The adage that "there are no small parts, just small actors" rings truest at The Center Stage Studio, where budding thespians of all ages get their share of the spotlight. Under the experienced wand of director Tracey DiMiceli, a seasoned performer and theater instructor who also helmed Malibu's prestigious "Fitness by the Sea" summer camp, young actors develop the skills to sing, dance, and deliver heartfelt Tony Award acceptance speeches in a wealth of classes and camps.
In the family-tailored musical theater camps, which feature themes reflecting popular musicals and children's shows, lil' thespians learn the fundamentals of theater technique—including blocking, projecting, and stage direction—and cultivate skills that boost self-esteem and critical thinking. Camps end with a public performance where every child gets a spot in a major musical number and receives a speaking role, curbing the theatrical tradition of jealous prepubescent understudies.
The pristine sheets of ice at Ice Palace’s outpost in Aliso Viejo serve as a well-kept tundra ideal for diversions such as hockey, figure-skating, and public skating sessions. Future NHL stars and misinformed basketball players can both sharpen their stick-handling skills in the facilities' Learn to Play Hockey programs, whereas Learn to Figure Skate sessions teach beginners everything from forward and backward moves to entry-level jumps and spins. Held throughout the week, open skating sessions allow the general public to let loose as couples slip on their skates, hold hands, and fearlessly tie each other's laces.
Master Tony Park began teaching tae kwon do at the age of 12, just five years after his first lessons. Since then, not much has changed. With 38 years of experience, the native South Korean still teaches his country's martial art, but he now does it at his own facility, National Taekwondo Academy, Inc. There, Park and his staff of seasoned instructors orchestrate self-defense and fitness programs for all ages: kids, teens, adults, and mummies.
As an Olympic gold medalist and master of the still rings, gymnast Eduard Azarian knows the feeling of standing on the winner's podium and hearing his nation cheer him on. Now, three decades later, he helps others experience that same exhilaration and sense of accomplishment. As the president of Azarian Gymnastics Training Center, he leads a diverse team that teaches an array of gymnastics skills to kids and adults. The center's recreational programs for ages 6 months and up help boost flexibility, conditioning, and self-confidence with classes focusing on learning gymnastics, trampoline, and tumbling skills.