Orlando boasts an eclectic variety of cultural events, performance troupes and arts centers. Theater groups, museums and local attractions offer something to suit everyone. For those looking to learn for themselves, there are numerous music and dance schools, as well as art and acting studios that can teach students the skills they need to become true artists. Southwest Orlando Bulletin’s ninth annual Cultural Arts Season Preview offers an up-close look at some of the area’s most popular venues, groups and experienced schools.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Located at 445 N. Park Ave. in Winter Park, the Morse Museum is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. New installations in 2013-14 include a look at the charming tradition of storybooks in an exhibition of late 19th century children’s books. Tiffany’s chapel from the 1893 world’s fair and objects from his Long Island country estate are always on view. For more information, call 407-645-5311 or visit http://www.morsemuseum.org on the Web.
Elizabeth Parsons School of Dance
Elizabeth Parsons School of Dance, located at 116 W. Sixth Ave. in Windermere, is now registering for its 33rd dance season. Under the artistic direction of Elizabeth Parsons, the school offers dance instruction for all ages in classical ballet, jazz, tap, modern, acro, lyrical and hip-hop. Classes are limited and begin Aug. 12. In addition, the school presents its annual Evening of Dance at Lake Eola on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. For more information or to register, call 407-876-4604 or visit http://www.elizabethparsonsschoolofdance.com on the Web.
Footworks Dance Studio
Footworks Dance Studio in Winter Garden is starting its 11th dance season this fall, with a terrific schedule lined up for its dancers. Its priority continues to be providing the best dance instruction to its students, as well as developing the character of each and every dancer. Fall registration dates are Aug. 5-9 from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m., and Aug. 12-14 from 4-7 p.m. For more information, call 407-877-2260 or visit http://www.footworksdancestudio.com on the Web.
Located in the heart of historic downtown Winter Garden at 160 W. Plant St., the Garden Theatre is a not-for-profit community organization committed to enriching, engaging and entertaining through creative experiences. The theater, which reopened in 2008, showcases a theatrical atmosphere in a Mediterranean Revival-style venue. Garden Theatre hosts live plays, concerts, movies and more for the residents and visitors of Winter Garden. For more information, call 407-877-4736 or visit http://www.gardentheatre.org on the Web.
Global Entertainment Network
Global Entertainment Network was created by Nancée LaFayette from her experiences at film festivals and markets, seeking actors, in international funding and years of involvement in the movie industry. She built the website to pass on her knowledge so that independent filmmakers might avoid hidden hazards. She invites anyone interested in the film industry to visit her website at http://www.globalentnet.com to read her bio under Viking Quest Productions. She is considering teaching a small group of students; and would like to hear about readers’ interest.
In the Limelight
In the Limelight, located in Suites 104 and 105 at 5555 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando, 407-340-0920, http://www.inthelimelightorlando.com, is a theatrical production company and performing arts studio for young people in grades preschool-12. The “triple threat” training facility offers onstage and on-camera acting, dance, voice and piano classes for beginners to advanced performers. Fall and spring production auditions are Aug. 17 and Jan. 11. Upcoming performances include Disney’s Jungle Book Kids on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, Charlotte’s Web from Nov. 21-24, Disney’s My Son Pinocchio from Dec. 5-8, A Christmas Story from Dec. 19-22, and more. Tickets are $10. For more information or to schedule an audition, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just Dance Studios
Just Dance Studios is located in Suite 103 at 5911 Turkey Lake Road in Orlando. The state-of-the-art studio boasts professional-grade sprung wood floors with Marley overlay. Classes are offered at all levels for students age 2 through adults, and include ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, musical theater, hip-hop and boy’s hip-hop. Just Dance Studios provides proper dance training by highly qualified staff members who inspire dedication, teamwork and discipline in a positive and rewarding environment. For more information, call 407-730-9845 or visit http://www.justdancestudios.info on the Web.
The Maile Image, Modeling and Acting School
Since 1982, The Maile Image, Modeling & Acting School at 999 S. Orlando Ave. in Winter Park has offered classes in image and confidence; on-camera acting; and modeling for children, teens and adults. The school offers a free professional industry seminar about breaking into the business, which covers head shots, agents, booking jobs, auditions, contracts, avoiding being taken advantage of, and more. It also offers workshops on etiquette and manners for children and teens. This month, the school presents back-to-school fashion shows Aug. 3 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at The Mall at Millenia and Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. at Seminole Towne Center. The school also is seeking contestants for its annual Showcase Your Talent singing competition. For more information, call 407-628-5989 or visit http://www.lisamaile.com on the Web.
N.Y.C. Dance is located at 328 Moore Road in Ocoee. The professionally trained teachers focus on making the dance-training experience fun and memorable. The facility offers a well-rounded program for all levels, with competitive- and noncompetitive-level classes available in tap, jazz, ballet, acro, hip-hop, baby hip-hop, lyrical, musical theater, street tap, Zumba, Zumbatomic and modern dance for boys and girls age 18 months-adult. For more information, call 407-905-0107 or visit http://www.nycdancecompany.com on the Web.
Orlando Ballet, now in its 40th year, kicks off the 2013-14 season with a weekend of celebrated fan favorites and pas de deux in Tribute from Oct. 18-20. The holiday favorite The Nutcracker returns Dec. 19-23, featuring live orchestration by the Orlando Philharmonic. Just in time for Valentine’s weekend, the company nods to an all-time classical favorite, Romeo & Juliet from Feb. 14-16. March heralds Some Assembly Required, and the season concludes with Carmen. Family productions, specifically created to capture children’s imaginations through one-hour performances, are Snow White on Oct. 19 and Beauty and the Beast on April 12. For tickets and more information, call 407-426-1739 or visit http://www.orlandoballet.org on the Web.
Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
Whether people are moved by a heartfelt chamber-music performance or the high energy of a rock ‘n’ roll tribute, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra has something for everyone. From the colossal sound of a Beethoven symphony to the purest melodies of an opera aria, its talented musicians deliver experiences that captivate and inspire. For more information, call 407-770-0071 or visit http://www.orlandophil.org on the Web. Box office hours are Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Orlando Repertory Theatre
The Rep, in partnership with UCF, is Orlando’s only professional theater for families and young audiences, and has boasted recent box-office hits such as Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat, Pinkalicious: The Musical, and Lyle the Crocodile. Its season includes performances of Ivy + Bean The Musical from Sept. 5-Oct. 6, Jackie and Me from Oct. 10-Nov. 10, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from Nov. 14-Dec. 29, The Magical Adventures of Merlin from Jan. 23-Feb. 23, Busytown from Feb. 20-March 30, and Freckleface Strawberry the Musical from April 17-May 25. Public performances are Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., with tickets starting at $12. Season subscriptions are available at a 33 percent discount. For more information, call 407-896-7365 or visit http://www.orlandorep.com on the Web.
The Sovereign Dance Academy
The Sovereign Dance Academy based in Dr. Phillips is a social dance school that specializes in ballroom and Latin American dancing. The owners and instructors believe in affordable dancing for everyone, with group classes starting at $15 per person. Private lessons for social enjoyment and a person’s “first dance” are also offered. A free 30-minute private lesson is available for any occasion. For more information, call 407-730-5343 or visit http://www.thesovereigndanceacademy.com on the Web.
Theatre South Orlando
Theatre South Orlando, located in Dr. Phillips at 11184 S. Apopka-Vineland Road inside the Jewish Community Center of Southwest Orlando at the Jack & Lee Rosen Campus, offers classes, workshops, youth musical productions and professional productions for age 3-adults. In addition to several youth and preschooler productions, upcoming professional performances include Falsettoland, A Grand Night of Broadway, Romance Romance and Once Upon a Character Breakfast. Theatre South offers weekday and weekend workshops; classes; and private lessons in voice, piano, acting and dance. For more information, call 407-489-4458 or visit http://www.theatresouthorlando.com on the Web.
Watters School of Irish Dancing
Students learn the art of traditional Irish step dance at Watters School of Irish Dancing, located at 415 N. Clarke Road in Ocoee, from Dublin-born Myra Watters, the principal teacher and a former dancer with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. The school accepts beginners from age 5-older and offers a range of classes to suit any schedule. Students can participate in shows, recitals and fun cultural workshops, and compete at the highest level or just dance recreationally. For more information, call 407-929-7570 or visit http://www.wattersschool.com on the Web.