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The depilation artists at Brow Art 23's boutique produce carefully sculpted eyebrows and perform precision threading and waxing services. During their signature eyebrow-threading services, the boutique's technicians wield two threads over fuzzy body surfaces to pull out fine hairs or sculpt fuzz into neat shapes quickly and effortlessly. Their arsenal of eyebrow-pampering products also includes angled eyebrow brushes, stencils, and makeup to glam up bland brows and keep new looks fresh at home. Threading can also be done on other parts of the body besides the face, leaving any area smooth or remaining hair formed into the name Denise. The boutique also offers henna tattoos and eyelash extensions, rounding out its suite of beautifying services.

246 N New Hope Rd
Gastonia,
NC
US

Joining the witness-protection program is the best way to disguise your identity, but the vast array of costumes at Halloween Express gives the program a run for its money. For more than two decades, the chain’s 300-plus stores have supplied customers with costumes year-round from vampire capes for Halloween to Caesar togas for the Ides of March.

In preparation for the fall of 2013, they’ve added more than 3,000 new items to their Halloween collection. These costumes range from Day of the Dead masks to Darth Vader costumes for dogs. The store’s party supplies add a spooky touch to festivities and include tombstones, rotting pumpkins, and giant hairy spiders.

2980 East Franklin Boulevard
Gastonia,
NC
US

In the 1960s, husband and wife John and Kate Grice strolled around Rankin Lake, wondering what they could do to help the kids in their neighborhood find gainful entertainment. John whimsically suggested roller-skating, and his idea took root. The pair soon opened the doors to the brand new Kate's Skating Rink. Their creation became the family business, and is now run from two locations by their grandchildren. The rink entertains fun-lovers of all ages with an arcade, multi-level indoor playground, and, of course, the vast and well-maintained skating rink.

1151 Skating Rink Dr
Gastonia,
NC
US

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.

1200 Industrial Ave
Gastonia,
NC
US

Each day, students on horseback gallop alongside attentive instructors on Creekwood Farm’s 30 acres of undulating terrain, learning the subtleties of English saddle-seat riding during private and group lessons. In addition to helping everyone from beginners to advanced riders improve their technique, instructors also take time to teach the essential non-saddle skills of grooming and tacking horses. They encourage each fledgling jockey to learn at his or her own pace, whether riding goals include competing in American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas shows or simple pleasure riding. The farm’s indoor and outdoor facilities ensure that lessons take place throughout the year, unaffected by winter cold, summer heat, and horse spring break.

5201 CR Wood Rd
Gastonia,
NC
US

Child1st products are specifically designed for right-brained learners, including visual and kinesthetic learners; those labeled with dyslexia, autism, Asperger's, and ADD; and those who struggle with reading comprehension. The multisensory materials are also effective with beginning readers to prevent difficulties.

3302 S New Hope Rd
Gastonia,
NC
US