Opera in Sarasota Springs

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For almost 40 years, the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre has been pairing gastronomical gifts with lively productions of more than 300 plays and musicals, including five originals, one of which went all the way to Broadway. The 281-seat theater will soon host Avenue Q, the highly acclaimed, Tony Award-winning Broadway smash. Performed by a cross-species mix of puppets and humans, the musical follows Princeton, a well-meaning recent college grad who moves to New York City with Big Apple–sized dreams and gets a much-needed real-world education from his neighbors. The off-color, mature, and perversely funny production is warm, endearing, and more heart-rending than a sock puppet production of King Lear.

25 N Pineapple Ave
Sarasota,
FL
US

The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, 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.

200 South Tamiami Trail
Venice,
FL
US

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.

2033 54th Avenue North
St. Petersburg,
FL
US

Specializing in Latin and ballroom dancing, Fred Astaire Dance Studio is a national studio. No matter how busy your schedule or how leaden your feet, Fred Astaire’s staff of professionally trained and certified instructors can tailor private sessions to match any dancer's skill level and specific goals.

7019 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg,
FL
US

The industrial-rock force of Filter pipes more than 17 years of raw, cathartic hits into the ears of fans, hammering crowds with its signature blend of mechanical mayhem and guitar-driven calamity. From the band's debut album Short Bus, which bore the mid-'90s smash “Hey Man Nice Shot,” through its latest collection of screamable valentines, The Trouble With Angels, lead singer and guitarist Richard Patrick’s urgent voice conveys a football coach’s heartbreak and a guidance counselor’s angst. Helping to fill State Theatre's lush interiors with impenetrable tunes, local rockers From This Fire and Nation Of Wealth entwine bodies in sinewy guitar lines and lobe-stroking sing-alongs.

687 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg,
FL
US

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.

10001 66th Street North
Pinellas Park,
FL
US