In polite company, one should never slurp spaghetti or eat dinner with sauce all over their chin. But such propriety flies out the window during the spaghetti-eating contest at the Jeffersonville Italian Festival, when participants vie to scarf down heaps of pasta the fastest. The festival's cake- and cannoli-eating contests likewise require speedy mastication, but languorous visitors can take their time savoring the Italian cuisine served by local vendors, enjoying it alfresco among friends and neighbors. In between bites of chicken parmesan or tiramisu, attendees can also show off their artistic sides with crafts or two-step to Italian tunes crooned by live musicians.
At Bravo Dance Studio, owners Alex and Svetlana Ioukhnel understand that where learning to dance is concerned there is no single formula. That's why they've gathered a troupe of professional instructors to teach students of all levels and ages a variety of movement disciplines. A Latin-dance instructor teaches the latest moves seen at clubs, from Cuban-style salsa to bachata. The studio?s wedding-dance coordinator helps engaged couples create a memorable dance for their wedding reception. And, beginner students can start the adventure by learning basic steps that lay the groundwork for more advanced moves. Classes are held in the Bravo?s two sparkling ballrooms, outfitted with LED lights that dress the floating hardwood floors in red, blue, and green hues. The voices of Frank Sinatra, Duffy, and Barney the Dinosaur burst through the speakers during any given class, offering a variety of tunes to dance to. To keep toes twinkling, Friday nights feature social dance parties, where guests can practice their skills.
Crossing the Ohio River on the north side of Louisville, it’s impossible not to notice the glassy façade of the KFC Yum! Center right on the river, a gleaming, $238 million cathedral to the University of Louisville’s flagship sport: basketball. Perennial powerhouses in both the men’s and women’s competition, Louisville showcases its fast-paced brand of basketball to one of the most loyal fanbases and student bodies in the country. While hoops may be king—the men’s basketball squad has won the school its two only NCAA Championships—the Cardinals take pride in a host of distinguished sports, including a football team that won both the Big East Conference and the Orange Bowl in 2006, leading the basketball team to briefly experiment with wearing helmets and cleats.
The Vernon Club, nestled in a historic building dating back to 1886, rolls out eight gleaming lanes with automatic scoring, a new Internet jukebox, and tasty comestibles for fueling competitive appetites. Players don borrowed footwear and the letterman jackets of league-player ghosts before hurling three-holed spheres toward pins poising themselves for the welcomed whack of a spare or strike. Bowlers can rest their pin-striking biceps of fury with a gooey 12-inch pizza or maintain concentration while grasping a bratwurst in non-bowling hands. On select nights, rock bands set up shop beside the lanes and churn out foot-tapping ditties until 1 a.m. or 2 a.m.
Since 1993, Cirque Dreams' family-friendly variety extravaganzas have called upon a cast of acrobats, strongmen, and daredevils to wring the oohs and aahs out of audiences with tremendous feats of derring-do. During each themed production, more than 100 performers garbed in dazzling outfits twirl high in the air, contort their bodies into impossible shapes, and solve long division problems to earn uproarious applause from the crowd. At Dream Studios in Pompano Beach, Florida, hundreds of contracted artists from around the world develop their skills and prep for Cirque Dreams performances under the direction of Neil Goldberg and his team of choreographers, contortionists, and designers.
Toes tap, soles crisscross, and ankles point and flex as pairs of dancers whirl across Arthur Murray’s smooth floors, where Sacramento-area hoofers have practiced steps since 1947. A specialized curriculum imparts basics such as foot position and rhythm, as well as how to lead, follow, or trot across the ceiling during beginning classes, and eventually ushers students into bronze, silver, and competition-level gold classes. Graceful instructors certified through the World Professional Dance Teachers Association lead classes and events such as private lessons, group formation practices, core rhythms reviews, and weekly practice parties.