The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
The Springfield Armor thrills hometown hoops fans by laying siege to Developmental League opponents with a fully loaded roster of potential NBA stars. Led by head coach Bob MacKinnon Jr., the Armor tips off a fresh season against conference rival Maine Red Claws, returning up to six players from last year's roster. Slam-dunk champion LD Williams dazzles crowds by sinking alley-oops and opposing mascots through the hoop, and points-machine JamesOn Curry, the franchise's all-time leading scorer, seeks to build on 2010's strong performance. As the D-League affiliate of the New Jersey Nets, the Armor grants b-ball enthusiasts the chance to watch future NBA players before they pick-and-roll into the national spotlight or sign million-dollar contracts to join an experimental league inside the heads of Mount Rushmore. Although not included with today's Groupon, MassMutual Center surrounds guests with a variety of attractions, including the Center Grille Restaurant, Breakaway Bar, and a gift shop.
The bloggers and promoters of Gotham Rocks care as much about building community as they do about throwing hard-rocking shows. Scouting talent from the five boroughs and beyond, the agency has assembled a duet of like-minded acts designed to bring a burgeoning scene together for the Gotham Rocks tour. The two-fisted tonsils of Angelina DelCarmen endow Charetta's rock angst with brassy vocal lines that could easily lead any pop-radio hit or all the town's children into the nearest Hot Topic. From selling out New York’s esteemed Irving Plaza to opening for bands such as Saliva, Charetta’s rising star burns bright as the band approaches its five-year anniversary. Feisty, fun, and heavy, Ghosts of Eden keeps the '90s alive with grungy nods to the Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam.
• For $24, you get one ticket in sections 3–10 (a $37 before fees, or up to a $47.85 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $37, you get a ticket in section 1 or 2 (a $62 value before fees, or up to a $74.75 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees).