Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
The mixologists at ABC Bartending School divulge saloon secrets during certification-based and recreational bartending classes. During two-week certification courses, burgeoning bartenders mix classic and popular drinks while learning about alcohol laws, responsible liquor service, and stocking and inventory. Alternatively, an entertaining mixology course lets amateurs shake up drinks and take cover from projectile champagne corks behind an ornate bar with mirrors and gold trim. Once finished imparting their knowledge, the instructors set students up with ABC’s job-placement program, which puts certified graduates to work everywhere from restaurants and nightclubs to the zero-G sports bar where astronauts celebrate successful trips to the moon.
GolfTEC has two convenient locations in Charlotte, both staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of golfing robotics. Motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor your swing and break down your form on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s PGA specialists point out your flaws, strengths, and coach you on how to permanently improve your game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval when you’ve executed a perfect stroke or cracked an especially witty golfing joke.
The certified instructors at Fox Hollow Farm wield more than 25 years of equine experience and broadcast that hard-earned knowledge during riding lessons in hunt seat, jumping, and dressage. Each instructor aims to foster a supportive environment of structured learning, helping their students build confidence and skills not only when in the saddle but also when caring for a horse in the stable or dressing up as a centaur on Halloween. Beginning students start out with private instruction on the longe line to develop balance and correct position atop the farm's school horses, and may advance to group lessons after they've learned to walk, trot, and canter with control.
Ten-year-old John refused to wear socks. His Asperger’s made him hypersensitive to touch and unpredictably violent with siblings and classmates. Four years on medication weren’t bringing the results his parents were hoping for, so they enrolled him at Brain Balance Achievement Centers, a network of therapeutic facilities aiming to assuage the symptoms of kids’ behavioral disorders without the use of pharmaceuticals. Within three months of starting his program, John’s tantrums lessened significantly, he became a member of the Boy Scouts, and his doctor approved eliminating his medication.
John’s journey is just one of many success stories shared by Brain Balance. Their programs strive to remedy the adverse effects of functional disconnection, a miscommunication between the two hemispheres of the brain, which they believe to be the root of conditions such as autism, dyslexia, and ADHD.
After an assessment of a child's physical and cognitive ability, a team of professionals designs a custom program of academic exercises, sensory-motor activities, and nutritional changes that can improve brain function. Along the way, continual feedback keeps families notified of the child’s progress. To achieve further awareness of developments in children’s neuroscience, Brain Balance partners with various research facilities such as New York’s F. R. Carrick Institute and the Children’s Autism Hope Project.