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.
Animal Supply House’s staff of animal lovers wants only the best for your pets, which is why they stock environmentally friendly and holistic supplies. Aisle after aisle features shelves stacked with grooming supplies, toys, byproduct-free foods, and accessories for dogs, cats, birds, and domesticated teddy bears. For more than 20 years, Animal Supply House has stocked premium food from brands such as Diamond, Apex, and Holistic Select, as well as a full selection of leather harnesses, leashes, and eye patches. Patrons can even drop off their pooches for grooming while they browse.
Merinos Home Furnishings Warehouse lays out more than 500,000 square feet of expansive, sprawling showrooms full of home goods to decorate every room of the house. Lend a regal welcome mat to bedrooms with the round Persian-style rugs ($129) or reflect large beams of sunlight onto a nosy neighbor’s eyes thanks to the 30"x60" Creative Co-Op mirror ($169.99). Meanwhile, the Masterpiece golf accent table acts as a fine caddie for magazines, its surface buttressed by three putter and iron legs ($108).
Located on a 100-acre island with surrounding forest in the Catawba River, Canaan Zipline Canopy Tour boasts ziplines up to 900 feet long cut a narrow path through the canopy, ferrying riders from treetop to treetop on tours that last up to 3.5 hours. Day and nighttime tours start atop a 70-foot tower that overlooks the 100-year-old oaks and dense foliage. Tours then descend on a series of up to nine separate ziplines, each connected to the other by nature trails suspension bridges.
Club Fitness’s 50,000-square-foot facility fills with the low rumble of more than 75 cardio machines and the clanging of tens of thousands of pounds of free weights and strength-training equipment from Hammer Strength and Life Fitness. Youngsters scamper through the KidZone or children's nursery while their parents pump iron or grab a spot in the cardio-cinema room, an area that allows people to work out while enjoying a movie in surround sound. The gym’s trainers lead one-on-one sessions as well as group fitness classes. The soft squeak of feet against floors drifts from yoga sessions, and popular Les Mills classes include BodyPump, which combines high-energy music and repetitive moves like somebody repeatedly pushing the wrong way on a dance-club door. The purr of blenders drifts from the smoothie bar, where patrons refuel and chat after workouts.