Influenced by dance trends from Europe to Latin America, the staff at SuperShag Dance Studios splits its time between three Boston-area spaces filled with dancing poles, yoga mats, and custom sound systems. Founder Chris Johnston—who won several amateur Latin dance championships as a kid in Ireland and was named a World Class adjudicator by the National Dance Council of America—carefully amassed his talented troupe of teachers from dance schools around the world and from Fred Astaire’s botched attempts to clone himself. During private and group lessons, they spice up Latin-, ballroom-, and pole-dance numbers with an urban twist heavily influenced by British Dancesport, and ready students for competitions.
Founded by Eric Bickernicks, Velma's Wicked Delicious Kettle Corn serves up fresh kettle-cooked popcorn at stands and farmers' markets throughout New England. The staff also brings its salty snacks to private events and parties.
A quick study in graceful movement, Peter Gelzhinsky competed in the finals at the USA National Dance Championship just three years after taking up the craft. Parlaying his quick learning into effective teaching methods, Peter now leads hot-footed hopefuls through lessons that cover such social ballroom dances as merengue, cha-cha, and the hustle. Students can also breakdance to the thumping beats of hip-hop classes, or sashay with a provided partner through the salsa-like steps of the bachata. Many students enlist in Star Dance School’s lessons in preparation for a wedding or the grand opening of a laundromat with a dance floor.
Established in 1858, the Boston Fencing Club stands today as one of the nation's oldest fencing clubs. The club perpetuates a winning tradition that attracts national fencing champions, NCAA collegiate fencers, and a horde of happy sword hobbyists. With five-time fencing Olympian Michael Marx directing, the club's time-tested fencing program services swordsmen of all skill levels, from 6-year-old beginners to professional marshmallow hunters. In class, adult and youth students learn the basics of the sport while wrapping their mitt around all three fencing weapons: the foil, the sabre, and the épée.
The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
Drawing on a background that includes 27 years as a violinist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, music director Max Hobart leads the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra through carefully curated programs with verve. The Valentine's Love Fest concert stars operatic husband-wife duo Brian Landry and contralto Ana Maria Ugarte as they essay songs from Carmen, Tosca, and Rigoletto, melting hearts and shattering brittle emotion processors with their voices' romantic resonance. The orchestra's musicians enhance the euphony with pieces by Wagner, Saint-Saëns, and Puccini. A preconcert lecture given by Wellesley Symphony Orchestra president Leslie Holmes educates listeners with info about the music and its interpreters.