At Let's Dance Ballroom Dance Studio, the studio's 2,000-square-foot sprung floorspace jostles beneath the feet of first-time visitors practicing the basics of ballroom. During classes, newcomers step through simple choreography that emphasizes positivity and support. Certified instructors, all of whom oversee lessons at the studio full-time, maintain the same comfortable ambiance throughout their other group and private classes. Whether they are demonstrating the sensual dips of tango, the hip pops of the hustle, or the buoyant leaps of swing, they strive to infuse their pupils with lasting confidence in their moves.
The studio’s curriculum includes waltz, fox trot, cha-cha, and mambo, in addition to disciplines such as theater arts and country western. Instructors eagerly take on special projects as well, including coaching couples through their wedding dance. Friday-night parties allow students to socialize with fellow dancers outside of the context of clubbing or tucking notes into each other's tutus onstage. Occasionally, the studio even schedules live music to sync up with its sessions.
The experienced instructors at Innergy Fitness Systems create personalized fitness regimens that provide intense 30-minute conditioning workouts. Thirteen-plus years of health expertise funnels into these workouts, which accommodate exercisers of all fitness levels. Their compact Reaction camps boost endurance while torching calories in a fraction of the time of most workouts, leading to benefits ranging from reduced stress to improved physical performance. Team members invest themselves in their clients’ ability to succeed, providing nutritional guidance and support by offering healthy-eating suggestions that fit into clients' lifestyles.
Aud Pottery Studio's owner, Audrey Jaccard, helms three-hour classes designed to spark student creativity in the art of pottery. Jaccard begins by elucidating the finer points of clay wedging, which is the process of purging the clay of air bubbles that would otherwise fill with hot air in the kiln and float away. Inquiring noggins are then filled with the know-how to form teapots by pinching the clay. Students have the option of selecting a color glaze for their pieces at the end of the session. Leaving their stoneware creations in Jaccard's capable hands for glazing and kiln firing, students can later return to the studio to pick up their finished pieces, which can be brought home to share with friends and family or brought to UNESCO World Heritage sites for proper burials.
The doors to Asheville Community Yoga's donation-based studio open to a team of experienced yoga instructors and a bevy of classes. Though the classes don't have a fixed cost, the staff encourages students to give $5–$15 for regular classes and at least $15 for special events and workshops. These offerings—in addition to donations from local organizations and health-conscious tycoons—go toward maintaining the studio space, which can hold up to 55 students, has a heated wood floor, and houses complimentary yoga equipment.
Combining experience in lampworking, glass blowing, and jewelry design, the experienced glassblowers of Asheville Glass Center lead workshops and classes to share their passion for manipulating molten glass. The two- to three-hour intro courses teach neophytes to craft borosilicate marbles and soft glass beads, and more in-depth classes result in intricate implosion flowers and sand-cast solid forms. The center also offers open studio time for more experienced artists who wish to work alone, like the winningest three-legged racers.
The idea for an annual barbecue expo began slow-cooking in 2010 at a family lunch. The Boyds thought about organizing a little barbecue competition and ended up luring 8,500 barbecue enthusiasts to their "small" cook-off and fundraiser. Now in its third year, the charitable event continues to develop flavor and raise money for local schools while packing bellies with some of the area's best barbecue recipes.
With napkins in hand, attendees can follow the smoky scents and sounds of sauce-splattered high-fives from the tents of a variety of vendors. Ten teams of grilling gurus face off in a whole-hog cook-off, with the winners earning a cash prize and a spot in the state championship later this year. A new Chick-fil-A sauce competition sifts through the day's top toppings until a winner is crowned. Between bites, guests can also savor the festival's many attractions, including a police dog demonstration, a petting zoo, and a BMX bike show, where riders wow onlookers by performing tricks and bunny-hopping over smokers.