Chi Chi Randolph has choreographed routines for hip-hop artists including Nelly and the Black Eyed Peas. Kari Lehman has 15 years of ballet training experience. Viviane Bressan turned her love of belly dance into a career, traversing the globe while teaching and performing the ancient art. At Dance Austin Studio, these three number among more than a dozen dance instructors whose dazzlingly diverse backgrounds enable an array of classes for everyone from preschoolers to grownups and fitness buffs to serious students of dance.
Zumba combines fast-paced cardio choreography with dynamic Latin rhythms, and the 18-and-older Sexy Stiletto Fit class uses high heels to tone calves and build confidence. Students can choose to learn fundamental positions, steps, and vocabulary during structured ballet, lyrical, and jazz programs, or they can develop video-ready swagger during hip-hop classes. The studio’s sense of fun occasionally spills out into the community—it recently teamed up with the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to spark a flash mob at city hall, held to raise awareness of emergency preparedness and help officials practice what to do if invaded by dancing aliens.
In 1989, a pair of bakers founded the Three Dog Bakery with nothing but a $.59 biscuit cutter and three canine taste-testers. For decades, these humans have committed themselves to creating savory treats for pets with all-natural ingredients and a slow-baked process that locks in flavors and nutrients that dogs crave. Good Morning America profiled the shop in 2011 in a piece about gourmet pet treats, highlighting their personalized cakes made without butter, salt, or artificial colorings of any kind to fit in a healthy pet's diet. The selection includes playful baked goods ranging from snickerpoodle cookies to frosted pupcakes, as well as items they could chew on for days, such as plush toys, elk antlers, and new essays by Malcolm Gladwell. Customers can find healthy eats and helpful accessories at Three Dog's two locations in Pasadena and inside Los Angeles' World Famous Farmer's Market.
At La Luna Negra, the re-creation of Spain's rich culture extends far beyond the menu of distinctive Spanish tapas. It's also found in the eatery's colorful decor, which includes lush floral murals that fade into plumes of red and purple. Inside the space, performers stamp to evening flamenco shows and weekend live music. Diners may also enjoy mountain views from the patio, or host a private party in the upstairs room, which hosts music and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. The hot and cold tapas are a show in themselves, as diners often decide to share these small plates of spicy chicken and saut?ed shrimp garnished with cheese and fresh fruit. To cleanse the palate of salmon fillet or saffron-laced paella, diners sip house-made sangria and wine or press and hold each taste bud until it reboots.
Cheese and chutney. Bangers and mash. Shepherd's Pie. At the BYOB Little Britain, UK faves slake stateside cravings with hearty helpings of potato, steak, and curry. Though the lunch and dinner menus are occasionally dotted with decidedly non-British dishes, such as Cajun fish spread and caprese salad, the majority of plates feature classically executed English flavors.
If requested, melty cheddar cheese, known in England as "cheese," will top the clouds of mashed potatoes that crown a chuck-steak-and-gravy-filled shepherd's pie. Sardines and tomato sauce are layered onto thick brioche before the open-faced sandwich is slid under a broiler, and curry cloaks chicken, samosas, vegetables, and fries—known here, of course, as chips.
Some chefs attend faraway schools or universities to learn how to cook, but for Emma Sue Miller McWhorter—the inspiration behind Big Mama's Rib Shack & Soul Foods—it was natural. Though she's gone to the big kitchen in the sky, a little bit of her soul can be seen today in the restaurant's hot links, saucy ribs, and fried chicken, which the Los Angeles Times called "beautifully cooked; moist, flavorful."
Bubbling pots of gumbo and jambalaya fill the eatery's air with rich smells and fill mouths with equally rich flavors when paired with sides such as corn bread, fried okra, or mac 'n' cheese served in the southern tradition of adding dairy to everything. Guests can enjoy live music on Tuesday nights, which ranges in musical style from jazz and R&B to soul and rock 'n' roll.
The technicians at No Sand Tan have stayed one step ahead of the sun since 1987 through continuing education and gear upgrades that expedite the bronzing process. At the studio or on location, airbrush artists oblige requests to conceal stretch marks or replicate the color of a favorite burlap sack with an organic, nourishing bronzer from Norvell. Automated booths empower clients to customize their own sun-free spray sessions. The studio's six UV modules operate under an innovative design that combines tanning with teeth whitening. Four traditional UV beds radiate at high- and low-pressure intensities to cultivate a rich hue regardless of skin type, and two extra-efficient booths deliver medium-pressure sessions fewer than 10 minutes long.