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.
Led by two ACE-certified personal trainers, Carolina Adventure Boot Camp takes men and women of any age or fitness level through regularly scheduled 60-minute outdoor cardio romps. Groups are limited in size for each session, helping students get to know one another and allowing trainers to personalize each exercise to individual abilities. The bare-bones structure of each class builds routines around body-weight resistance, running, yoga, and obstacle courses, requiring each participant to bring only water, a yoga mat, and a pair of dumbbells. When not providing positive reinforcement, instructors counsel students on nutritional matters, helping craft nutritious meal plans and sharing healthful cookie recipes that replace chocolate chips with Flintstones vitamins.
Like many good ideas, the one for this business came from Dan Rather. A group of friends interested in starting a business venture together were watching CBS Evening News one night when a report on the high costs of dry cleaning drew their attention to the profession. With an entrepreneurial spirit, the founders scoped out local dry cleaners and developed a business model that allowed them to clean all garments for a fee that’s as flat as the planet we walk on. Today they clean more than 1,200 items each day and continue to grow, thanks to their onsite, environmentally friendly equipment that cleans consciences as well as garments.
An affordable and monumental selection of sofas, beds, desks, and sarcophagi mingle good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture’s wondrous warehouse. Sydney accent chairs ($199.99) command shoppers’ attention with woody legwork, while minimalistic Cubit ottoman sets ($99.99) do captivating belly dances to bedazzle bored sultans. Matrix accent chairs ($219.99), couches, and barstools anticipate increasing the comfort of various human inactivities.
Renew Natural Weight Loss Center’s staff not only empowers clients with the knowledge they need to achieve and sustain weight loss, but does so with a detailed plan. A weight-loss coach meets with clients every week to evaluate progress, offer encouragement, and keep clients accountable as they progress through their program. The bedrock program that the center revolves around includes recenter, which starts with a one-hour health assessment before a month or more spent learning to eat a balanced diet of real food; and renew, which aims to keep weight off permanently and explore naturopathic pathways to better health. To ensure that their physician-guided plan is working effectively, the coaches have clients take at-home tests that determine if their bodies are correctly converting fat into energy or incorrectly converting it into Jet-Puffed Marshmallows. They don't tailor each plan simply around shedding pounds—they also design it to boost overall health and keep metabolisms up and running consistently.
At all of Monkey Joe’s colorfully decorated locations, youngsters aged 2–12 can literally bounce off the walls in a well-lit indoor playground that abides by a Safety Access Child Control System. Exercise disguises itself as fun as sock-clad kids rocket down slides, scale climbable obstacles, and jump across springy surfaces surrounded by safety mats. Toddlers aged 3 or younger tucker themselves out in their own play area with smaller obstacles, thoroughly sanitized inflatable surfaces, toys, and games. Parties, which can include pizza and ice cream, reach a fever pitch with visits from Monkey Joe himself. While kids vent all their excess energy on the playground, parents can watch flat-screen televisions, drink refreshments, and use the WiFi to surf the Internet in the adult area.