Inspired by watching her sister turning and leaping in ballet class, Harley Atkinson began dancing at the age of 3. Throughout her life, she has gained a strong groundwork for dance, performing at the prestigious Makaroff School of Ballet and moving on to study contemporary and modern dance in college. Now a teacher at her own studio, she believes that everyone can learn to dance. She aims to free her students of their self-imposed limitations, motivating them to move their bodies to the music and gain confidence in their own styles. Following in a tradition she learned from her parents, Harley also offers reiki sessions for people who want to relax sans toe tapping.
The studio’s light and airy atmosphere contributes to the freedom of leaping as high as your body will allow. Upbeat music plays over the speaker system, a cushioned wooden floor prevents injuries, and floor-to-ceiling mirrors wrap around the walls to expose any tap-dancing shadow people.
Experienced yoga guru Crystal Rohde guides bodies and minds to limberness with a friendly, encouraging instructional approach. Every Wednesday night, Thursday morning, and Saturday morning, Room No. 10 at the St. Therese School transforms into a yoga studio, welcoming yogis of all ages and abilities with Vinyasa-style techniques. Invigorate uptight torsos with a power Vinyasa yoga class, which combines classic yoga postures and breathing exercises for a challenging, flow-based workout. Yoga for Fighters uses the basic structure and forms of Vinyasa, which include core work and stretches, but with additional shoulder and hip stretches designed specifically for people who practice martial arts such as jujitsu, tae kwon do, and punchy fisticuffs.
One World Martial Arts has a lot of experience behind it. Owner and coach Steven Graves holds the rank of brown belt in judo and purple belt in Brazilian jujitsu, and he's also a state-licensed Juvenile Martial Arts Instructor. Additionally, the studio itself is an official Team Curran jujitsu academy, distinguishing the school as part of a group of elite martial-arts academies affiliated with the MMA program helmed by highly respected champion fighter and coach Jeff "Big Frog" Curran. Classes include jujitsu, muay thai, kickboxing, and yoga, and the school also offers kids' programs.
Developing self-defense skills might be the most-obvious outcome of training at Champions Martial Arts, but it's not the only one. Parents of children enrolled in the school's program say it also boosts kids' confidence levels, social skills, and academic performances. These benefits aren't limited to children, however; teenagers and adults also can achieve fitness goals and improve discipline during their own age-appropriate classes.
The Fire combats artistic snobbery with an all-inclusive array of creative building blocks. Inside the studio’s downtown location, rows of paints and unfinished ceramic pieces line countertops, and an old-fashioned television set leisurely recounts its favorite Lone Ranger episodes. Large work surfaces and a play place for kids ensure that both children and adults have room to take creative risks. Cavalier creators can paint pottery, craft mosaics, or cobble together a transparent 10-gallon hat with glass fusing (the average project is between $10.99 and $25.99). Pottery painters select their objects from a selection of plates, platters, and other decorative items, then begin painting with the help of a color consultant.
The crisp sound of ice skates slicing across fresh ice fills Appleton Family Ice Center, a nonprofit community rink that hosts ice-based sports, skating lessons, and open-skate times. New renovations present visitors with healthier options at the concession stand and a brand-new skating surface as smooth as a silk scarf wrapped around Kenny G. When it’s not hosting birthday parties or serving as the home base for the Fox Cities Ice Dogs or Valley Figure Skating Club, the center also welcomes the public for evening events that include live music, refreshments, and periodic sweeps from a Zamboni decorated like a fire truck.