ME Dance Introduces the Inaugural I Dance Orlando Festival

ME Dance I Dance Orlando

ME Dance Introduces the Inaugural

I Dance Orlando Festival

Orlando’s all-new festival will be the first of its kind to showcase the versatility of dance as an art form

The ME Dance company today announced its new I Dance Orlando Festival, Orlando’s first arts festival to solely explore the art of dance to its richest extent. Registration for the dance festival has opened as of today for all local and regional dance schools and companies interested in participating. The event will take place April 22 – May 1, 2016 at the state-of-the-art ME Theatre, which is specially equipped for dance performances of all kinds.

I Dance Orlando Festival is being introduced to bring together the local community of dancers, choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative manner that will allow them to perform new works and also inspire and educate the public through dance. The festival aspires to create an environment for students and artists to cultivate their talent and artistry to its fullest potential, all while strengthening public appreciation and support for this unique and vast art form.

ME Dance I Dance Orlando
Marshall Ellis

“The I Dance Orlando Festival is designed to offer a supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere aimed at cultivating a creative exchange of ideas,” says Marshall Ellis, founder and artistic director of ME Dance and concept designer for the festival. “The festival will encourage artists to explore new grounds, offer a creative outlet, and also provide both local artists and the public the opportunity to experience dance in a new way.”

Throughout the festival, the ME Dance School will host open, drop-in classes (no registration needed) for the general public for the deeply discounted price of only $7 per class. All those interested in learning to dance –  no matter age or experience – are encouraged to attend any of the various dance classes offered, which include: ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and contemporary.

ME Dance I Dance Orlando

The registration form can be found at The cut-off deadline to register is December 31. The dance festival is open to all local and regional professional companies, schools, artists and students. All dance styles are encouraged. There is a limit of two artistic works per application, and each work needs to be between three and 15 minutes in length. Once final applications are in, they will be individually judged and qualifying applicants will be notified and chosen to perform on a select night during the festival.

For more information, visit or call 407-816-7080.


ME Dance I Dance Orlando 

About ME Dance, Inc.

Founded in 2012, ME Dance Inc. is an Orlando-based, non-profit arts organization founded by Marshall Ellis.  The mission of ME Dance is to introduce innovative ideas through dance to create growth in the arts community and to enrich the arts community by providing an outlet to feature talent in art through entertainment.

Founder Marshall Ellis brings more than two and a half decades of dance and choreography experience to the table with credits including Ballet Austin, London Studio Centre, Orlando Ballet, Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba and Walt Disney World. In addition to the professional dance company, Marshall Ellis’ portfolio also encompasses a dance school and Orlando’s newest performance venue.

The ME Dance School provides students with an environment in which to cultivate their talent and artistry to its fullest potential. As a result of a collaboration between the dance school and the professional company, Marshall Ellis also formed a pre-professional dance company. ME2 members are selected through an audition process and overseen by the artistic director to help mold young dancers, ages 14-21, into professionals who are well-versed in various types of dance styles. ME2 dancers have the opportunity to rehearse and perform with the professional company during select performances and participate in community events.

The ME Theatre is a state-of-the-art performance venue with flexible seating and a capacity of accommodating up to 130 guests. It is available for dance productions, concerts, musicals, plays, weddings, corporate events, meetings, private gatherings, photo shoots, video productions and other theatrical uses.

For more information, visit

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All New MegaCon Fan Days Coming To Orlando #MegaFanDays


MegaCon Fan Days Logo

Tickets Now on Sale for All-New, Two-Day MegaCon Fan Days

Debuting November 21-22, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center

Tickets are now on sale for the inaugural MegaCon Fan Days, a brand-new installment from the producers of MegaCon, the Southeast’s largest annual comic book, anime, gaming and multi-media extravaganza. The two-day show debuts at the Orange County Convention Center November 21-22 and will offer the same fandom and fun of MegaCon with the awesomeness of smaller crowds and lower ticket prices.

MegaCon Fan Days is a family-friendly playground for fans of all ages! The event’s line-up includes autographs, photo ops and panels with celebrity guests; Artist Alley, a ”must experience area” for anyone interested in meeting the comic industry’s rising stars; plus costumed characters and an exhibit hall bursting with 100,000-square-feet of shopping madness. Retailers from across the country will sell comics, original artwork, memorabilia, games, toys, t-shirts and much more.

MegaCon Fan Days Jason Isaacs

Celebrity guests confirmed to appear on both Saturday and Sunday are:

• Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter films, Star Wars Rebels)

• Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, The Goonies)

• John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings)

• Karen Allen (Indiana Jones)

• Paul McGann (Doctor Who)

• Sean Maher (Firefly, Serenity)

• Ryan Hurst (Sons of Anarchy, Remember the Titans)

• James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Another favorite of MegaCon attendees is the all-star line-up of comic book guests. Confirmed to date to appear are Eisner Award-winning writer and illustrator George Pérez (The Avengers, Teen Titans, and Wonder Woman); and creators Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn, Painkiller Jane), Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn, Power Girl), Cully Hamner (Red, The Question), Mike Perkins (Captain America, Stephen King’s The Stand), Tim Townsend (Uncanny X-Men, Dr. Strange), and Rob Hunter (Suicide Squad, Firestorm).

“MegaCon Fan Days offers a new opportunity for Orlando residents and visitors to celebrate their fandom at a smaller scale event of the same high quality as our annual show,” said MegaCon Show Director Christine Alger. “Join us to check off some gifts on your shopping list before the hectic holiday season begins!” she added.

MegaCon Fan Days Frost Sister

MegaCon Fan Days At-A-Glance

Location: Orange County Convention Center 

                West Building (Hall C)

                9800 International Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

MegaCon Fan Days 2015 Showroom Dates and Hours:

                Saturday, November 21 – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

                Sunday, November 22 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ticket Information:

Admission to MegaCon Fan Days starts at just $20. Buying tickets online in advance guarantees admission plus gives guests early entry at 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes before the Box Office opens to the general public at 10 a.m. A Kids Free coupon is available online; up to two children ages 12 years and under are admitted free with one paid adult admission when this coupon is presented onsite. Additional pricing options for MegaCon Fan Days passes include:

• Deluxe 2 day pass/unlimited access for Sat. and Sun.: $40.00

• Saturday single day pass/unlimited access: $25.00

• Sunday single day pass/unlimited access: $20.00

• Child single day pass/unlimited access: $10.00 when accompanying a paying adult.

For tickets and more information, visit

Stay connected with the show for announcements, updates and contests by registering for the FAN EXPO HQ newsletter, and by following the show on its social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Holidays In Space Returns

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Holidays In Space Returns

Guests Can Celebrate ‘Holidays in Space’ at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex with

Light Show and ‘Spirit of Exploration’ Presentation


Looking for something new and unique to do this holiday season? Start a new tradition at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where the holidays go high-tech with the fourth annual “Holidays in Space” celebration December 19, 2015 through January 3, 2016.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

The iconic Rocket Garden will be the site of “Spirit of Exploration,” a stunning presentation of space imagery shown on the side of the 223-foot-long Saturn 1B rocket. The presentation, which takes guests on a journey through NASA’s history and plans for the future, features custom animation blended with historic footage of actual launches and awe-inspiring views of Earth from the International Space Station.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

The “Rocket Garden Light Show” also takes place daily in the Rocket Garden, which features a majestic collection of real and replica capsules and rockets, some towering more than 100 feet into the sky.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

In addition, from Nov. 27Jan. 3 the visitor complex is adorned for the holiday season with a stunning array of decorations including a 41-foot Christmas tree, a giant NASA “meatball” ornament, garlands, lights, ribbons, bows and more.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Christmas

All holiday activities are included with visitor complex admission; no advance reservations are required. Light shows begin at dusk each day. The visitor complex is open 365 days a year, including Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s holiday hours of operation are:

November 25 – December 21: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 22-25: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

December 26-31: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Fly With an astronaut

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Space ShuttleAtlantisSM, Shuttle Launch Experience®, IMAX® Hubble 3D and Journey To Space films, Astronaut Encounter, Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted, Rocket Garden and many other interactive exhibits. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m.with closing times varying by season.  Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers multiday admission starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit

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Demi Lovato And Nick Jonas Future Now: The Tour Coming To The Amway Center

 Amway Center Demi Lovato Nick Jonas Future Now Tour

Multi-platinum selling music artists, Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas, invite you to experience Future Now: The Tour. The North American tour, produced by Live Nation, kicks off on June 24, 2016, as the two influential entertainers join forces for what will be one of the year’s most anticipated summer music events. Future Now: The Tour visits over 40 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada including stops in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Las Vegas and Vancouver.

Future Now: The Tour plays Orlando’s Amway Center on Saturday, June 25, 2016. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, November 7 at 10 a.m.

Lovato’s newest album, “Confident,” is out now on Hollywood Records/Island Records/Safehouse Records and features the number one iTunes smash single, “Cool For The Summer.” Lovato kicked off the release of “Confident,” with powerful and poignant performances on “Saturday Night Live,” which generated the number one worldwide trending topic on Twitter and massive coverage by the media. Following the performance, the Village Voice declared, “Issue a warrant for Demi Lovato, ‘cause girl murdered ‘Saturday Night Live,’” adding, “Lovato’s full-throttle vocal assault on the Studio 8H stage with (“Confident”) could serve as a career standout for her.”

Lovato will perform songs from the critically acclaimed new album on “Good Morning America” (Oct. 29) and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” (Oct. 30). Critical praise for Lovato’s, “Confident,” has been equally stellar. Billboard Magazine asserted, “Demi Lovato has become one of pop’s leading motivational figures,” while People Magazine lauded, “It’s Lovato’s dynamite vocals and striking vulnerability on aching ballads and gospel anthems that make ‘Confident,’ such a triumph,” and USA Today avowed, “She inarguably has one of the strongest instruments in pop right now.”

Island Records Artist, Nick Jonas introduced himself as a fully formed solo artist on his hit, self-titled debut, released in November 2014. The critically-acclaimed album includes double-platinum smash single and number one U.S. radio hit, “Jealous,” and his sultry second chart-climbing radio single, “Chains.” Jonas partially attributes his album’s darker overtones to the fact that while he was recording, he was also shooting the gritty television show ‘Kingdom’ — a mixed martial arts drama that premiered on DirecTV’s Audience Network last fall and was recently picked up for two additional seasons. Jonas recently earned two more high-profile roles, a guest starring role in Fox’s horror-comedy series, “Scream Queens” and a lead in the James Franco produced film, “Goat.” Showing no signs of slowing down this year, the breakout solo powerhouse joined forces with west coast rapper-producer, Sage the Gemini, to release their summer collaboration, “Good Thing.” Jonas’ latest single, “Levels,” has already amassed over 12 million views on YouTube and is rapidly climbing the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He also recently wrapped up his sold-out North American Live In Concert tour and has been nominated for a 2015 American Music Award for Favorite Male Artist – Pop/Rock.


Amway Center Demi Lovato Nick Jonas Future Now Tour





Buy tickets at, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticket limit is eight (8) per person. All dates, bouts, fighters and ticket prices are subject to change without notice.  All tickets are subject to applicable taxes, service, handling and facility fee charges.  For Amway Center box office and ticket information, visit (phone purchases are not available through the Amway Center box office).  The Amway Center is located at 400 West Church Street and the box office is located on the north side of the Amway Center, near the intersection of Church Street and Hughey Avenue. 

Amway Center Fleetwood Mac Elton John

About Amway Center

The Orlando Magic served as the developer of the Amway Center, which hosts major national events, concerts and family shows.  Opened in the fall of 2010, the facility is owned and operated by the City of Orlando on behalf of the Central Florida community. The Amway Center was designed to reflect the character of the community, meet the goals of the users and build on the legacy of sports and entertainment in Orlando. The building’s exterior features a modern blend of glass and metal materials, along with ever-changing graphics via a monumental wall along one facade. A 180-foot tall tower serves as a beacon amid the downtown skyline. The 875,000 square foot, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified building features a sustainable, environmentally-friendly design and unmatched technology, including 1,100 digital monitors, the tallest high-definition video board in an NBA venue and multiple premium amenities available to all patrons in the building. Amway Center was recently honored with TheStadiumBusiness Awards’ 2013 Customer Experience Award and named SportsBusiness Journal’s 2012 Sports Facility of the Year. For more information about the Amway Center, visit

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Visiting the Straz Center

Straz Center exterior

This past weekend I took a tour of the Straz Center in Tampa with our friend Shane. We’ve discussed looking into subscriptions to the Broadway series at several venues in the central Florida area for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Before we decide on tickets for individual shows or packages, we wanted to visit the Straz Center since neither of us had been there before and they are offering a variety of shows that differ from Orlando.

Being that we are both big fans of musical theater in particular, Shane and I were very excited to take an hour to tour the Straz Center and see the fantastic facilities. I did not know prior to arriving that the Straz Center is one of the largest performing arts center in the southeast. According to our tour guide, Debbie (a real life retired rocket scientist by the way), Straz has the greatest number of seats combined between the five theaters south of Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, but not necessarily the largest individual theater or greatest square footage. The theaters range in size from being able to accommodate just 130 in the blackbox Shimberg Playhouse, to the 268 seat Jaeb Theater with cabaret seating, to 1,042 in Ferguson Hall, all the way up to 2,610 in Carol Morsani Hall. On our tour we were able to see each of these four venues, as well as the Rehearsal Hall and several backstage areas. The only theater we did not see due to ongoing setup and rehearsals at the time was the TECO Theater that is a 3,500 square foot open space with no permanent seating or stage, offering versatility in capacity and configuration.

Shimberg Playhouse
Shimberg Playhouse
Jaeb Theater
Jaeb Theater
Ferguson Hall
Ferguson Hall
Carol Morsani Hall from the balcony
Carol Morsani Hall from the balcony
Rehearsal Hall
Rehearsal Hall

The Straz Center has a beautiful location situated in downtown Tampa right on the Hillsborough River with indoor and outdoor facilities for dining and events. A variety of shows ranging from Broadway hits like Newsies and Once can be seen here, as well as opera, dance, stand up acts, to shows like MythBusters – Jamie & Adam Unleashed! There are several dining options on the complex including Maestro’s Restaurant for dinner on nights of Broadway shows and select other performances. Maestro’s Cafe is a buffet also open on Broadway show nights and is in the lobby of the Carol Morsani Hall. Maestro’s On The River offers outdoor seating with quick bites and beverages along the river. If you’re looking for a pastry, sandwich, salad, or just a good dose of caffeine, SteamHeat Cafe is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am until 11pm.

Carol Morsani Hall lobby
Carol Morsani Hall lobby

Parking for the Straz Center can be found in public lots and garages within a few minutes walk if you wish to self park. These range in price from approximately $5-10, valet parking is available for around $20 as well. There are also limited spaces available on the street, which are metered during the day and free after 6pm. The Straz Center is conveniently located just off of 275 and Ashley Drive in Tampa, making it very accessible from I4, 75, or 275.

Carol Morsani Hall view from the stage
Carol Morsani Hall view from the stage

My favorite part of the tour was going on stage in the Morsani Hall. The sheer size of the stage was amazing! It was so cool to be able to look out to all the seats and to imagine yourself performing in front of a full house. Shane and I were both impressed by the ginormous loading doors to backstage which can open to accommodate four semis full of sets and costumes. These door must have been a good 60 feet tall at least. Backstage there is a really cool wall with stencils from many of the shows that have been performed at the Straz Center. I would love to have something like this in artwork form in my house!

If you get a chance, I highly recommend checking out the amazing Straz Center in Tampa. I cannot wait to catch my first show here. Shane already saw his this past weekend and is also looking forward to returning. Have you been to the Straz Center? What did you see there? If not, check out their upcoming schedule and I’m sure there is something for everyone between the concerts, plays and performances.

Loading doors
Loading doors


Stencil wall
Stencil wall
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GlowBash 5K Tampa Race Recap

GlowBash race shirt & bibThis past weekend my mom and I participated in the GlowBash 5K in Tampa. This race/scavenger hunt kicks off “race season” for me. I try not to run between April and September as the weather here in Florida is typically ungodly hot and humid. The other six months of the year I attempt to do a race a month. This season is going to be a little different. It started with registering for the Avengers 5K in Disneyland for the second weekend in November back about six months or so ago. Then my mom found a zombie run in Sarasota she thought sounded kind of fun on Groupon. We’ve both decided we’d like to do races, but want to focus on some that are more affordable than the runDisney races tend to be. After researching the fact the race was a little more off road than either one of us wanted to deal with since we’ve both had knee surgeries, I found a Living Social coupon for the GlowBash.

The race is typically around eighty dollars per person with a t-shirt, post race refreshments, some glow paraphernalia, and a finisher’s medal. We looked at the GlowBash website and learned it was more of a scavenger hunt around downtown Tampa than a traditional race, and this appealed to my mom. So after finding the deal for half off the race, we registered and then tried to find out more about the race. Not much information was out there as far as race recaps, other than one from several years ago, but it ended up being a bit different.

Packet pickup was the two days prior to the race at two Sports Authority locations in the Tampa area. Any team member could pickup the packets with either a copy of the other teammate’s photo ids or a picture of their ids on a smartphone. This made it relatively easy for one person to get the whole team’s packets and t-shirts instead of each individual having to go. The day of the race an email was sent out from GlowBash warning that there was a Tampa Bay Lightning preseason hockey game at the old Ice Palace (I never can keep up with the changing sponsorship names, so forgive me, it is still the Ice Palace), and that there was a possibility of rain, so come early.

Living about an hour away in Bradenton, we decided to leave at 5pm, two hours prior to the race start so we would have plenty of time to find a paid parking spot with race participants now competing with hockey fans for limited space downtown. We arrived at Ferg’s Live, the bar sponsoring the race, right about 6pm, and splurged for parking paying $20 to literally park next door to the start and finish line for the race. This made life so much easier when we were done, it was well worth the price. We could have showed up about half an hour later, but it was fine getting there early since the weather was actually quite nice. The rain held out, the temps dropped into the mid 70s and there was a gorgeous breeze making it one of the nicest evenings in months weatherwise.

About five minutes before start time, each team captain went to the announcer’s table to pick up the race clues for the scavenger hunt. We were instructed not to look at them and were told we would have two hours to complete 10 out of the 11 clues and come back with proof. Some clues required we take pictures, others we had to get a stamp, a coupon, or a wristband from certain locations all over downtown Tampa. We were warned we were not able to used any motorized mode of transportation. Foot travel only was permitted, and we had to adhere to any traffic laws, meaning no jaywalking and only crossing on the walk signal. This proved to be quite interesting, but also provided a nice rest sometimes in between spots.

Photo Oct 04, 6 15 27 PMPhoto Oct 04, 6 40 46 PM

At 7pm we were on our way! Since neither of us was in any shape to train recently, we both decided before the race we were not running at all, only walking. We had some experience in the race/scavenger hunt area since we had both done runDisney’s Expedition Everest Challenge before, so at least it wasn’t completely foreign to us. Mom had done some homework, looking at maps and points of interest of Tampa that afternoon, and I used my Google Fu as smartphone use was strongly encouraged, as was the use of GPS and maps. We figured out all the clues first, then decided to map out the locations and go in an order that made sense geographically because we had been told the course could be anywhere from 3 to 7 miles depending on the order in which you did the clues. We were not doing seven miles.

Photo Oct 04, 6 54 16 PMPhoto Oct 08, 8 41 25 PMPhoto Oct 04, 6 59 26 PMPhoto Oct 04, 7 03 53 PMPhoto Oct 04, 7 19 21 PMPhoto Oct 04, 7 20 19 PM (1)Photo Oct 04, 7 25 45 PMPhoto Oct 04, 7 48 41 PMPhoto Oct 04, 8 05 13 PMPhoto Oct 04, 8 07 24 PM (1)Photo Oct 04, 8 30 21 PMPhoto Oct 08, 9 34 51 PM

We were unsure of the location of one of the clues exactly, but found that talking to people as we were going around the course helped. Contestants were helping each other with clues and even asking strangers on the street. Part of the scavenger hunt required you to talk to strangers. We even had to quack like a duck for one of the clues. It was a lot of fun, but we were honestly worried at first we wouldn’t finish in the allotted time. We ended up finishing the race in about an hour and a half and exactly at 3.1 miles, so we were happy considering at least half an hour of that was waiting for traffic lights and crosswalks. Mom really enjoyed it and she said it was even more fun than a regular race because it didn’t feel like a race just running in a big circle looking a the same thing.

Photo Oct 04, 8 39 47 PMPhoto Oct 04, 8 44 24 PM

As the name indicates, GlowBash is in the evening with glow necklaces, bracelets, glasses, etc. for the participants to wear, which was cool to see at night all around the city. Folks in Tampa were entertained by us and supportive of us at the same time. There were no road closures or anything, so almost the whole race was completed on sidewalks and crosswalks. It was a different, but fun way to get out, get some exercise and see the city. There’s another one coming up in St. Pete in the spring, and I think we may check that one out too. Have you ever done a scavenger race or other non-traditional race like GlowBash? What were your thoughts?


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