Modern Steps School of Dance regularly waltzes across the line that separates art from all-out fun. The school’s experienced instructors lead private lessons, group classes, and spirited dance parties for all ages, from seniors to adolescents who only recently grew their fifth toes. Focusing exclusively on ballroom dance, instructors branch out to cover the many styles that fall under that large umbrella, including tango, fox trot, Viennese waltz, and swing. They draw on a rich history of dance tutelage—though the school was founded only two decades ago, its roots in Florida can be traced all the way back to 1513, when Juan Ponce de León tap-danced with joy upon his discovery of Disney World.
In more than two decades in the catering business, Jon Phillips has prepared plates for all manner of diners, from entertainers to corporate executives. After graduating from culinary school in Oxford, England, in the 1980s, he handled catering for high-profile corporations on both sides of the pond. His international experience with American and British clients filled him with the drive to create his own catering company, CaterMasters, that could take advantage of the full scope of his experience. Today, Phillips personally services and oversees many of his company's events, displaying a dedication to his craft as deep and filled with marinated shrimp shish kebabs as the Atlantic itself.
The instructors at Masterpiece Mixers Paint & Party Studio supply the canvases, paints, and brushes, requiring visitors to bring only their creativity. At studios located around Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Massachusetts, they lead all-level painting classes that last up to 1.5 to 3 hours and focus on subjects ranging from the natural, such as birds and flowers, to still-life guitars, vases, and wine bottles. In some themed sessions, instructors also teach groups to paint abstract pieces or create their own variations on famous landscape paintings that, unlike the originals, can include dinosaurs. Some sessions follow a special date-night structure. At every location, the staff members encourage visitors to bring their own wine, beer, and snacks if desired.
For decades, JCPenney Portraits has welcomed families into its friendly studios, where photographers expertly photograph subjects of any age. Digital cameras, professional lighting, and a wide selection of backgrounds all work together to ensure a polished, personalized look for every family portrait, school picture, business headshot, or baby announcement. To customize the session even more, the staff also encourages guests to incorporate items with special meaning such as a baby blanket, a family heirloom, or the wishbone from grandma's first Thanksgiving.
After the final flash, clients and a team member head to the viewing kiosk, where they can select their photos and customize them. Beyond prints, memories may also be preserved on high-resolution MyImages CDs, gallery wraps, or through JCPenney Portraits' archival program, which allows clients to store and share their portraits online.
Behind the gauzy curtains of Snap Shots Delivered's photo booths, groups of family and friends can be seen adjusting their sombreros and forming tableaus. Within moments, a printer produces several copies of the captured moments, sending guests off with a memento of the event and an establishment of an alibi. Numerous personalization options tailor booths to any host's wishes, including custom logos on each strip or photo scrapbooks.
Patinella's speedily concocts poultry-bedecked dishes influenced by Brazilian, Italian, Greek, and Mexican culinary traditions. Diners ease into fowl felicity with the menu's soups ($2.99 for a cup) and freshly made salads ($6.49–$8.99), before setting spoons loose on the signature chicken-and-rice bowls. The United Nations–like coterie of international eats includes the Brazilian bowl, a piquant marvel of black beans, onion, tomato, garlic rice, and freshly grilled chicken ($7.39–$10.39), and the Greek gyro bowl, which contains beef, lamb, garlic rice, and veggies unified beneath a creamy corona of tzatziki ($7.39–$10.39). Patinella's selection of fresh pita-wrapped gyros includes the classic interpretation ($6.79), as well as barbecue ($6.79) and chicken-caesar ($7.19) variations. Floor-to-ceiling windows drench the multihued dining area in sunshine while guarding it from the tears of hungry clouds.