On a sprung bamboo floor, the dance instructors at Ancient Art Studios lead groups and individual students through routines in the various forms of belly dance. Inside the spacious and warmly hued studio, where large mirrors let visitors watch their body postures, staff members also hosts troupe rehearsals, special workshops, and recitals.
ClubWest Dance Studio's instructors help students master social and ballroom dancing, whether they are beginners, moderately experienced, or already at ease on dance floors. Instructors adjust each 40-minute private lesson to the student's experience level while lavishing them with undivided attention to help skills and confidence blossom. If a student doesn't have a partner, the studio will provide another dancer or a robotic vacuum cleaner to practice the choreography.
During group lessons, students put the steps and timing skills they learned into action while following styles such as the rumba, the foxtrot, the cha-cha, and swing. Private lessons can be arranged at times that conveniently mesh with students' schedules, and drop-in group classes take place on most evenings Monday?Thursday. Beyond dance lessons, ClubWest's curriculum extends to dance aerobics, as well as a wedding program to help engaged couples prepare for the bride and groom's first break dance.
In his first design for 5 Wits, Mathew DuPlessie channeled the fedora-wearing, whip-cracking swagger of Indiana Jones. Called Tomb, this interactive entertainment experience threw its participants into ancient Egypt to solve riddles and clues from a supernatural pharaoh. Since then, DuPlessie, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, has opened up two new adventures that combine the immersive special effects of a Hollywood movie with the interactive role-play of a video game. "It's hands-on entertainment," the former designer for Disney World and Universal Studios told the Patriot Ledger, "that forces people to get off their rear end."
Thus far, all of his adventures have worked to immerse the mind and the senses—the Shakespearean origins of the company's name. Taken from Much Ado About Nothing, "five wits" refers to the Bard's nod to memory, imagination, fantasy, common sense, and estimation. Though the scenarios are meant to thrill and challenge players, none are meant to frighten, nor are they designed to be beyond the reach of those with average physical ability and psychic powers.
Trumpets blare over the fairgrounds. As the king and queen ride through town, peasants and shopkeepers all kneel immediately, verbalizing praise and respects to their liege lord. Meanwhile, a man in shorts stands amid the crouching peasants eating a turkey leg the size of his arm as his kids tumble off the Jacob's ladder across the dirt road. This is but a snapshot of the special moments at King Richard's Faire, a renaissance festival that gathers period artisans, performers, and food merchants to celebrate the Age of Enlightenment along with visitors.
After a bit of practice throwing axes, visitors can stroll in optional costume to see fortunetellers, cobblers, and blacksmiths who have mastered ancient crafts. Knights ride to battle on the tourney field to win the king's and crowd's favor, and eight stages, a tournament field, and a mud pit bring in acts ranging from minstrels and jugglers to fire eaters and exotic animals.
Inside the historic Lederer Theater Center, which was originally constructed in 1917, the Trinity Repertory Company stages exciting presentations in two different theaters. The musical Camelot will be showing at the Chace Theater, which can accommodate more than 520 attendees and four prize-winning racehorses. A stellar cast, featuring Stephen Thorne as King Arthur and Rebecca Gibel as Guenevere, graces the stage for two hours and 40 minutes to reenact the medieval tale of how the debonair Lancelot learns to speak remedial French so he can work in a Parisian bread factory. A Tony Award–winning theater, the Trinity Repertory Company keeps audiences chuckling, sobbing, and staring in rapturous joy with delightful performances. Call ahead to reserve your seat spot.