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.
Keeping the sweet strains of the classical tradition floating through Irving and north Texas, the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving presents yearly cycles of thoughtfully programmed concerts that mix blockbuster standbys and little-known gems from throughout the centuries. The orchestra has entrusted its baton to Dr. Sergio Espinosa, the head of the UT Arlington string program. In addition to his Texas positions, Espinosa has honed his baton-waving skills in front of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Northern Orchestra of Portugal, and various clouds of gnats.
Sudsy brews slosh in clink-ready cups at the third annual North Texas Beer and Wine Festival, which takes up residence at the new Irving Convention Center on Saturday, May 12. Once the doors open to the general public at 2 p.m., imbibers can snack on high-end eats from the likes of Velvet Taco and The Ranch in Las Colinas, and sample the wares of local and international brewers from Imperial and Franconia. These brewmasters sling samples of hundreds of different beers, from classic signature brews to new, experimental creations. Just one of several enriching presentations on the schedule, Kelly Harris of Homebrew Headquarters edifies entrepreneurs and enthusiasts at 2:45 p.m. with an introductory course to home brewing. In a sprawling beer garden, live music from The Superkings and Dallas All Stars Blues Jam serenades sippers in the afternoon hours, easing eardrums into the VIP-only event featuring Band of Brothers and Zionaura.
An estimated 575 vendors plan to attend the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, a four-day exposition held at the Baltimore Convention Center. On display will be more than 200,000 treasures from the last several thousand years, including furniture, major works of art, Asian antiquities, porcelain, rare manuscripts and books, and antique and estate jewelry.
Keeping alive the tradition set by the legends of the original American Association—where players such as Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays once toed the batter's box, before the league was absorbed by the professional ranks—the Grand Prairie AirHogs take the diamond to face off against rivals. As part the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, the club brought sandlot glory to their fans in 2011, when they won the Association's championship. Mirroring the on-field excitement, the new QuikTrip Park turns each outing into a memorable shindig with a party deck, a 17,000-square-foot kids' zone, and a pool adjacent to the outfield. Between innings, fans can fuel up at the stadium’s sports bar or leapfrog over each of the park’s 5,445 seats.