The instructors at Lonestar Dance Center for Performing Arts imbue kids, teens, and adults with the physical skills and grace necessary to dance competitively. By staying in constant competitive training themselves, the instructors are able to keep students up-to-date on modern techniques through classes such as Pom Dance, Ballroom Dance, and Choreography and Technique. Through adult dance and fitness programs, such as Zumba, they keep everyone in shape and encourage all dancers to participate in strength training to improve technique and performance. To take full advantage of the stage, the center also offers acting and music lessons.
White rice and bright slices of vegetables add a colorful counterpoint to the traditional dishes served at Yazmyne'z Restaurant and Mediterranean Cuisine. Delicately spiced pieces of kofta get wrapped in pita sandwiches and savory slices of gyros meat get scattered alongside pepperoni and vegetables atop crispy pizzas. Patrons can inhale sweet puffs of smoke from hookahs packed with specialty flavor combinations, such as peach and mint, melon and kiwi, or Earth, Wind, and Fire.
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Kenneth Threadgill stood in line all night to be the first person in Travis County to get a beer license. It was 1933, and the bootlegger and country-music connoisseur had plans to evolve his filling station into something bigger—though even Threadgill probably couldn't have anticipated how big it would become.
It started with touring musicians stopping in for drinks after their shows. By the ’60s, Janis Joplin was on stage, polishing her unpolished sound for crowds from all walks of life. The evolution continued, with Threadgill's hosting artists from Jerry Lee Lewis to Captain Beefheart and expanding into a Southern-style restaurant where the love of music ironed out disagreements and engendered an atmosphere of tolerance.
Today, the original location on North Lamar harks back to Threadgill's beginnings, with current owner Eddie Wilson decking the place out with decor that evokes the Austin of the 1930s to the 1960s, including vintage signs that say, “I can’t wait for the internet to be invented.” The second location on West Riverside celebrates the 1970s music scene that thrived at the Armadillo—Wilson's former establishment at that location. At both venues, chefs churn out classic Southern food, such as chicken-fried steak and fried green tomatoes, while frequent live music entertains guests.
Although Stewart Yaros has performed with numerous elite companies, including the Boston Ballet and the Basel Ballet in Switzerland, his true passion is teaching dance. Teaching allowed the University of Massachusetts and Martha Mahr School of Ballet alumnus to combine his finely honed dance expertise and his zeal for communicating with others via the "common language" of dance in particular and the arts in general.
That theme of unity and togetherness dates back to the early days of Dance International, circa 1991, when the now bustling center for dance tutoring consisted of three students, their devoted teacher, and an old player piano that played Chopsticks. Today, the organization has swelled into a hub for upbeat, accessible instruction from professional-level teachers and is well-known for organizing the Austin Ballroom Festival.
Part of the guiding vision for Dance International is a focus on community service, as well as promoting the arts by introducing music and visual forms into the dance milieu. True to its multidisciplinary ambitions, the Dance International empire recently achieved 501(c)3 national nonprofit status and will soon add art and music classes.