At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
Jump!Zone is an indoor play center packed with moonwalks, bouncers, and giant slides for children ages 2 to 12. Allow youngsters to pay overdue respects to the life-size prehistoric T-rex at the North Little Rock location, or unleash their limbs to zoom down one of three circus city super slides in Conway. Large playsets and interactive games also provide loads of hands-on bounceless entertainment. Ultra youngsters looking to book the perfect destination playdate can check out toddler area, while miniature humans who prefer on-screen entertainment can dominate in the Conway location arcade, leaving their adult counterparts free to use the WiFi or recite the periodic table of elements backward in peace. The colorful entertainment extends to tongues, which are entitled to two small slushees from the cafe area that fuel children with the amount of sugars necessary for hours of continuous bouncing.
Soothed sighs and breathless chatter fill Alvin Health & Wellness Center, attesting to spa services and heart-pumping fitness classes. Stones for back massage soak up warmth as aromatherapy oils fill the air, and massage artists pack together algae mud wraps. The staff also leads cardio-kickboxing and fitness-boot-camp classes to better bodies as well as minds and self-defense classes that teach pupils to fight off overly aggressive car-wash mascots.
Small student-to-teacher ratios and individual attention—these are just two elements that make Gulf Gymnastics a sought-after destination for the graceful sport. Here, students as young as 3 begin building skills that boost their self-confidence, strength, and coordination, helping them whether they're turning cartwheels on the balance beam or vaulting to the front of the school cafeteria line. Students can also join competitive teams at Gulf Gymnastics, and work toward another win to match the boys team's first place at the 2011 Bryan Invitational and 2011 Juergens Invitational.
There are five teams in the coalition: the Lone Star Cowgirls, Las Diablas, the Bayside Bombshells, the Homicidal Housewives, and the Texas Outlaws All Stars. A game goes like this: at the front of the pack are two pivots, one from each team, acting as the last line of defense. Just behind them are the blockers, a pack of merciless foot soldiers who do the brute work of the match. And coming up behind are the jammers, who score points by passing players on the opposing team. Texas Outlaws' training regimen teaches roller derby basics, including falling safely and other basic skills, while burning up to 1,000 calories in a single session.