Planet Ballroom’s studios offer a glimpse of a bygone era, when gentlemanly dancers whisked their partners across dance floors amid elegant decor and soft hanging lanterns. Professional dancers lead both private and group classes within these rustic halls, guiding couples through the steps and proper techniques of social dances such as the waltz, tango, salsa, and swing. The seasoned instructors also conduct fitness-focused classes, leading teens and adults through energetic workouts of cardio Latin dance, ballet, and Pilates. Every Friday night the studio opens to students for an evening of dancing, socializing, and hatching plans to flash-mob the local DMV, and throughout the month, instructors also invite dancers back for a variety of dinner-and-dancing events.
Lisa Underwood is an artist of many and diverse talents, as her online portfolio attests. Her pieces range from three-dimensional sculptures to graphite drawings of colonial homes, the latter accomplished with such vivid detail that one begins to imagine the graphite families inside, sitting down to eat a graphite dinner and watch a scary graphite movie, such as Eraser. Mainstream Creative’s therapeutic workshops and seminars give Lisa a regular outlet through which to share her abilities with individual students and groups. In classes open to artists of all abilities, Lisa cycles through exercises that stimulate creativity, hone drawing techniques, and enhance students’ awareness of the world around them.
When he was 13, Lew Farwell took his first golf lesson from a man named Fred Funk—a little known golf assistant at the time. For Lew, that initial encounter set in motion a lifetime of playing with, working with, and learning from the game’s best. Today, having spent more than 25 years in the industry, and having conducted more than 3,500 golf lessons of his own, Lew shares with students the abundance of wisdom he has cultivated since that first lesson. At LewGolf, Lew recognizes that no two swings are the same. He emphasizes that students work with what they have—that having a pretty swing is great, but not if it lands balls in the rough or is most effective when trying to skip the line at the post office.
You won't just find spicy tuna and simple vegetable rolls on Osaka Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Bar's menu. The Super Duper roll alone combines at least seven ingredients?including eel and shrimp?into a masterpiece that's topped with a heap of seared tuna and a spicy raw-fish salad that reaches several inches high. And, each dish is just as much a delight to see as it is to eat; just open up a colorful, seven-component bento box or order up an appetizer like the seared-tuna-and-avocado salad, which floats to tables on a boat beautifully topped with deep reds and creamy greens.
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.
Located in Matthews, Scott Shields Martial Arts Academy offers instruction in martial-arts disciplines such as jujitsu, jeet kune do, and muay thai. With fitness-kickboxing classes and programs for kids and adults alike, the experienced instructors at this light-filled studio not only help clients burn calories and build muscle but also teach them discipline and self-respect. All classes introduce students to self-defense moves; they then learn to grapple, punch, and kick with efficiency as they gain strength and confidence.