Category Archives: Entertainment

Don’t Miss Last Weekend to Visit Award-Winning Haunted House in Ft. Worth!

Cutting Edge Haunted House (CEHH), located at 1701 E. Lancaster Ave. in Fort Worth, is one of the most popular attractions in the DFW area during the Halloween season, and for good reason! The Haunted House is amazing, but for people who are in line, or are just not comfy with the idea of going through the actual House (weenies!), there are so many things to do and see.

CEHH was named in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2015 as the longest haunted house in the nation and was voted “Best Haunted House” AND “Scariest Haunted House” this year by USA Today. They have also received a plethora of other awards.

CEHH offers a drumline (or Drum Corps if you are a band geek like me), concessions, a pumpkin patch with hay bales to sit on (but don’t be too surprised if a zombie comes by to eat your brain), and plenty of other displays that are excellent for pictures, such as an old hearse, giant spiders and a giant rat.

The actors in the attraction are not allowed to touch or speak to customers, so you need not worry about being accosted during your trek through this amazing maze. However, if you fall or hold up the line, an actor may signal you to move to the side so that other patrons can enjoy the House without waiting behind you. I write this from experience…and no, for once, it wasn’t me who fell! My weenie friends who fell were immediately attended to by actors to make sure they were okay. It is a very safe attraction, thankfully.

I got to speak to some customers that were in line to get into the attraction.

A young gentleman, who gave his name as, “Mason,” (maybe he knows Cher or Madonna?) said that this was his third time at CEHH in the last three years.

“Oh yeah, I’m ready to go in!” he said. “I’ve actually done this twice before two years ago! It was scary last time but I’m ready!”

His companion, known only as “Justine,” said that this was her first time at CEHH and that she was feeling nervous; however, when she came out, she was all smiles and said, “Let’s do it again!”

As people exited the House, expressions on their faces ran the gamut from giant smiles to tired smiles. No one came out looking terrified or traumatized. CEHH takes almost an hour to get through, so it can be tiring. If the trek inside is too much for you for any reason, exits are all over the place, allowing you to leave if you need to. But try to hang on…they use similar illusion techniques to Disney’s “Tower of Terror” and “Haunted Mansion” in addition to great actors, excellent subject rooms, and great music!

As she exited the attraction, another singularly named person called “Emily” said, “At first I didn’t think it was gonna be scary, but once I went through the second phase and the third phase, I started screaming more.”

Her companion, Billy Baker, added, “It wasn’t that scary for me, but I enjoyed it because they scared [Emily] a lot!”

Theresa Brewer braved CEHH for the first time with her companions, Kevin and Dan Brewer.

“This is our first time here and I loved it!” Theresa said. “I don’t like clowns. They are too creepy! But yes, I would definitely do it again.”

Co-owners Todd James and Jesse Beck have learned how to streamline the queue over the 30 years that they have been in the Haunted House industry, reducing wait times for customers. “Regular” tickets provide a 30-minute window to come get in line, and the typical wait on a busy night is 30-45 minutes.

“We had our time slot, and we waited there for maybe 15 minutes. It was really easy and really quick,” said Kevin.

Dan explained what his favorite parts of the House were.

“So, there’s a couple different times where some of the performers were elevated. I’m walking and they’re looking around me and they stick their hand down from above or something like that. Those caught me off guard several times. That was awesome!

“There was this one guy I could hear. He was dragging his claws on the wall. So, I could hear that coming and getting closer and closer. I turned around, but as I turned around, he had those claws right in front of my eyes. His timing was perfect!” Dan said.

If you’d like to experience the thrills of CEHH, learn more and buy tickets at CuttingEdgeHauntedHouse.com. Don’t be a weenie…just GO!

[This story is Part 2 of 2. To read Part 1, click HERE]

Ft. Worth Haunted House brings scares and entertainment for everyone

Hello, Boos and Ghouls! If you get a thrill out of horror movies and love jump scares, then Cutting Edge Haunted House (CEHH) in Ft. Worth is for YOU! Even if you have coulrophobia (fear of clowns) and/or tend to gravitate toward romantic comedies, prove your mettle and take a chance on this haunted house anyway!

CEHH is more than 30 years old. It had humble beginnings and grew to be the place it is now, where you don’t mind the wait or the price, just so you can get a peek into this amazing spooky offering. The actual Haunted House is the main attraction, of course, but patrons are also entertained by a drum line, complete with a zombie drum major, a pumpkin patch, food, drinks and much more!

CEHH was named in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2015 as the longest haunted house in the country and was voted “Best Haunted House” AND “Scariest Haunted House” this year by USA Today. They have also received a plethora of other awards. Visit their website if you’re curious, but remember, “curiosity killed the cat!”

Owner Todd James explained how they’ve streamlined the experience over the years, including dealing with COVID in 2020, from the time a customer parks until the time they leave.

“People text [co-creator] Jesse [Beck] from their cars, and when we get room for more people to go in, we text them back when it’s their turn. This stemmed from dealing with COVID, but some people seemed to like it instead of standing in a queue. We use the pumpkin patch [in front of the entrance] to let people sit and wait, and of course we have the Drum Corps show for folks to watch while they are in line,” James explained.

“[The Drum Corps] get about three months of rehearsals on Sundays,” said Corps Director Brandon White. “Some of them have marched in Drum and Bugle Corps that have performed all over the country, so when this wraps up, they’ll head back to college. They have to audition every year. We’re going to put flag and color guards with them in the next couple of years.”

The drummers are not the only staff who have to audition. Actors, wardrobe and makeup artists also have to pass the quality test that CEHH demands.

Part of the CEHH Drum Line

“Every single year, you audition for your spot. It is never ‘safe.’ It keeps us on our toes,” said wardrobe and makeup artist Laney Honeycutt.

CEHH started using timed tickets in 2020, and they also offer “Speed Pass” tickets, in which the customer can skip the line and be admitted into the attraction immediately, as long as they come on the date and time that is on the ticket. “Regular” tickets are timed, and they give customers a 30-minute window to show up and get in line. The wait time is usually 30-45 minutes, which most people find much more tolerable than the one to three hour wait that patrons have experienced in past years.

“We pretty much only sell timed ticketing these days,” said James. “So, you buy a time slot and that’s when you can go in. That avoids any drama in the queue. We will also start running two shifts closer to Halloween. Our goal is to have 80 actors total over two shifts to make sure that people don’t have to wait too long,” he said.

Most patrons don’t mind the wait or the price.

“It was so awesome! From the Drum Line outside to the cast inside, it was amazing,” said Haunted House enthusiast Jasmine Merchant. “It’s definitely scary and super fun! I highly recommend it and would totally go again several times!” she said.

Her brother, Sam, also had a scary good time. “It was very fun and scary at the same time. This is the best haunted house I have ever been to, and I have been to a lot of them! In a way, I felt like I was in another world,” he said.

The Zombie Drum Major puts the scare on for patrons Jasmine and Sam Merchant

The Guinness award for “Longest Haunted House’ was awarded to CEHH in 2015, when it could easily take over an hour to get through the attraction. In 2020, things had to change a bit.

“Getting through the attraction still takes about 40 minutes, even with COVID measures,” James said. “We were one of the houses that stayed open in 2020, but I was part of a Task Force for the Haunted House industry. So, I went all over the country to places like Disney and Universal [theme parks], stadiums and hospitals to see the COVID precautions that they were using that we could use as well. So, through that COVID exercise, we learned a lot more about our show and how to keep people safe, which is a priority,” James explained.

Of course, James can’t run this type and size of attraction all by himself. His co-creators/buddies and invaluable helpers keep the Haunted House moving along.

“I help with all of it: Security, cast training, property management, and whatever happens in between,” said CEHH co-creator Anthony Littles, as he hung out in a hidden alley with James and Beck (sorry…I was sworn to secrecy…can’t tell you where it is).

Beck, who also co-created the business with James, said, “I’m the cast coordinator. I keep track of where all of our actors are, and whatever their assigned roles are, making sure that they are where they need to be and keeping track of them throughout the night. I also do cast training, and generally, I put out ‘fires,’ along with Anthony,” he said.

“[Jesse is] an amazing actor,” James added. “When we started this, there were only about six of us acting in a small show in Austin, and we rotated rooms and we all did everything. Jesse does a bird character that is just weird and creepy.”

(L-R): Beck, James and Littles

Delina Wiliiams, who has worked at CEHH for 13 years in several capacities, but is currently doing wardrobe and makeup said, “The actors need wardrobe and makeup every weekend. They keep the same characters all night but will maybe switch to a different one on a separate night.”

Williams currently works with Brescia Rodriguez, who has been at CEHH for eight years and Laney Honeycutt, who first started working with CEHH at age 14 and has now been there for ten years, to keep the wardrobe and makeup current and fresh. These ladies often visit vintage shows and thrift shops. “It’s like collecting,” said Williams.

Williams, Honeycutt and Rodriguez

They also make molds of actors’ faces so they can create latex forms of that particular actor’s character and then add special details to make the look more authentic and scarier.

“I started off as an actress 10 years and then five years in, I transferred into makeup. So, I got to be on the ‘other side’ for five whole years to learn,” Honeycutt said.

The makeup process can be very elaborate, depending on the actor and where he or she will be performing,” said Honeycutt.

“It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to get an actor in makeup, depending on how complicated the character is. It also depends on where they’re going to be because if they’re going outside, you’re obviously going to have more detailing. But if they’re going to be inside, you’re going to have to have more contrast because you have to be able to see [the character] in the dark. So, it’s like two different aspects to think about; like there’s two characters for each actor, but they trade off,” Honeycutt added.

Along with the amazing characters and drum line, CEHH offers “Cutting Edge” technology in some of the rooms that are on par with Disney World’s “Tower of Terror” and “Haunted Mansion.”

Every person, horror fan or not, will find something amazing about Cutting Edge Haunted House. October isn’t over yet, so Cutting Edge is still open Friday – Sunday (and some Thursdays). Check out the schedule HERE.

To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.cuttingedgehauntedhouse.com/. Remember to bring your spine and get ready to SCREAM!

Classic Movies and Live Performances at the Palace Theatre in Sept and Oct

Photo courtesy of Grapevine CVB

Kick off fall with classic movies and live performances at Grapevine’s Historic Palace Theatre at 300 S. Main St. Whether you choose to enjoy a night with the legends of Hollywood on the big screen or take in a live, tribute performance, you are sure to find family fun this fall at the Palace Theatre.

Live Performances

Saturday, September 11 – See the dazzling and flamboyant Two Divas & A Piano – Tribute to Elton John & Cher, presented by Tribute Masters. The seasoned Las Vegas team Heidi Thompson and Gene Sironen deliver a highly crafted show garnering laughs, applause and happy audiences wherever they perform. Together, these two sensational tribute artists bring a unique energy to the stage with their own brand of comedy, vocal duets, audience participation and more. 

These tribute acts have been incredibly successful since Cher and Elton John each have six decades of hits and are loved by audiences of all ages. With songs like: “Crocodile Rock,” “Believe,” “Saturday Night’s Alright,” “If I Could Turn Back Time” and duets like “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” “Rescue Me” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” this show guarantees an exhilarated audience every time!

Showtimes are 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $34 per person for the 3 p.m. matinee and $36 per person for the evening show. All ticket sales are final.

Saturday, October 2 – From Las Vegas to Grapevine’s Historic Palace Theatre, the Carpenters Tribute Concert, presented by Tribute Masters, is America’s top act celebrating the music and legacy of the famed brother-sister duo. Don’t miss this unparalleled show starring Sally Olson as Karen Carpenter and pianist Ned Mills as Richard Carpenter. The show opens with a zesty tribute to Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, followed by Carpenters hits including “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Close to You,” “Superstar” and many more.

The Carpenters Tribute Concert was honored to be the featured entertainment at the CarpenterS 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2019. Olsen will also be performing with “Legends in Concert,” the pioneer of live tribute shows, during the 2021 holiday season. Sally is truly unsurpassed in her stunning representation of Karen Carpenter and captures the essence of the late singer right down to her authentic hairstyles, vintage and handmade costumes, makeup, gestures and voice.

Showtimes are 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $34 per person for the 3 p.m. matinee and $36 per person for the evening show. All ticket sales are final.

Thursday, October 7 Saturday, October 10 “Be Our Guest” and step into the enchanted world of Broadway’s modern classic, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, presented by the Upright Theatre Company. The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved before time runs out, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. With spectacular costumes, singing and dancing, this “tale as old as time” is the perfect opportunity to bring your entire family for live theatre at its best.

Showtimes are Thursday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults; $18 for students, seniors and first responders; $12 for children 12 and under.

Classic Movie Screenings

Classic movie viewers are invited to bring in a same day receipt from any Grapevine restaurant and get a free popcorn at the Concession Stand! Tickets are $6 per person.

Friday, September 3 – “The Egg and I” (NR 1941), 7:30 p.m. On their wedding night, Bob reveals to Betty that he has purchased an abandoned chicken farm. Betty struggles to adapt to their new lifestyle, especially when a glamorous neighbor seems to set her eyes on Bob.

Saturday, September 4 – “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” (NR 1956), 4 p.m. An ex-soldier faces ethical questions as he tries to earn enough to support his wife and children.

Friday, September 10 – “Back to the Future (Rated PG – 1985), 7:30 p.m. Marty McFly, a 17- year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

Friday, September 24 – Saturday, September 25 – Manhattan Short Film Festival, 7:30 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Film lovers will unite in over 500 venues world wide to view and judge the work of next generation filmmakers from around the world when the 24th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival takes place. $10 per ticket.

Friday, October 1 – “The Bride of Frankenstein” (NR – 1935), 7:30 p.m. Dr. Frankenstein falls under the control of his former mentor, who insists he resume his experiments in creating new life. Meanwhile, the Monster remains on the run from those who wish to destroy him.

Sunday, October 3 – “Mean Girls” (Rated PG-13 – 2004), 4 p.m. Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of Alpha Plastic Regina George.

Saturday, October 16 – “Hocus Pocus” (Rated PG – 1993), 4, 7 and 10 p.m. A curious youngster moves to Salem where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches who were executed in the 17th century.

For more information about Grapevine’s Historic Palace Theatre or to purchase tickets, call 817.410.3100 or visit www.Palace-Theatre.com.

Rock Legends Berlin & Asia Set to Headline Grapefest Sept. 16 – 19

Get ready to rock out at the 35th Annual GrapeFest® – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West! On September 16, 17, 18 and 19, festival attendees will experience non-stop live music on four stages during the four days of family-friendly festival fun. 

Friday, September 17 musical headliners include AshenMoon featuring Garry Beers of INXS starting at 7:30 p.m. and BERLIN featuring Terri Nunn starting at 9:30 p.m. 

Saturday, September 18 musical headliners include Stray Cats’ Slim Jim Phantom starting at 7:30 p.m. and Asia featuring John Payne starting at 9:30 p.m. 

Additional live music performances and entertainment will occur all day each day throughout the festival. Visitors will also enjoy a carnival midway and a shopper’s paradise at local Main Street boutiques, galleries and select vendors. 

The 35th Annual GrapeFest opens on Thursday, September 16 at 11 a.m. Admission for everyone is free all day on Thursday. Festival hours are Thursday, September 16 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday, September 17 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, September 18 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; and Sunday September 19 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (62+) and children (6-12). Admission is free for children 5 and under. For more information, call the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau at 817-410-3185 or visit GrapeFest.com

ABOUT GRAPEFEST – TEXAS WINE. COME AND TASTE IT! 

GrapeFest is a celebration of Texas wines. This year’s theme, Texas Wine. Come and Taste It! invites you to sip your way through delicious wines from Texas. This year’s festival guest wineries from California’s Napa Valley and South Australia’s Barossa Valley will also be serving wines to suit every palate. Home to more than 400 wineries and 4,400 acres of vineyards producing nearly three million gallons of Texas wine each year, Texas is the fifth-largest wine producing state in the United States. Grapevine is home to the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association and Texas’ premier Urban Wine Trail, featuring a variety of award-winning winery tasting rooms. 

ABOUT BANK OF THE WEST 

Bank of the West is proud to be an Independent Community Bank, headquartered in Grapevine and serving North Texas for more than three decades, helping to create flourishing communities by putting your dollars to work LOCALLY…with decisions made LOCALLY. Bank of the West, Member FDIC, is the Presenting Sponsor of the 35th Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience. 

ABOUT GRAPEVINE, TEXAS 

Historic Grapevine, Texas, centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, is the premier go-to destination when planning a getaway or vacation in North Texas! Step back in time on Historic Downtown Main Street with a collection of charming boutiques, art galleries and bistros and cafes. Enjoy fantastic hotels and resorts, great attractions for the entire family, a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, exquisite winery tasting rooms, world-class shopping and much more. For more information, visit GrapevineTexasUSA.com

Classic Movies Entertain Guests in Late July and August at Grapevine’s Historic Plaza Theatre

Classic movies entertain guests in July and August at Grapevine’s Historic Palace Theatre, located at 300 S. Main St. Bring in a same day receipt from any Grapevine restaurant and get a free popcorn at the concession stand! Tickets are $6 per person. Below is the list of screenings for late July and August:

  • Friday, July 30 – “Top Gun” (Rated PG – 1986), 7:30 p.m. Students at the U.S. Navy’s elite
    fighter weapons school compete to be best in class. One daring pilot learns a few things from a
    civilian instructor not taught in the classroom.
  • Saturday, July 31 – Happy Birthday, Harry Potter! Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday with a
    movie marathon! Tickets are $6 each or 4/ $20. Come in costume and receive a free popcorn! – “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:” (Rated PG – 2001), 11 a.m. An orphaned boy
    enrolls in a school of wizardry where he learns the truth about himself, his family and
    the terrible evil that haunts the magical world.
    – “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (Rated PG – 2004), 2 p.m. Ron and
    Hermoine return to Hogwarts for their third year of study, where they delve into the
    mystery surrounding an escaped prisoner who poses a dangerous threat to the young
    wizard.
    – “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (Rated PG – 2007), 5 p.m. With their
    warning about Lord Voldemort’s return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted
    by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at
    Hogwarts.
    – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II” (Rated PG-13 – 2011), 8 p.m. Harry,
    Ron and Hermoine search for Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes in their effort to
    destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.
  • Friday, August 6 – “The Searchers” (Rated PG – 1956), 7:30 p.m. An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.
  • Saturday, August 14 – It’s Elvis night! Enjoy an Elvis double feature. Come in costume and get a free popcorn.
  • “Loving You” (Rated PG – 1957), 4 p.m. A musician and a publicist help a delivery man achieve stardom.
  • “Viva Las Vegas” (Rated PG – 1964), 7:30 p.m. Racecar driver Lucky Jackson goes to Las Vegas to earn money to pay for a new engine for his motor car. Working as a waiter, he still finds the time to court young Rusty Martin.
  • Friday, August 20 – “Roman Holiday” (Rated PG – 1953), 7:30 p.m. A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.
  • Saturday, August 21 – Sing-Along Saturday! Bring your friends and sing along as you watch movies at the Palace Theatre.
  • “Mamma Mia” (Rated PG-13 – 2008), 4 p.m. The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father is told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA.
  • “Grease” (Rated PG – 1978), 7:30 p.m. Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they are now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?
  • Saturday, August 28 – Join us for Treasure Hunt Saturday!
  • “Aladdin” (Rated G – 1992), 4 p.m. A kindhearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true. Come in character and receive a free popcorn.
  • “The Goonies” (Rated PG – 1985), 7:30 p.m. A group of young misfits called The Goonies discover an ancient map and set out on an adventure to find a legendary pirate’s long-lost treasure.

For more information about Grapevine’s Historic Palace Theatre or to purchase tickets, call 817.410.3100 or visit Palace-Theatre.com.

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF YAA HALLA Y’ALL

Swinging their hips in rhythm with the deep, ringing tones of the hand drums, belly dancers in brilliantly bedazzled costumes glide across the stage, striking their finger cymbals and commanding attention. Then a solo performer contorts like a cobra as she mesmerizes crowds with her hypotonic movements. This dreamy dance choreography has been captivating audiences for 20 years in Grapevine at the annual Yaa Halla Y’all – A Gathering of the Stars in Texas, presented by Isis’ Studios and Academy of Performing Arts.

Yaa Halla Y’all invites you to four days of dance and music performances by international stars, aspiring new dancers and musicians at one of the largest Middle Eastern dance events in the Southwest.

Performances will be held at the Palace Theatre Thursday, July 22 through Sunday, July 25.

There are several competitions during the four-day event, with winners earning trophies, cash prizes and a feature article in the magazine Belly Dance Chronicles. Additionally, dance and music seminars will be offered at the Grapevine Convention Center. The Grand Bazaar Shopping Experience will open daily at Noon at the Palace Arts Center where shoppers may browse jewelry, scarves, costumes and much more.

Who is Isis?

The dancer behind Yaa Halla Y’all and Isis’ Studios and Academy of Performing Arts is the energetic and vibrant red-headed dancer known as Isis. In addition to organizing Yaa Halla Y’all and running a studio, Isis is a teacher, choreographer, costume designer, magazine publisher and more.

Choosing to keep her true name hidden, Isis said that her stage name was given to her by an Egyptian and refers to the Egyptian goddess Isis who is the protector of children.

“Many dancers throughout history have gone by their stage names, and Isis is my stage name,” she said. “Some dancers feel like they can’t dance when they go by their legal, birth names. But when they go by a stage name, they become someone else. They are suddenly able to perform and dance.”

Isis said she believes she truly personifies the goddess Isis because she is a guide and mentor to students along their dance journey.

“I tell my dancers performance is not about winning,” she said. “Get better for yourself. Upgrade your feelings about yourself, your skills.”

Origins of Yaa Halla Y’all

Isis began the Yaa Halla Y’all event as a way to bring a variety of music and dance instructors and performers to one location. The studio was not big enough to house all that talent, so seminars and performances moved to the Grapevine Convention Center and Palace Theatre.

In its twentieth year, Isis said that Yaa Halla Y’all reflects the growth of dancers and competition winners because many have gone on to travel and teach worldwide.

“It’s exciting for me to watch all of my students learn from a variety of instructors in classes during this event,” Isis said. “They are getting to learn from top notch instructors at the seminars, and our performances are great!”

The Journey to Becoming Isis

Isis’ journey started when she was looking for a class to help her keep fit, and belly dance was the only class available. She soon fell in love with Middle Eastern dance and moved into a new career path.

“My first seminar with Bert Balladine, and I appreciated his positive attitude, his joy in teaching and his performance,” she said. “I continued to study with top dancers from around the world, and I am still dancing over 40 years later.”

Isis has been presented the Life Time Achievement Award from both the belly dancer magazine Zaghareet! and the Belly Dancer of the Universe  competition. Additionally, she was a feature dancer at Kosta’s Caf (formerly Kosta’s Greek Restaurant) on Bachman Lake in Dallas for 11 years, Byblo’s Mediterranean Restaurant in Fort Worth, Greek Isles Grille and Tavern in Plano for New Years, and at The Mansion with the Gus Vali Orchestra for Mardi Gras. She and her dancers have been featured at Scarborough Faire since it opened in 1981.

“I try to teach dancers to focus on their dance as well as their entertainment skills,” she said. “But it’s so important to build positive energy. I’m not about being better than someone. I am about being your best self; challenge yourself and support others.”

Following her passion, Isis and her husband Del formed the Isis Foundation, a non-profit whose goals are to preserve and promote the ancient art of Middle Eastern dance, educate the community about cultural aspects of this art form, provide opportunities for study and performance and encourage the growth of talent and self-esteem.

Isis and Del also publish The Belly Dance Chronicles, an international magazine which publishes quarterly and is in its 19th year of publication. The magazine promotes the art of dance, celebrates its history and highlights dancers from around the globe. It is the official publication of the Isis Foundation.

In the Studio

Isis’ Studios and Academy of Performing Arts, one of the largest belly dance studios in Texas, is located in Bedford in the heart of DFW. The studio offers dance classes in Middle Easter Raqs Sharki (commonly known as belly dancing), Polyneasian/Tahitian/Hawaiian Hula, Fusion/Alternative/Tribal and Middle Eastern Rhythm for Tabla. Drum classes and special workshops are also offered throughout the year.

“I am proud of the fact that I have had so many dance and music students who have gone on to become professionals,” Isis said. “Some of them have won competitions around the world.”

For those interested in trying out the various styles of Middle Eastern dancing or drums, classes start again this month. Hula classes will begin in the fall. The studio is currently divided into seven-foot sections to keep everyone socially distanced and safe.

Learn more at their website : https://isisandthestardancers.com/yhy.html.

Experience Gorgeous Classical Concerts By Candlelight At These Magical Venues In Dallas

Photo: SecretDallas

Calm your mind and experience classical music in a new light with these sensational concerts in some of Dallas’s most magical locations. This concert series known simply as “Candlelight” invites everyone to relive the greatest works of classical music, from Vivaldi to Mozart to Bach, in an intimate atmosphere.

And after having enormous success around the world—in cities like Paris, Barcelona, New York, Houston, and Austin—the experience has finally made it to Dallas! Buy tickets for Dallas Candlelight concerts here.

Read more at SecretDallas…

Photo: SecretDallas

CHS Theatre presents ‘Terrifying Texas Tales’ Halloween drive-in movie experience

The Coppell High School Cowboy Theatre Company will showcase the talent and creativity of students in “Terrifying Texas Tales: A Halloween Drive-In Movie Experience” on Oct. 29, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in the parking lot of CHS9.

CHS Theatre students wrote and filmed their own short horror films, based on true Texas horror and paranormal stories.  These films will be streamed as drive-in movies over Halloween weekend.  Shows are at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, Saturday Oct. 31 and Sunday Nov. 1, in the parking lot of CHS9 located at 1301 Wrangler Circle Drive in Coppell.  Recommended audience age is middle school students and up. Tickets can be purchased for $15 per car at www.coppellhstheatre.com. Contactless concession purchases will be available on site. 


“This is a great opportunity to showcase the incredible talent and creativity of our theatre students,” said CHS Theatre Director Karen Ruth.  “Opportunities to perform before audiences in COVID-19 are limited, so we came up with an alternative venue to share scary stories that also offers our community an alternative safe Halloween experience.” 

Ruth added that there will be bonus, super-scary stories shared after a late intermission for those interested in truly terrifying tales.

Visit www.coppellhstheatre.com for details and to purchase tickets. 

Grapevine Rotary Rubber Duck Race scheduled for Sept. 10

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 8.35.58 AMJoin us this September 10th as the Grapevine Rotary Club hosts the 3rd Annual Rubber Duck Race in the Lazy River at The REC of Grapevine.

Thousands of free-spirited yellow rubber ducks will be dropped into The REC Lazy River where they will race to see who is the fastest.

The event will take place from 5-7pm at The REC of Grapevine in fair or Fowl weather!

The winning Duck will earn $1,000, second place wins $500 and third place wins $250.

100% of all proceeds support the Grapevine Rotary Club community programs, such as scholarships for high school seniors, Computers for Kids, Special Olympics, RYLA, Feed Our Kid and American Flags on Main Street.

Every year, Grapevine Rotary Club awards as many scholarships as possible to qualified graduating senior applicants. The impact of these awards for the students in our areas is amazing. In April, we awarded 16 of these scholarships in the amount of $1500 each from the proceeds of our 2019 Duck Race.  

ChuckAll of the ducks are churning up the water to get back in their best racing form after eating too much during quarantine (except for Chuck, who is lounging around the pool. He’s “supervising”).

For more information or to adopt a duck, visit https://grapevinerotaryduckrace.com/ or email grapevinerubberduckrace@gmail.com.

Here’s hoping your duck wins!

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Download the flyer HERE (.pdf)

Brief guide of what’s been cancelled, postponed and what’s still going on

According to The Rambler Newspapers, here’s what’s cancelled, what’s been rescheduled and what’s still going on: