As soon as you set foot in the studio at Madrasat al Raqs Denise Cultural Center, it feels as if you’ve entered an exotic palace. Gauzy backlit fabric billows overhead like the inside of a circus tent, illuminating floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
The onsite merchandise bazaar carries belly-dancing costumes and accessories, including veils, zills, and scarves to help students immerse themselves in Middle Eastern culture.
"Classical Rock" melds the intricate elegance of symphony orchestration with the gritty, infectious rhythms of popular rock songs during a one-night unification of distinct musical genres. Organizer, composer, and mad scientist of rhythm Oren Halmut commands center stage behind a drum set, splitting the spotlight with the full, 46-piece Valley Symphony Orchestra. Breakneck beats and sophisticated arrangements color modern anthems from chart-topping artists including Michael Jackson, Linkin Park, and Britney Spears. Conductor Dr. Michael H. Arshagouni spearheads the assembly of accomplished professional musicians and volunteer music-stand impersonators as he writes a fresh chapter in the orchestra's half-century history.
As the principal instructor at Blue Starz Productions, Miss Michelle's teaching credentials are backed by an impressive résumé of industry experience, including stints touring with pop acts and dancing as an original member of the LA Follies chorus line. She and her staff share their expertise with kids as young as 16 months during dance and theater classes. Be it a hip-hop, ballet, or show-choir class, wee ones develop the skills necessary to build self-confidence, nail an audition, and become the shortest Rockette ever.
From authentic, artistic belly dance to cardio-driven TAProbics, Anisa has been teaching and performing a wide variety of Belly Dance for more than four decades. Over the years, the School of Dance has grown to include dance styles with Spanish and Argentinean influences, plus modern dance, ballet, jazz, tap, and LaBlast. In addition to these traditional genres that are the studio's focus, it teaches contemporary dances that boost cardiovascular activity, including Zumba and Jazzercise. The goal is to make dance accessible to everyone; the schedule offers evening and weekend classes to accommodate working students.
L.A. Connection Comedy Theatre has been mining the comedy mountain for charismatic, off-the-cuff performers since 1977, unearthing the improvisational talents of notable alumni such as Will Ferrell, Matthew Perry, Josh Groban, and Jon Lovitz. During their roughly one-hour shows, a diverse lineup of improv troupes harvest random ideas and obscure associations from the audience to mold offbeat, semilogical sketches.
A cast of instructors also host improv classes for amateur and experienced performers, schooling protégés in the tricks of the trade and exercising their spontaneity, timing, and ability to think of why a hockey goalie would be on a safari. After completing their course, the best student performers may earn the honor of being asked to join one of LAC's regular repertoires.