-wheat flat bread base before being drizzled with pesto, and the greek bruschetta's feta, kalamata olives, and diced tomatoes play Twister atop foccacio bread. Graze the greenery of the roasted pepper-topped arugula-endive salad or opt for a spinach salad with figs and feta, sprinkled with toasted pecans and roasted peppers before being doused in a spicy lime dressing. Chefs assemble sandwiches and wraps using only kosher meats, and each arrives with an edible sidekick of organic mesclun and chickpea salad.
Voted "Best Bar" in 2011 by the New Times, Whiskey Tango All American Bar & Grill whets appetites with an eclectic menu of dishes inspired by America's culinary topography. Chef Elliott’s spaghetti sandwich gives dizzy forks a whirling respite with its buttery loaf of toasted garlic bread stuffed with juicy chicken, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and cascading ringlets of spaghetti ($8.95). Pursed lips can slurp spoonfuls of Georgia sweet vidalia onion soup, crowded with caramelized slivers of vidalia petals and capped with melted cheddar cheese ($5.95) before bare teeth shred tender morsels off a main course of St. Louis–style ribs ($13.95 for a half rack; $16.95 for a full rack). Like eating steak with chopsticks, the San Diego tuna nachos synthesize distinct food identities by topping fried wanton chips with slices of sushi-grade tuna cooked rare, seaweed salad, and pickled ginger ($13.95).