Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, 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 Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Harlem Globetrotters Playing Three-on-Five
Since forming in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters have continued to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2014 tour, a rotating [roster](http://gr.pn/PHdb6w) of Globetrotter favorites?including three female players?takes to the hardwood each game. Spectators might spot veteran guard [TNT](http://gr.pn/rOe0P4) sharing a behind-the-back pass with dunker [Quake](http://gr.pn/QTIGVh), whose high jump once cleared 7 feet, cruelly dashing his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Globetrotters might also present a study in contrasts with 5-foot-2 [Too Tall](http://gr.pn/PHdmPh) and 7-foot-4 [Stretch](http://gr.pn/1dYrbUt), the team?s tallest member. During each Globetrotters game, youngsters laugh along and witness the jovial jocks performing classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti. To infuse their visits with an extra shot of unpredictability, the Globetrotters also let fans in each city vote on special rules for every game; past rules have included the use of a four-point shot and the installation of a penalty box. Over the years, similar antics have followed the Globetrotters around the world, including to 122 countries and territories and all six continents on which basketballs grow naturally. The Globetrotters? extensive travels haven?t gone unnoticed: they?re one of the few teams to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as ambassadors of the sport.
For Margie Garcia, owner of The Drunk Artist, the word drunk doesn't just refer to being inebriated: it also means being overcome by a strong feeling or emotion. During one of The Drunk Artist's painting classes, students can embrace this double meaning by creating an impassioned piece of art while sipping on BYO beverages. A local artist assists painters of all skill levels in re-creating a chosen masterpiece by demonstrating helpful techniques and doling out the necessary materials. After an evening or afternoon of eating complimentary snacks, pupils leave with a finished painting that can be mounted on the wall or sneaked into a museum in the middle of the night.
A stomach-shaking staple of Houston since 1991, the Laff Spot features a range of onstage funnymen and women in the club's intimate, Las Vegas–style showroom. Coming attractions include Boston's Ken Rogerson (October 15–16), known for his blunt, aggressive insights into love and marriage; Steve Callif (October 22–23), who draws belly laughs and occasional bowel laughs with parodied song and interactive antics; and Texas ha-ha hero John Wessling (October 29–30), a semifinalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing. With all these and a host of future acts on the calendar, you'll have no shortage of chances to horrifically shatter every funny or somewhat amusing bone in your body. The Laff Spot's shows are scheduled on Fridays (8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.) and Saturdays (7 p.m., 9 p.m., and 10:45 p.m.).
Progressions Performing Arts is a studio that believes in both technique and artistry. Hiring excellent experienced instructors from the dance community to instill a strong foundation within their students is PPA's first goal. Students are taught with the idea that any may choose a career in the dance industry. Ages 3 & up