Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
A childhood of baking alongside her mother and grandmother inspires Patti's work, especially her custom cake creations. At her first bakery she won much acclaim for her buttercream, which is rich without being cloyingly sweet?much like a millionaire before his life's transformed by a loveable orphan. Since moving on to Periwinkle's, Patti's kept creating one-of-a-kind confections for her new clientele. Most recently, she consulted with a little girl who, in a quiet voice, requested a "scary jungle cake." Together they scoured the Internet for inspiration, designing a cake the celebrant later said was the best part of her party. This, says Patti, is exactly what motivates her to keep baking. A childhood of baking alongside her mother and grandmother inspires Patti's work, especially her custom cake creations. As owner of the now-shuttered Pat-a-Cakes, she won much acclaim for her buttercream, which is rich without being cloyingly sweet?much like a millionaire before his life's transformed by a loveable orphan. Since that shop is closing, Patti's kept creating one-of-a-kind confections for her new clientele. Most recently, she consulted with a little girl who, in a quiet voice, requested a "scary jungle cake." Together they scoured the Internet for inspiration, designing a cake the celebrant later said was the best part of her party. This, says Patti, is exactly what motivates her to keep baking.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change package, which helps promote the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car—it cools the motor and helps prevent moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians—all of which have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)—service vehicles at Jiffy Lube. In addition to performing oil changes, technicians offer preventative services such as air-filtration and electrical-system maintenance, among others. Jiffy Lube’s quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, complete a service only after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
Silence fills the forest as a masked paintball player creeps over logs and leaves, unable to find the opposing team he knows is there. Suddenly, a shower of colored paint spews from behind a nearby tree, and the battle begins. Such moments unfold daily at PBC Paintball Park's facilities during the regular season. Their staff, all of whom are paintball players themselves, have designed both wooded and concept fields at Greensboro, Charlotte, and Greenville. At Greensboro, wooded landscapes transform into a battlefield with bunkers, creeks, and large forts. Felled trees and dense foliage give players ample cover amid the undeveloped woods of Greenville's fields, while tournaments unfold across PBC Charlotte's level terrain. Additionally, PBC Paintball Parks are affiliated with Paintball Central, which runs two stores in North Carolina and one store in South Carolina where players can stock up on enough paintball gear to ready themselves for the inevitable cartoon-character rebellion.
"Touch can be healing," says Donna Medley, proprietor of CovRing Day Spa. Indeed, Donna uses the word “heal” often when she talks about the events that inspired her to open the spa. Her son dealt with prolonged medical problems, and the family worked together to nurse him back to health. This, she says, pushed the long-time cosmetologist to pursue the wellness aspect of her training, and soon she'd shuttered both her Maryland salons and focused on opening CovRing Day Spa.
Donna thought in terms of healing potential when designing the spa itself. The space is awash in the restorative colors of the earth, from the grass green in the mani-pedi room to the lounge painted in the same cerulean shades of the sky and naturally occurring groups of blue musicians. The healing power of olive oil infuses all of the spa's Swedish massages, facials, and mani-pedis. To Donna, the olive oil symbolizes an anointing, and because she used it when caring for her son, it recalls his healing, reminding her every day why she chose this path.
Lee Cummings, the founder of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, learned the ropes from one of the country’s foremost poultry experts: his uncle, Colonel Harland Sanders. Together, he and the colonel opened more than 800 KFC stores selling fried chicken prepared in pressure cookers and battered with the duo’s famous blend of spices. It wasn’t until after his uncle sold KFC in 1962 that Lee began developing his own secret recipe, a development that would lead to the creation of the Lee’s Famous franchise in 1966.
Today, the franchise sells the fruits of his labor, Lee’s “Famous Recipe” chicken, plus buttermilk biscuits and housemade sides from locations in 14 states and four countries. Each piece of never-frozen chicken is hand-breaded and dipped into honey before being transferred to pressure cookers that crisp the exterior while maintaining a juicy interior. Though the original recipe remains untouched, Lee’s Famous has expanded its offerings over the years to include healthier oven-roasted and lava-charred options.