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.
With a history stretching back more than 40 years, Circus Vargas wows audiences with dazzling acrobatics and rib-tickling clowns under a giant big-top tent. The show eschews animal performers for human-costumed spectacles, showcasing dazzling feats that only a few dexterous humans and short-circuited cyborgs are capable of. The circus's big top, hand-fashioned in Milan from 90,000 square feet of fabric, holds up to 1,500 show-goers in classic, blue-dyed elegance. Early-arriving guests can take part in an interactive preshow, jumping in the ring with ringmaster Jon Weiss as he leads audience members through tutorials that show how to perform stunts such as juggling, feather balancing, and balancing checkbooks with quill pens.
The studio fills with the pitter-patter of little feet; only those feet are pitter-pattering with grace and rhythm. At B*Dazzled Dancers, enthusiastic instructors guide students aged 3 and older through dance classes that build coordination and fitness. Classes run the gamut from jazz and tap to tumbling, hip-hop, and ballet. Adults can also take many of these classes, as well as fitness dance classes that boost athletic ability and endurance.
The nonprofit Lively Arts Foundation aims to put Fresno on the map as a central Californian cultural center. Bask in a radiant revue of classical and contemporary ballet that snatches prime talent from the Bay Area and deposits it on your front porch, like a stork carrying a wriggling bag full of aluminum cans. Best of the Bay 2! features classic pieces from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, performed by members of Ballet San Jose and Peninsula Ballet, respectively. Robert Moses' Kin, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, and Michael Lowe round out the program with a series of contemporary dance works, causing neck hairs to stand up straight and heartily applaud.
Today's Groupon tackles professional athletics, professional athletes, and sports hernias with a ticket to the final game of the Oakland Raiders' 2009–10 season for $26 (a $36 value). On Sunday, January 3, at 1:15 p.m., the team that once upset the entire steel industry of Pittsburgh and tamed Cincinnati's Panthera Tigris Tigris looks to end the season on a final high note against the Baltimore Ravens (featuring offensive tackle Michael Oher who is the inspiration for the The Blind Side). You'll be sitting in section 354 and have a $10 food voucher in hand.
From the cabernet-hued curlicues on the carpets to the gilded columns and soaring ceilings, the Alameda Theatre is steeped in history. During the Second World War, soldiers crowded in to watch films in the auditorium, which also has spent stints as a practice area for rock bands and as a skating rink. The theater was recently brought out of dormancy with an extensive renovation project that restored the glow to its art-deco façades and towering neon sign. Gold leaf, some still intact from the building’s construction in 1932, leads eyes up to a screen 50 feet in width.
A packed schedule of first-run films flickers to life on the big screen, with showings in 3-D letting audiences see explosions leap from the flat surface or watch pieces of the Hulk’s hard-to-program VCR fly past. The historic theater also showcases classic films such as The Graduate or The Wild One every week, and hosts a talent show every Friday and Saturday evening.