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.
Gypsy Stage Repertory's troupe takes its name to heart. A traveling band of thespians, the company focuses on acting and directing, keeping the sets simple and mobile in order to travel from place to place without wasting time or having to reassemble a full-scale pyramid replica on each stage. The result is a collection of artists who draw the audience in with their concentrated performance, whether putting on a classic by Neil Simon, a new work from Amy and David Sedaris, or a piece by local writer and Gypsy artistic director Lil Barcaski.
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.
Professional soccer officially returned to Tampa Bay on May 8, when a crowd of more than 8,000 fans watched the Rowdies play their debut home game at Steinbrenner Field. Currently headed up by Scottish coach and retired professional footballer Paul Dalglish, the Rowdies are chest-trapping, banana-kicking, and head-butting their way back into the world of black-and-white-spotted balls. Watch them take on the Minnesota Stars, who are ably coached by Manny Logas and hungry to work their way up the 2010 standings. Sideline seats get frenetic fans close enough to observe the fantastic flairs of Division II soccer savants as they attempt to sneak the European pigskin between an opponent’s legs and through the goal zone. Since it's a Thursday game, fans can also take advantage of Thirsty Thursdays, featuring $1 beers from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.