Attracting more than 170,000 art enthusiasts to its events in 2011, the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival showcases original work from hundreds of artisans showcasing everything from handcrafted pottery, sculpture, and metalwork to jewelry, fashion, décor, and photography. Audiences can witness art being made live during educational demonstrations as artisans sculpt clay, whittle wood, forge metals, and imbue baskets with the power of speech. Hungry crafters can also sniff out specialty food items to sample or purchase while dancing across the sprawling venue to live music.
The instructors at Global Music Academy design lessons on musical instruments, voice, dance, and art that go deeper than “practice makes perfect.” They surround their technical pointers with theoretical context, encouraging students to hone their guitar strums and piano chords while delving into musical history and sight-reading. For advanced classes, instructors invite celebrated musicians to inspire pupils through lectures, demonstrations, and ventriloquist acts. Their dance teachers draw from countless global influences to arrange their curriculum, covering Bollywood, hula, ballet, and tap. During art class, employees outline classic styles as adults and children sketch their original works.
The staff also appreciates the social benefits of their teachings. They head an after-school program and various summer camps to introduce youngsters to the fine arts, which often culminate in confidence-boosting performances. Options for toddlers—such as Mommy & Me dance classes and rhythmic Kindermusik sessions—tune into tactics for mental and motor development.
Dance classes at Born 2 Dance Studio cater to the nightclub and the ballroom alike, with more than 60 weekly lessons for adults and more than 40 for kids as young as 3 years old. Adult lessons are broken into three categories—dance fitness, performance, and technique and choreography—so students can better choose a class that fits their interests. Within those categories, styles covered range from belly dancing to hip-hop to ballroom to jazz. Kids also have myriad classes to choose from, including break dancing, Zumba, and bollywood. In addition to regular lessons, children can participate in recitals, enroll in dance-centic summer camps, or celebrate birthdays with a hip-hop dance session and party.
The Discover Scuba Diving course introduces aspiring mermen and maids to the basic underwater breathing techniques in a safe, unthreatening environment. The two-hour class takes place in a portion of The Dive Shop's indoor pool that is only three feet deep, letting students experience the sensation of weightlessness without the weightiness of realizing that you're just a small fish in a shark's pond. The Dive Shop provides students with all necessary equipment (except towels and bathing suits), and highly trained instructors helpfully demonstrate how to operate the gadgetry, both underwater and in the case of bathroom emergencies. If your taste test of scuba piques your aqueous appetite, speak to one of the friendly and informed instructors about seeking additional training opportunities, getting your hands on some gear of your own, or gobbling up the glory of one of earth's all-natural bowls of seafood soup.
Fencing Sports Academy teaches students to parry, lunge, and riposte in fencing classes that cater to everyone from beginners to Olympic-level competitors. Head coach Ervin Szucs previously worked as head coach for the Hungarian National Team and has trained U.S.A. North American Cup gold medalists and World Team members. In classes split by age and skill level, new students learn basic foot movements and guards while more advanced fencers explore tip control and complicated maneuvers, all while brandishing blunt-tipped swords or unsharpened rubber chickens.
Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.