Amid the ballroom's dramatic red walls, professional rug cutters impart proper dance techniques, shepherding feet through wedding dance interludes and styles such as salsa, swing, waltz, and the fox trot during group and private lessons. Five primary curricula await pupils, who start off with classes from the basic introductory program before boogying on to the Associate Bronze, Bronze, Silver, and Gold programs. As classes progress, Bronze sessions get students comfortable and stylish on any dance floor, whereas Gold classes prep more advanced dancers for exhibitions and competitions. Event-specific classes are also available to prepare Sweet 16 guests of honor, aspiring brides and grooms, bar mitzvah attendees, and tiny plastic cake toppers for properly getting down on party floors.
Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum's staff of maritime experts collate the histories, folklore, and artifacts that illustrate Long Island's relationship with the sea. The museum's collection ensures an in-depth look at Long Island's history of whaling with more than 6,000 artifacts and archival objects, including the only fully equipped 19th-century whaling boat with the original furniture and scrimshaw flat-screen television. Interactive education courses for all ages teach kids about the oceanic sciences and engage them in themed arts-and-crafts events. Adult workshops range from drawing and sketching seminars to book readings and discussions. Before leaving, guests can peruse the gift shop, which brims with knickknacks and doodads for all ages, including boatswain's whistles and ships in bottles.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.
The Long Island Comedy Festival, which won a thumbs-up from Newsday in 2009, sends laughing fits rippling through southeastern New York with showcases of some of the area's most accomplished comedians. The namesake festival spreads out across Long Island every summer, landing at venues that might range from an old-fashioned playhouse to a family amusement park. Many alumni return to perform year after year, making for a festive atmosphere that executive producer Paul Anthony likens to "a comedy party that the audience members have been invited to," rather than one that they sadly listen to through the floorboards. During the rest of the year, the organizers stay busy producing comedy series at other historic venues and exporting their team of comics to college shows.
Most pool halls evoke the smoky, timeworn atmosphere of a friend’s basement. The Big Kahuna decided to go a more upscale route. Stylish sofas flank a stone fireplace, wrought-iron lamps cast a warm glow over every table, and 11 big-screen TVs broadcast seasonal sporting events from spacious ochre walls. Alongside the hall’s billiards and ping-pong tables, a granite and brick bar furnishes icy sips of Budweiser, Corona, and other domestic brews to the pulsing soundtrack of ceramic orbs exploding apart. The hall’s kitchen stays open until the bar closes to balance libations with a menu of buffalo wings, steak-fajita wraps, and plates of chicken parmesan.
Studio Art supplies the media and the instruction for customizing everything from canvases and pottery to skateboards and sneakers. During birthday parties, afterschool programs, and camps, artists transform everyday objects into one-of-a-kind works of art. Mirrors, moccasins, and belt buckles dress up in an arsenal of paints, glitters, jewels, and trinkets according to creative whims or the demands of the preschool fashion scene. Classes hone specific skills such as sewing and fashion design, and teen night occupies adolescents with henna, beading, and scrapbooking in an informal setting.