Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The talented dancers of the Michigan Classic Ballet Company bring The Nutcracker to life for the 22nd year with their elegant, well-trained limbs and precise artistry. Leaping through expressive choreography, the company transforms Tchaikovsky’s famous score into an enchanting escape into the Land of Snow, the Kingdom of Sweets, and the Municipality of Dentistry. The performers’ finesse and grace captivate eyes, while the sugar-powdered plotline piques imaginations young and old. Four special guest artists from the Grand Rapids Ballet lend their acumen to the classic Christmas tale. Quartets can seek refreshments, exchanging their tickets for coffee, pretzels, cookies, and other snacks that don't require the assistance of the ballet's titular appliance.
From dinosaurs to demons and zombies, humans have conjured nightmares from plenty of terrifying monsters across the centuries. Within the four-story Erebus—the haunted house that doubles as mad scientist Dr. J Colbert's deadly time machine—all those frightening sights lurk beneath one roof. Setting "a high bar for Halloween entertainment," raves The Huffington Post, the former Guinness record holder for largest walk-through haunted attraction now encompasses a trail more than half a mile long.
The house's ghoulish inhabitants don't keep to themselves—mutant gorillas grab legs, corpses fly from caskets, and creatures infest a muddy swamp that visitors must trudge through. For Erebus' highpoint of horror, more than 10,000 objects cover unlucky guests who step inside the aptly named Buried Alive room. As The Macomb Daily reports, the house's 48 "time slice" cameras simultaneously snap 180-degree pictures of patrons' terrified reactions, as well as creepy clowns photobombing from every angle.
At Elegance in Motion, friendly and talented dance instructors encourage movers and shakers of all ages to step into the limelight during a range of dance lessons. From within the spacious 2,400-square-foot studio, teachers guide singles, couples, and groups through ballroom, rhythmic, and social dances, such as the waltz, samba, and lindy hop. Once a week, the studio opens its door to social gatherings, allowing currently enrolled students to strut their stuff with teachers, students, or their own shadows.
With students featured in spotlight-grabbing settings such as America’s Thanksgiving Parade and Detroit Pistons halftime shows, Deborah’s Stage Door’s Deborah Agrusa and her award-winning staff hone twirls, taps, notes, and general razzmatazz for preschoolers through adults. Young toes yearning for terpsichorean know-how learn the ropes in Deborah Stage Door’s preschool rhythm class, as preschoolers romp their way through a combination of tap and ballet, learning balance and coordination along the way. More experienced dancers increase skills and decrease the chances of losing a street fight to the Sharks with a smorgasbord of ballet, jazz, tap, or hip-hop strutting courses taught in both the summer and fall. In addition to dance, Deborah Stage Door’s college of musical knowledge nurtures budding songbirds with performing-arts classes including show choir and acting.
When two practiced athletes engage one another in the Brazilian art of capoeira, it’s a sight to behold. At first blush, the practice seems to be some sort of nonviolent martial art with aerial kicks and backflips, though with closer inspection, its underlying influences of acrobatics, dance, and rhythmic problem-solving become obvious, as the two capoeiraistas lock minds in a state of fluid improvisation, rather than competition. The history of the medium intertwines with hundreds of years of Brazilian culture, originating with slaves that were brought from Africa to harvest sugar and tobacco and blossoming into an outlet for cultural expression and political protest.
Baz Michaeli founded The Michigan Center for Capoeira in February of 2007 as a way to introduce the sport to his community and preserve its cultural traditions, garnering attention from press outlets such as the Farmington Observer and Jewish News. Baz is certified as a capoeira instructor as well as a ACSM personal trainer, and challenges newcomers of every ability level to improve their flexibility, endurance, and mental strategizing by participating in a class. The center assembles at the Franklin Athletic Club and Troy Dance Studio, and interested participants should take a look at the calendar for an idea of upcoming class times and locations.