Competitive ballroom dancers Martin Ramsauer and Chris Sabourin have been blazing across the dance floor since childhood. After years of experience at Fred Astaire studios—a national franchise cofounded by the legendary toe-tapper—and their competitions, the pair opened their own branch to share their decades' worth of experience with others.
They now helm a team of experienced instructors—including an award-winning Serbian dancer ranked on the World IDSF list of top couples—that shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the dance-style spectrum. Their low-pressure, customized private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
The window dressers at Connecticut Shade and Blind have embellished bare panes with custom blinds, shades, and sumptuous draperies for more than a quarter century. Interior rooms exposed to overly enthusiastic sunbeams or binocular-bearing blue jays cover vulnerable windows with light filtering double-cell shades ($546 for a 36"x54" panel). The futuristic blinds are energy efficient, helping to defend against winter drafts and roasting summer suns. Wood blinds ($549 for a 36"x54" panel) or faux wood blinds ($413 for a 36"x54" panel) add texture and a touch of the outdoors to stylish interiors. A variety of fabrics in woven blends or ethereal sheers dress window interiors as curtains or human exteriors as stylish togas. Any accrued shipping costs are included in this Groupon.
Tapping into the storied tradition of Lebanese baking, Zen Bakeries lets customers sample the fruits of a wood-fired brick oven in the form of artisanal flatbread and pita treats. Patrons can choose from either white or whole wheat for nearly all of the baked morsels. The shop's kitchen wizards mix and knead both varieties daily, ensuring that outdated dough such as yesterday's pita and two-dollar bills have no place in this world. Early risers can stop by for a freshly baked egg-and-cheese pita pie ($3.50) or side with sweet in its epic battle against savory by ordering an eye-opening Nutella-and-banana pita pie ($1.50–$3.50).
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Certified Level 1 CrossFit trainer Dave Duprey faces all challenges with a fierce, competitive spirit. The ex-minor-league hockey player—who holds a National Academy of Sports Medicine certification—has won several American Strongman competitions, bested the state deadlift record, and competed in the 2010 CrossFit Games.
At Self Made CrossFit, Duprey channels this devout athleticism into his coaching duties as he helps clients of all ages and abilities blast through their perceived limitations. He and his team of trainers harness CrossFit's high-intensity, constantly varied functional movements to bolster strength and endurance. To do this, they use free weights and body weight to help everyone from athletes to new moms get in shape. While there is no typical class at Self Made CrossFit, exercises may include kettlebell training, gymnastics, climbing, and lifting.