Classical, opera, and popular orchestral compositions make up the repertoire of the Southwest Florida Symphony, which has made quality programming its mission since 1961. Aiming to make music accessible to all, the symphony visits schools, offers scholarships, books youth-friendly concerts, and provides a friendly First-Timer’s Guide for new audience members unfamiliar with the proper way of applauding.
For its serendipitous 13th season, Florida Rep hails the new decade with a heart-warming yet humorous yarn from Tom Dudzick, the author of Florida Rep fan favorites Greetings! and Over the Tavern. The family dramedy, King O' the Moon, revisits the topsy-turvy lives of Over the Tavern's Pazinski family, who have (mostly) survived the idealistic ’50s only to come face to face with the mutating landscape of the turbulent ’60s. Those who missed the first installment won't feel left out as they set their eye globes toward the stage to watch the pandemonium that ensues when the intractable Vietnam War and Apollo 11's famous moon landing begin to hit home in this stand-alone sequel. The production features performances from reliable Florida Rep standbys Carrie Lund as recently widowed Ellen and Mark Chambers as Walter Fronzak. The production also features newly minted players, including Jason Parrish, Adam Jones, Jacob Womack, and Claire K. Guy.
Rhythm In Motion’s staff of twirling professionals brings forth extensive skills in everything from salsa to ballet to the foxtrot. The instructors teach the secrets of graceful movement to students of all levels during group lessons or private lessons for individuals or couples. A 90-minute practice party on Fridays then encourages students to practice newly learned moves, socialize, and perfect dips and twirls away from the judgmental eyes of the family guinea pig.
When discussing his teaching philosophy with reporters from Central Florida Lifestyle, the owner of Salsa Heat quipped, "if you can walk, you can dance." He himself didn't know much about dancing when he took his first salsa class in the early 90's, but he caught on after just a few sessions, falling in love with the dance's energetic spins and rhythmic movements.
Today, a team of professional dance instructors teach salsa spins and footwork to students of all experience levels. Zumba and bachata classes provide tutoring in other Latin dance styles, and salsa classes for kids teach youngsters dance fundamentals that hone coordination and motor skills. Throughout the year, the staff hosts special events on their spacious dance floors, such as salsa socials, salsa Christmas parties, and salsa-infused celebrations of Robert Heinlein's birthday.
Melanie LaJoie’s dance career began almost three decades ago and has since taken her to Morocco, Egypt, and Russia, where she developed her expertise in an impressive number of ethnic dance traditions. Today, she directs the instructors at A Magi Temple Belly Dance and choreographs and performs pieces at local sites such as Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, and the House of Blues. Her students, who can include ladies age 10 and up, learn everything from warm-up exercises to routines in Bollywood, belly-dancing, and flamenco classes scheduled five days per week.
For more than three decades, the Orlando Ballet has infused the stage with a mixed repertoire of graceful classical ballet and fiery contemporary programs. In the second production of "Battle of the Sexes," male and female dancers surge forward with sensual volleys of arms and legs timed to the choreography of Robert Hill. Gaze in awe from the middle or upper balcony as sultry silhouettes perform flying leaps and spins in tandem under red lights and full-bodied music. En pointe enthusiasts can purchase multiple Groupons and accompany their family, friends, or passing tour group to the ballet.