At Lauridsen Ballet Centre, the well-timed tinkling of piano keys accompanies each leap and plié. Live musical accompaniment is just one of the ways in which the school's professional instructors, led by artistic director Diane Lauridsen, preserve the classical traditions of their art. They maintain a careful balance between encouraging attitudes and rigorous lessons, cultivating physical poise at the same time as mental focus.
Classes for ages three and up accommodate all skill levels, from beginner to pre-professional, and performances through the non-profit South Bay Ballet company showcase students' skills. Though they consider much of their choreography timeless, the staff does not neglect advances in the science of dance—they incorporate current discoveries in the fields of anatomy and movement to enhance both children's and adult classes. Their summer camp intensive also helps attendees to achieve new levels of grace and balance.
GROOV3 founder, Benjamin Allen, seems drawn to dance floors. At the school parties and bat mitzvahs of his youth, he was always showcasing his moves. Though he earned a degree in business and communication from Arizona State University, the call of the dance floor proved stronger than that of the corporate world. Soon after graduation, Benjamin moved to Los Angeles to devote fully himself to the art of the groove in numerous TV commercials, musicals, sitcoms, and stage performances. Benjamin shares his passion for dance with students at GROOV3 during non-competitive cardio-dance classes. GROOV3's fleet of experienced instructors and live DJs attempt to build a community of like-minded dancers and share their commitment to fun-filled calorie burning in a relaxed atmosphere. Classes help students of all fitness levels kick-start their hearts and torch a few calories with energetic dance experiences that tone up muscles along the way.
Two terrace-section tickets to "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" on Saturday, August 6, at 8 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine (a $112 value). Four tickets to The Chuck Jones Big Draw on Sunday, August 7, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the South Coast Collection shopping center in Costa Mesa (a $40 value). 10 Drop In and Draw art sessions at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Orange (up to a $150 value).
The Lighthouse Cafe, recognized by the CityVoter Los Angeles HotList as Best Jazz Club in 2009, has captivated customers with sultry scores since the 1940s. Chefs complement crooning with impromptu harpsichord jam sessions and an eclectic menu of pub grub and breakfast offerings. The Heart Attack omelette, named after a classic B-movie featuring an onslaught of rampaging monster hearts, is a morning-time medley of ham, bacon, and smoked sausage ($8.95). Evening imbibers can mash molars on the buttermilk-battered chicken tenders with ranch dressing ($9.95) or the R.A.T. salad, a fresh federation of red onion, avocado, chopped tomatoes, garlic, lettuce, and white balsamic dressing ($8.95). Deploy the fire-fighting foam of a Purple Haze beer ($7.50/12 oz. bottle) to extinguish bicuspid blazes fostered by the spicy-cheese topped Bull Dog, a frankfurter bestrewn with mashed tater tots ($5.25).