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.
Avon Players has been a cultural and civic mainstay of the City of Rochester Hills before it was even known as City of Rochester Hills. Founded in what was then known as the Avon Township, the non-profit theater group has spread its contagious "Let's put on a show!" spirit throughout Southeast Michigan since 1947. With a wealth of local talent onstage and behind the scenes, Avon Players mount an average of five elaborately produced shows a year, all featuring special effects, live orchestras, lavish sets, and dazzling lighting. In addition to entertaining the community with a variety of Broadway musicals, British comedies, and award-winning dramas, the Players also mount youth theater productions, which teach budding thespians the craft and how to cook thrown tomatoes into a mean marinara sauce.
Although their name fondly alludes to Michigan's proudest industry, the Detroit Pistons rolled off the assembly line in a different state entirely—Indiana. Automobile-part mogul Fred Zollner founded the team as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, joining the young National Basketball League in 1941. Under Fred's direction, the Pistons immediately found success on the court, winning back-to-back NBL titles in 1944 and 1945 and amassing 166 wins in just nine seasons. As the sport grew, so too did the team. In need of a bigger audience, the Pistons left Fort Wayne for the Motor City, where they continue to challenge Eastern Conference opponents in the NBA. Throughout the years, the team has claimed three NBA championships—most recently in 2004—produced hall of fame players, and earned the record for the highest-scoring game in NBA history—a 186–184 triple-overtime win over the Denver Nuggets in which both teams accidentally scored touchdowns for a whole quarter.
Since forming in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters have continued to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2014 tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favorites—including three female players—takes to the hardwood each game. Spectators might spot veteran guard TNT sharing a behind-the-back pass with dunker Quake, whose high jump once cleared 7 feet, cruelly dashing his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Globetrotters might also present a study in contrasts with 5-foot-2 Too Tall and 7-foot-4 Stretch, the team’s tallest member.
During each Globetrotters game, youngsters laugh along and witness the jovial jocks performing classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti. To infuse their visits with an extra shot of unpredictability, the Globetrotters also let fans in each city vote on special rules for every game; past rules have included the use of a four-point shot and the installation of a penalty box. Over the years, similar antics have followed the Globetrotters around the world, including to 122 countries and territories and all six continents on which basketballs grow naturally. The Globetrotters’ extensive travels haven’t gone unnoticed: they’re one of the few teams to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as ambassadors of the sport.
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.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio 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. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. 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.
Stay & Play Social Club reunites adults with their younger selves with recreational sports leagues offered year-round. Players leave the daily grind behind at Stay & Play's summer events, which include volleyball, flag-football, and kickball leagues. Come winter, competitors wander indoors for bowling, euchre, and dodgeball. After each match or game, participants are welcome to migrate to a local pub for drink and pub-fare specials provided by the social club or to train for the future of extreme dodgeball using full pint glasses. Stay & Play's funseekers also foster a healthy community, sponsoring local charities and participating in cancer-awareness races.