The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure 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 fox-trot 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.
Theatre of Youth specializes in kid-friendly performances that engage young minds and captivate grown-up grown-ups. They produce five literary-based productions and two health and wellness productions each year. Since 2000, more than half a million children have gotten their jollies from the popular productions, which are known for their high production value and quality acting. Upcoming plays include the informative Inside Out that wraps an entertaining story around a lesson that encourages healthier eating habits. This Holiday season, catch A Little House Christmas which is adopted from the famed Little House on the Prairie series, or peer into the future and reserve seats for a stage adaptation of Judy Bloom's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, opening next March.
Ilya's Bellydance & Henna Studio teaches the fine art of tummy undulation and hip-and-shoulder shimmying to abdomens anxious to shuffle their metaphorical belly feet. Eager rug-cutters can strive to improve their poise and self-confidence in a standard belly-dancing, burlesque, or Bollywood workshop. An expert audience mesmerizer instructs on navel-oriented movement techniques, including the classic bellybutton ripple that displays agility and removes any abdomen-attached forest creatures.
Housed in a century-old dairy barn amid authentic stable fixtures, vintage theatre seats, and rural checkered textiles, Herongate Barn Theatre shines the footlights on arts culinary and dramatic. Presented the Eat Smart award, Herongate's food architects daily prepare an ever-changing smorgasbord of comfort classics, which have including among their savoury ranks plates of roasted pork loin with applesauce, roast beef, and cranberry chicken. Not to go unaided into the great digestive unknown, entrees are dutifully partnered with down-home sides such as Mom's sweet-potato bake and a full drink menu. Diners can graze as they lap up regular performances on the stage.
Every Sunday, Abracadabaret, the Winchester, and James Alan conjure up a team of magicians, mentalists, and illusion-weavers to entrance diners at The Crimson Lounge. Every performance suspends audiences' disbelief with a different cast, hosted by sleight-of-hand magician James Alan. The roster includes many of Toronto's leading magic and mystery entertainers. Performers are announced regularly via Twitter and Facebook. Before dropping their jaws, guests can exercise them with an eclectic dinner buffet, and bar service before and after the show allows attendees to demonstrate to their friends how they can make a glass of beer disappear by slowly drinking it.