Over the course of four weekly scheduled dance classes, Maria Fiora's energetic instructors guide kids through graceful, rhythmic steps while divulging the secrets of mastering specific dance techniques. Monday evening's hip-hop classes teach pupils ages 7–12 the art of popping and locking, providing an arsenal of new moves to flaunt at school dances and after-school detention. Geared for youngsters ages 4–6, Tuesday's creative-dance classes develop introductory skills and encourage originality with movements that exercise imaginations. Pint-size hoofers ages 7–13 can also learn the basics of ballroom and Latin dance on Wednesday, and kids ages 7–12 can perform cha-cha, salsa, and samba steps during Latin jazz lessons on Thursday.
Led by globetrotting maestro Eckart Preu, the Stamford Symphony satiates aural appetites with beautiful interpretations of classic and modern pieces. The program will kick off with Leroy Anderson's chart-topping 1951 melody "Blue Tango," which beguiles eardrums with midcentury charm and quarter notes bearing roses in their teeth. Next, the symphony treats audiences to "Last Round," written by contemporary Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijov to commemorate the death of celebrated tango composer Astor Piazzolla. The soprano saxophone concerto of Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Jennifer Higdon allows the bluesy sax to moodily soar under the supporting harmonies of a full orchestra. Preu tops off the evening with Beethoven's celebrated Symphony no. 6, Pastoral, a five-act tone poem that conjures up images of a day in the country without the hassle of traveling or milking a cow in your living room.
Andrew Goldstein saw the first Volkswagen Beetle roll onto his school's parking lot in 1958. He was in sixth grade, and his family's dealership was the town's main gateway for foreign cars. As Andrew grew, so did his love of the car industry. During high school, he took a job in a used car lot to gain experience before going to college, where he majored in automotive marketing. With a freshly printed degree in hand, he set to work at Riverbank Volkswagen under the watchful eye of his father, Seymour. According to Kara O'Connor of the Hour Online, Goldstein admitted that, though working for his father was difficult, "In the end it was better because now I run the business and I learned to do everything the right way." Today, Andrew is president of Riverbank Volkswagen, and two of his sons—Seth and Eric—work by his side. Much like his father, Seth started out at a young age, cleaning up grease and eventually landing a job as a technician before ascending the ladder to service manager. Eric, the Internet manager, learned the value of hard work by cleaning gutters and cars before finding his niche online. Both sons strive, along with their father, to maintain the reputation earned by their grandfather. For an auto dealership, surviving the past 50 years is either a sign that what they're doing is right or just the result of making three left turns.
The colorful tile scene and show room inside Ideal Tile of Stamford is indicative of the owners' experience in the contracting business. They opened shop in 1998 and have since been importing their selection of tiles and countertops and distributing the goods out of their 3,000-square-foot showroom. Inside, the sleek surfaces of kitchen and bathroom displays are coated with marble mosaics; limestone, marble, and Caesarstone counters shine under fluorescent lights; and glass, ceramic, and stone tiles glimmer against the sunlight pouring in through the shop's large eyeballs. In addition to curating a haven for home improvement, the staff also customizes granite-countertop installation services and refers customers to external tile contractors.
From washing to fixing to selling, Elite Motors handles all things automotive. Detailing crews deliver sudsy hand washes and waxing services, treat interior vinyl surfaces to Armor All, and shampoo floor mats. In the repair shop, technicians change oil and take their best tools to broken engines, transmissions, and tires. Elite Motors has customized accessories, too, including Llumar window films—which control heat and block UV rays—and vinyl wraps, which are perfect for business owners trying to get their name out on the streets or drivers who want to demonstrate their undying love for flames.
Each GolfTEC Swing Evaluation places client skills under the analytical eyes of a certified pro and high-tech monitors, which conspire to pinpoint bad habits and help pupils develop sound technique. When entering a GolfTEC location, each player slinks into a climate-controlled hitting bay as if it were a pair of seersucker knickers to meet with a coach and discuss their goals and grievances. Students then demonstrate swinging ability before absorbing feedback. Throughout the session, GolfTEC's patented golf-education technology relies on motion sensors, launch monitors, and high-definition digital video to provide precise swing data and inform a tailored lesson plan. Players depart their sessions with hard-won wisdom on how to improve ball-striking fundamentals, lower scores, and domesticate golf carts.
For more than a century, Ring's End has put quality home improvement products in the hands of homeowners and contractors. A Stanley FatMax level ($30.99) ensures all paintings and ouija boards are hung correctly, and a gallon of Benjamin Moore Regal Classic paint ($40.19) creates a vibrant new hue on staid interior walls. Fiberon composite decking ($2.95+/ft.) helps to craft sturdy, colorful backyard-grilling platforms and arrives backed by a 20-year limited warranty. Handymen and women can keep tools easily accessible, organized, and ready to travel with a Veto Pro Pac tool bag ($144.99), which holds more than 100 hand tools and includes six zippered pockets to hide worksite snacks from Bob Vila.