A bastion of family-friendly arts and entertainment since its curtain first rose in 1983, Ruth Eckerd Hall demonstrates its commitment to the community through concerts, movie screenings, and all-ages education at the Marcia P. Hoffman Performing Arts Institute. Graduates of the school go on to star in musical and theater productions on the stage, overlooking 2,180 sloping seats arranged continental style for great sightlines and impeccable acoustics.
The consortium of professional instructors at Palm Harbor Dance Studio shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
Largo Cultural Center, which has presented the community with year-round entertainment and more than 40 artists this season, will host the cheerful event that will have the audience tapping their feet and bobbing their heads in glee. Tried and true sing-alongs and holiday hits will provide the soundtrack for this interactive auditory experience. The woodwinds and strings behind the operation will be manned and womanned by the highly talented string quartet Arioso, which is composed of members of the Florida Orchestra. Both Santa fans and scrooge groupies, or scroogies, will get in the yuletide spirit during an upbeat performance that’s capable of melting hearts and passing snowmen.
Before Bogdan and Gosia Wienc founded Magic Dance Club, they had already cast spells across Europe with their elegant footwork. Having conquered the floors of their native Poland as finalists in the Polish National Championships, the couple perfected their craft in England under the tutelage of some of Europe's most esteemed ballroom dance coaches. By the time they made it to Florida, the dancing duo was unstoppable. They were named one of the twelve best couples at the U.S. National Championships in the standard ballroom division and earned membership in the National Dance Council of America.
Now, they're "in the business of making people happy" at their own studio, Magic Dance Club, where students master an array of joyous dances, including the tango, foxtrot, mambo, swing, and the cha cha. All lessons take a three part approach, as students start in private sessions, graduate to group lessons, and then field test their skills during dance parties.
Having seen an upswing in interest in one of the world’s oldest dance styles, Johanna and Karen started a belly-dancing collective in 2004 as a way to create a community for both professionals and students and an audience for monthly showcases. They gave these enthusiasts a brick-and-mortar hangout in 2008 when they opened their first center for classes and events, which has since blossomed and moved into a new space nearly four times the size of the old studio.
Today, Hip Expressions offers drop-in and ongoing classes led by seasoned instructors. Classes focus on introducing newcomers to the art form’s fundamental isolation techniques that keep hips and waists from arguing over the remote. In addition to belly dancing, classes include a variety of other dances and fitness crazes such as Zumba, yoga for dancers, or active isolated stretching.