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We just watched our daughter perform in her dance recital at the Straz Center in downtown Tampa and had an amazing time.

I love that our dance studio, Dawson Dance Academy, holds the recitals there for a number of reasons.

First of all, it’s a beautiful venue and it’s enjoyable for guests to watch any performance in the main theatre. Secondly, it is such a big venue that accomodates a large audience, so it’s great expereince for the young dancers who stand up their and look out at the big crowd.

Also, the area by the fountains is a great place to go and take post-recital photos.

Family dance recital photo

Dance recital

And because it is in downtown, you have plenty of great options for dining nearby after the performance.

Find out more information about the Straz Center here.

Roxanne's Top 4 Pizza Shops Around Westchase

What are your favorite pizza shops in the Westchase area?

If I’m not in the mood to cook, it’s easy to order a pizza for take-out or dine at one of the pizza places around Westchase.

Here is my list of four and what I love about each.

Westchase Pizza and Pasta Co. is a great place to go on a Friday night (or any time). It’s on the corner of Countryway and Linebaugh. I like the booths and the people who run it are very friendly. They do specialty pies and made to order. I always get a pepperoni and mushroom, and then I ask for one that is not on the menu (you just select the items you want). It’s pesto-based with white cheeses and fried eggplant. It’s my favorite.

Off of Linebaugh in the plaza on the right as your headed out of Westchase toward Sheldon, you’ll find Tampa Pizza Company. And I love this place because they have really original options with their pizza toppings. They offer a Brushetta pizza and a bacon, chicken and ranch pizza. Their wings are tasty. And the atmosphere is fun for kids.

Marina’s Pizza has been around for ages, and it’s next to the Publix on Linebaugh. They make great Sicilian pizza. And the prices are reasonable, and they don’t skimp on the toppings. Try their sandwiches, too.

And finally, Atlas Gourmet Pizza makes the list. Cool name, right? They are the newest pizza shop on the list. They are up Racetrack Road in the Hampton Lakes Plaza. Sometimes on Friday nights, we’ll go there and get pizza to go and take it to the wine bar in the same plaza and sit outside to sip and dine.

There are other places around Westchase to find pizza, but these happen to be my favorites.

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