At The Learning Spot Dance Academy, dance classes aren't just for fun—they're also key to educational development. Inside this safe, judgement-free zone, a team of bilingual caretakers and educators work with students from 18 months to 15 years old inside a newly-installed dance studio. Though students are taught in groups, caretakers pledge to give each one plenty of individual attention. Acknowledging that many parents have demanding schedules, the center welcomes drop-in care as well as early drop--offs and late pickups. But adults aren't just relegated to the sidelines, as they can also take salsa and latin dance lessons.
Since Brad Wenneberg donned his first martial-arts uniform in 1971, it’s become his business attire as well as his athletic wear. After studying many forms and disciplines, Wenneberg opened his own school, American Marital Arts Academy, to teach Goju-Ryu to a new generation of students. That commitment continues through to the present, with more 10,000 students, including dozens of black belts, served over the past twenty years. Like many traditional martial artists, the instructors spend as much focus on mental discipline and self-confidence as on physical fortitude, skill, and splitting firewood for the winter. Shihan Wenneberg insists on a holistic approach, encouraging students to improve their social skills, perform better in school, and get into better shape to complement their training.
A seventh-degree black belt in hapkido. An eighth-degree black belt in taekwondo. A 10th-degree black belt in karate. A masters certification in the martial arts from Seoul National University in South Korea. This laundry list of accomplishments belongs to Grand Master Myung II Kim, a South Korea native who started practicing martial arts at the ripe young age of five. At MIK Martial Arts, he and fellow instructors bring their varied areas of MMA expertise to martial arts classes for children and adults. Classes span a wide variety of martial arts; student might find themselves sparring with opponents in karate, jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, and even bowstaff combat.
The head trainer at Zo Center, Rashawn Underdue, knows what it's like to be in great shape—and what it's like to be 100 pounds overweight. In high school and college, he was a football star; when he no longer had regular practices, he had trouble staying fit. He ultimately lost the extra pounds through disciplined workouts and a healthy diet.
At Zo Center, he draws on his personal experiences to relate to—and motivate—clients of all fitness levels as they sweat through an eclectic array of workouts. Group classes range from classic boot camps to kickboxing and MMA training, which instills self-defense skills more effectively than classes on growling. Clients are welcome to solo workouts, too. The gym is open 24/7 to members, accommodating any schedule, and comes stocked with essential gear, including punching bags, free weights, and cardio machines.
The certified instructors at Tom Vo's Taekwondo Academy believe that developing good character and leadership skills are just as important as learning to punch and kick. At their all-ages martial-arts school, they teach both children and adults discipline, respect, and how to defend themselves using the moves of traditional martial arts as well as verbal defenses. Classes also offer an opportunity for students to let off stress and recharge their minds.