Within the colorful walls of the Academy for the Performing Arts' 10,000-square-foot facility, enthusiastic instructors instill confidence in the leaders and creative thinkers of tomorrow. Kids benefit from small class sizes and a high teacher-to-student ratio during dance classes such as tap, ballet, hip-hop, and cheerleading, or half-day preschool programs that incorporate dance, music, and visual art. Kids aged 2–4 fine-tune their gross motor and social skills while older children can prepare for recitals or become members of the center's dance company.
The academy also keeps parents in shape with adult fitness classes such as boot-camp sessions led by a personal trainer or high-energy Zumba workouts. The crew hosts children during a bimonthly parents' night out that allows adults to take some well-deserved time for themselves and finally engage in a critical debate of Kung Fu Panda.
Tracy, the owner and head instructor at Redhanded Sewing Studio, knows how to make a sought-after handbag. She taps into her 25 years of sewing experience to create inimitable handbag designs for Macy's, Eddie Bauer, and New York City boutiques. Along with her staff, she shares her expertise during energetic, lighthearted classes and camps in which participants sew purses or design baby clothes for baby prom.
At Life Time Fitness, the concept of fitness encompasses every aspect of physical health. The team of certified personal trainers and instructors can assess the mechanics of a basketball player’s jump shot, lead yoga and cardio dance classes, or recommend local triathlons to athletes of all ages. They can also shift the focus to nutrition, crafting custom plans for lowering cholesterol or catalyzing weight loss.
Endorsed by Tony Dovolani of Dancing with the Stars fame, the consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Cofounded by the legendary toe tapper Fred Astaire, the school specializes in low-pressure private sessions that allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur fire-walking.
The pintsize artist considers her canvas, pintsize fingers encircling stocky pastel sticks and paintbrushes' lanky handles as she unleashes a deft slash of color. This isn’t a description of Georgia O’Keefe’s 10th birthday party—it’s just another day at Time For Art Kids' bustling studio. Attached to the home of founder Dina, the studio welcomes children aged 6–11 for eight-week art classes, wherein kids are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings through creative visual images. Year-round art camps combine arts and crafts with show-and-tell and games. Time For Art Kids also sets up face-painting stations at birthday parties and other celebrations, and welcomes large groups for children's birthday parties and ladies' and parents' nights out.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily participants won't need her dance moves to get the most out of each class. Those prone to first-class jitters, though, can review the basic moves online before attending. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.