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.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
The Esthetic Engineer owner Tiffany Schoefield understands the stressors of the 9-to-5 world. After she ran a ghostwriting business and managed political campaigns, her career took an about-face when she realized she was more interested in slowing down to appreciate life than in speeding it up. It was then that Tiffany turned to what has become her true calling—skincare—and she now devotes herself to helping her clients find their own quiet reprieves from daily life in her inviting spa.
For more than 15 years, Tiffany has trained in some of the skincare industry’s most trusted brands, including Aveda and SkinCeuticals. The spa’s licensed aestheticians help clients improve their skin’s appearance with treatments that include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and facials with a variety of trusted skincare brands, including Éminence Organic Skin Care and Glo Therapeutics. Among the center’s many specialties are body waxing and makeovers, during which artists apply lash extensions, tint brows, or apply full makeup. Tiffany’s philosophy that her spa is an oasis for self-care and rejuvenation stands at the forefront throughout all of her services, and her staff emphasizes making clients happy with personalized attention and treatments.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change package, which helps promote the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car—it cools the motor and helps prevent moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians—all of which have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)—service vehicles at Jiffy Lube. In addition to performing oil changes, technicians offer preventative services such as air-filtration and electrical-system maintenance, among others. Jiffy Lube’s quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, complete a service only after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
The consortium of professional instructors at Charlotte Ballroom Dance Academy shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Paired with a partner or teamed up with instructor-founders Zenaida and Bryon Chandler—Latin and Showdance and Open Smooth champions, respectively—students can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. Dancers can develop their skills and confidence in private and group lessons or during jovial practice parties, where they'll trip the light fantastic without tripping on the light itself. Charlotte Ballroom Dance Academy also hosts occasional specialty classes, such as Cardio Ballroom, and leads betrothed couples through special wedding-dance lessons.
The Divide, so named because it straddles Mecklenburg and Union Counties, entices golfers with spacious bermuda-grass fairways and bent-grass greens designed by course architect John Casell II. Holes 2, 5, 12, and 18 boast a par 5, keeping players on their toes until the very end of each round. Golfers can visit a bunker in the short-game practice area to train for the course’s sand-guarded putting greens or hone their long game at the practice facility’s 20 hitting stations. Before afternoon games, guests fuel up on The Grill’s porch, munching burgers under lazily twirling fans. Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,922 yards from the farthest set of tees * Course rating of 74.4 from the farthest set of tees * Slope rating of 137 from the farthest set of tees * See the scorecard