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 Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Ilya's Bellydance & Henna Studio teaches the fine art of tummy undulation and hip-and-shoulder shimmying to abdomens anxious to shuffle their metaphorical belly feet. Eager rug-cutters can strive to improve their poise and self-confidence in a standard belly-dancing, burlesque, or Bollywood workshop. An expert audience mesmerizer instructs on navel-oriented movement techniques, including the classic bellybutton ripple that displays agility and removes any abdomen-attached forest creatures.
Theatre of Youth specializes in kid-friendly performances that engage young minds and captivate grown-up grown-ups. They produce five literary-based productions and two health and wellness productions each year. Since 2000, more than half a million children have gotten their jollies from the popular productions, which are known for their high production value and quality acting. Upcoming plays include the informative Inside Out that wraps an entertaining story around a lesson that encourages healthier eating habits. This Holiday season, catch A Little House Christmas which is adopted from the famed Little House on the Prairie series, or peer into the future and reserve seats for a stage adaptation of Judy Bloom's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, opening next March.
If a time traveler hopped from The Rapid Theatre in 1921 to the same spot in modern times, they would think their time machine was broken. Lovingly restored to its early 20th century luster, the former movie house dazzles visitors with columned walls, a sculpted ceiling, and a brick tapestry facade. All that has changed is what goes on inside. These days, the venue—which accommodates up to 1,700 entertainment enthusiasts or 3,400 stacked children in trench coats—fills its stage with major music acts. The handicap-accessible facility also slakes sing-along induced thirst with two fully stocked bars.
The House of Comedy's stage plays host to a hilarity-spreading horde of comics drawn from across North America. Jokesters gracing the stage might include David Coulier of Full House fame, Saved by the Bell's Dustin Diamond, and soap-opera star Walt Willey. Simultaneous feasts let guests alternately chortle and tear into succulent chicken and stashing away half-eaten rolls to leave threateningly in wheat fields that haven’t paid their protection money.