When Ronni Delvalle grabs ahold of one of her mirrored studio's chrome poles, she feels more graceful, beautiful, and self-assured than when she's practicing any other type of dance or fitness. Fueled by a drive to share this empowering form of sensual exercise with women of all shapes and sizes, Delvalle and her a team of female instructors lead a variety of fitness and instructional pole-dancing classes designed to build confidence, tone muscles, and burn calories.
The team also conducts an aerial-yoga course that incorporates soft cloth hammocks suspended from the ceiling, offering a practical alternative to equestrian yoga, which requires students to form downward facing dogs on the backs of speeding Clydesdales.
Bellator unleashes the intensity of world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) as eight warriors strive in no-holds-barred battles for the prize in the Bellator 50 middleweight quarterfinals. MMA fighters will kick, choke, punch, power-hug, and choke some more, splattering the canvas with human water balloons of sweat and blood. As seen on MTV2, Bellator packs its fight card with eight highly-ranked bruisers and contusion artisans, all dancing in a broken-bone ballet for the middleweight title. Saturday's show-card pits Vitor Vianna (11-1-1) against Sam Alvey (15-2-0) in a boisterous match of crippling wedgies. The circular cage of rage also sports Bryan Baker (15-2-0) extending an olive branch of internal hemorrhaging to Jared Hess (11-2-1), Alexander Shlemenko (40-7-0) and Zelg Galesic (10-5-0) feasting on knuckle sandwiches, and Brian Rogers (7-2-0) and Victor O'Donnell (10-2-0) achieving nirvana with cathartic mule kicks.
From the outside, Cinema Paradiso looks more like a church than a movie theater. But inside, there is no mistaking that the auditorium crowded with 230 plush, royal blue velvet seats?each imported from Paris?is a luxurious haven for movie-goers. Now in its 29th year, the theater screens art-house independent films and the annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. With the ability to project 35mm, 16mm, HDCam, Digi-Beta, BetaSP, and DVD, the venue's possibilities are many, and frequent events showcase Hollywood classics and cult horror flicks. To help guests calm their jitters during the scary parts, three bars serve beer and wine, and snacks and concession fare satiate cravings, so that no growling bellies drown out tenderly whispered love scenes.
The French Quarter, the signature restaurant of the Mardi Gras Casino, features an upscale menu brimming with sandwiches, steaks, and seafood. Sandwiches such as the portobello burger, marinated and grilled with roasted red peppers, silence stomachs begging for breaded bliss ($7.95), and fans of beef and silent t's sink their incisors into 8-ounce filet mignon ($23). Pan-seared mahi mahi covered in fresh mango salsa ($13.95) swims into the bellies of seafoodies not already noshing on an 8-ounce sirloins accompanied by jumbo shrimp ($20.94). Live dog races and panoramic views of Fort Lauderdale also entertain diners from the comfort of their tables or the discomfort of their mohair unitards.
In Joni Sheram's one-woman play, Cups, the playwright gives audiences a peek into her packed lingerie drawer through intimate knowledge of her history and character via the progression of tangled straps and faded lace. As Sheram pulls out assorted bras, she reminisces on the myriad memories marked by the quotidian bits of fabric, from the hopeful clasp of a training bra to the daunting responsibility marked by a nursing bra. A strapless bra is used to convey coming-of-age anecdotes, and a heap of ashes commemorates a bra burned during the firewood famine of the 1960s. Hailed as hilarious by scads of reviewers and department-store managers, the play also touches on aging, loss, and decades of women's personal and collective history.