Julie Berger's memories are saturated with images of dancers— teachers who inspired her, students she worked with, and professionals she revered. Entranced by the beautiful and transformative art form, Julie practiced dance throughout her life, attending intensive dance programs, performing in competitions, and teaching at local dance centers. Julie discovered salsa dancing while studying in England, and she instantly fell in love with its sultry movements and lively steps. Determined to share the newfound style with others, Julie founded her own salsa-dancing studio.
At Salsa in the Suburbs Dance Studio, Julie and her staff of passionate dancers lead classes in a variety of styles, including salsa, ballroom, and belly dance. The instructors work with students of all levels, helping them master form, technique, and rhythms. The teachers also offer children's classes in ballet, tap, and Zumba, ideal for youngsters trying to be more active or hoping to include a lively dance section in their next chemistry presentation.
The Sovereign Performing Arts Center has been a part of Reading since 1870, and has played many roles in that time. Built as a market, with a Masonic Temple on the upper floors and a bird university on the roof, it soon became the Academy of Music. Then, in 1917, the Rajah Shriners purchased the facility and turned it into a venue for vaudeville, motion pictures, and live appearances, laying the foundation for its current incarnation. Decades later, the Berks County Convention Center Authority purchased the Rajah Theater and treated it to a $7 million renovation, including a new air-conditioning system and more comfortable seating.
For more than 15 years, the Reading Comedy Outlet has been busting guts with its weekly slate of up-and-coming laugh larks and old-hand guffaw gurus. Arrive early on a Friday or Saturday evening to stake a prime plot of side-splitting real estate for comic concerts including Vancouver chuckle-chucker Phil Hanley on April 15 and 16, and the two-for-one combo of headliners Davin Rosenblatt and Cal Verduchi in late April. Ticket prices average between $13 and $14 per person. While not included in today's Groupon, the Alley Oops Sports Pub cooks up a full menu that includes sandwiches, funnel-cake fries, and slushies mixed with the flavorful tears of sad clowns.
The warm tones of jazz saxophones, the orchestrated quarrels between flutes and oboes, and the reanimated bellows of Elvis Presley can be heard resonating within the walls of the 1,200-seat Allentown Symphony Hall, which has housed the likes of Placido Domingo, Bing Crosby, and Sarah Bernhardt. The venue's schedule swells with symphonic and non-orchestral showings including performances by the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Jim Brickman's 15th Anniversary Holiday Concert, California Raisins, Steve Lippia presenting "Simply Sinatra," and more.
Hard-rock juggernauts Five Finger Death Punch give audiences four for flinching on their Share The Welt tour, a high-octane evening of nail-driving metal and chugging aural concrete. Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 with its gold-selling debut, The Way of the Fist, Five Finger Death Punch has scaled the charts and the musical food chain, gulping its competition like a possessed Takeru Kobayashi. For the tour in support of its latest effort, American Capitalist, the gang enlists an entire posse of heavy hitters. Massachusetts metal mavens All That Remains, fresh from melting soles on the Vans Warped Tour, bludgeon audiences with an arsenal of hits, and hardcore shredders Hatebreed share unkind words as they haze the speed of sound. Adding power-chord crunch to the show, Fort Wayne’s Rains sprinkles audiences with raw and emotional sonic sleet.