Originally founded in 1970 to give high-school and college students a chance to hone their onstage skills, TheatreWorks dedicated itself early on to promoting new work that grappled with America's changing social landscape. Exploring the experiences of ethnic and cultural minorities, the group built a following throughout the subsequent decades, growing to its present size of 41 permanent staffers, an annual budget of $7 million, and 8,000 subscribers. Its New Works Initiative continues to seek out up-and-coming voices from around the country, helping new playwrights find their footing and prompting embittered older writers to test new pseudonyms.
Peninsula Symphony, founded in 1949 with the goal of enriching communities with affordable musical productions, grew from a grassroots ensemble to a 90-plus-member orchestra of well-trained local musicians. Music Director Mitchell Sardou Klein leads the ensemble with a steady baton, a sharp ear, and the stamina to carry on through the inevitable triple encore.
Cheryl Burke took the dance world by storm in 2006 when she won "Dancing with the Stars" twice, once in the winter and again in the fall. In addition to fame, her performance on the show also netted her two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Choreography. When she's not busy with the show, an acting gig, or a magazine shoot, she still finds time to teach at her eponymous dance studio, Cheryl Burke Dance, which she co-founded with her mother in 2009.
The facility features three dance studios, including a sprawling 4,118 sq. ft. studio, as well as a veteran team of instructors, some of whom are National and World dance champions. Together, in private or group settings, they teach nearly 20 different styles of dance, including the Waltz, Rumba, and the Lindy Hop. Once students feel confident enough with their dance skills or the swelling from the surgery to repair their second left foot subsides, they can attend one of the studio's dance parties to show off their new moves.
The instructors at Firebird Dance Studio, who have been teaching for 22 years, share their passion for dancing through lessons for students as young as 14 months. Aspiring dancers learn contemporary, ballroom, folk, Latin, and modern dance styles. Classes also give students opportunities to perform. Additionally, the studio has won the Best of Mountain View Award for two consecutive years.
Fox Theatre lures crowds and musical acts alike with an auditorium drenched in the glimmer and charm of theater’s history. Surrounding a proscenium stage draped in red is enough gold to please a group of kings or outfit one rapper with his requisite bling. Bas-reliefs and intricate patterns line the walls while below, rows of seats on the floor and balcony beckon with simple comfort.
Drop into hip-hop (Tuesday, 8–9 p.m.) to energize your stale disco moves; materialize in tap (Wednesday, 7–8 p.m.) to invigorate your toes with rhythm; dance and shake off the calories, Latin-style, with Zumba (Thursday, 8–9 p.m.); or open up a can of grace with ballet (Saturday, 12–1 p.m.). With five gleaming studios and a full squad of certified dance instructors breaking the beat together under a single roof, this much dance has not been gathered in one place since the release of YouTube as a DVD box set. The drop-in classes are designed to accommodate dancers of all skill and experience levels. The small class size ensures the type of personal attention formerly only children longed for upon the arrival of a newborn baby brother. Sign up with a few friends to gain new moves and lose a few pounds in the process.