Crowned Miami New Times' Best Neighborhood Bar/North in 2008, Billy's Pub plays gracious host to a four-course spirits and stogie soiree. Patrons first choose vodka, bourbon, or scotch, and then swig on three drinks from the selected liquor tributary prepared in any combination of straight up, mixed, or semi-gaseous. With tongues and tummies properly marinated, lips and dexterous chin dimples can then puff on an aromatic, tobacco-leaf roll-up in such brands as Ashton and Dunhill. Sidle over to the pool and beer-pong tables, or exhale a smoke cloud to blind foosman goalies for a game-winning corner kick.
The members of PAN Performing Arts Network bring a range of backgrounds to their international collective: some are experienced musical composers, guitarists, and singers, while others are established teaching artists and actors. Their expertise allows them to gather all the arts under one roof with an annual performance season and more than 40 regular classes each week. These classes span instruction in dance styles such as ballet, modern, Afro-Haitian, and Irish step, as well as training in creative movement, acting, instrumental music, and voice. Instructors tailor their classes to the needs of beginner through advanced-level adults, children, and children disguised as adults. They also provide classes suited to senior citizens and students with special needs.
Oscar Ochoa's passion for salsa dancing sprouted at age 9, grew rapidly at age 18 when he began taking formal lessons, and blossomed at age 24 when he won first place at a salsa competition. Today, the founder of Miami Salsa Driven combines his dancing expertise with the physical discipline he's developed from years of practicing tae kwon do and Brazilian jujitsu to lead detail-oriented salsa lessons. His team puts a big emphasis on creating an environment in which beginners feel welcome and unintimidated by advanced dancers trying to show off complex moves, such as the iceless triple axel. Students have ranged from seasoned dancers to a first-timer police-department captain, who actually ended up joining a professional dance team. Located inside the Tempo Music and Dance Academy, Miami Salsa Driven's classes focus on improving students' self-confidence and fitness levels with hands-on instruction and practice. One of the studio's walls is completely covered in full-length mirrors, allowing dancers to adjust their posture to match the instructor's or enjoy uninterrupted eye contact with themselves.
Like its imaginative cocktails, Ricochet Bar & Lounge's décor mixes a wide variety of distinct elements to create an alluring final product. Tufted walls, purple marble accents, and reclaimed wood swirls around a 90-foot triangular bar that serves as the lounge's centerpiece. Rotating installations of video art flash across TV screens, and curated drink coasters designed by local artists offer a hip place to rest glasses or elbows during arm wrestling contests. Ricochet's food menu adds to the artistic ambiance, mollifying pangs of hunger with mini paninis, guava and lime lollipop ribs, and other innovative small plates.
Featuring instructors who have performed with the Ringling Bros. and Cirque du Soleil, South Florida Circus Art School's classes meld strength, beauty, and aerial grace. With each 60-mintue flying-yoga session, an aerialist expert will teach posing fundamentals and physical training to solidify core strength. Led by the well-balanced directives of professional circus performer and yoga specialist, flying-yoga classes alleviate pressure from the body, cleanse the spirit with inner balance, and relieve any stress in astronauts wistful for low-gravity environs. During each class, aspiring contortionists use hammocks to pose as circus aerialists for 30 minutes, resulting in full decompression of bodily lines. In addition to channeling their inner arachnids, participants spend the remainder of the time toning muscles through a series of floor exercises over padded surfaces.