Joyce Willett School of Dance nurtures young dancers in an emotionally, intellectually, and socially safe space. Instructors encourage students to embrace their creative instincts, exploring music through the movement of their body while developing fine and gross motor skills in a supportive environment. Teachers integrate multiple dance styles into classes, from the precise gestures of ballet to the less-structured movements of hip-hop and jazz. The school's theater-arts preschool program cultivates young performers through theater games and role-play that emphasize socialization. Students learn to not only read picture books but to act out their stories and ultimately leverage their adorable dimples into a two-picture deal plus a cut of merchandising.
Austin Children's Theater's executive director, Talena Martinez, knows how to inspire kids: not only do her national credits include youth productions of Jekyll & Hyde and Les Misérables, she has also staged Shakespearean and musical pieces at the Scotland Fringe Festival. Together, Talena and her talented staff of artists nurture the natural talents of kids of all abilities who are eager to explore musical, dramatic, and European theater.
Programs—which range from the intensive Conservatory of Theater to a full roster of summer camps—can help impart a variety of skills, including increased self-esteem, a healthier body image, and stronger performance abilities of future Tony Award winners while ensuring inspirational fodder for acceptance speeches.
Though climbing Mount Everest is a lifelong goal for many mountaineers, the Sherpa people—native to the Himalayan region—regularly scale the peaks, often while hauling hundreds of pounds of supplies. Named to honor these immensely fit people, Sherpa Fitness's CrossFit experts and licensed dietitian strive to help locals progress toward their own ideal physical condition. Trainers blend strength training and cardio in their ever-changing boot camps, which take place in local parks and commercial venues several times a week. During one-on-one personal-training sessions, they'll tailor workouts to patrons' preferred exercises and goals. To slim waists and increase overall well-being, dietitian Mandy Seay meets with clients to forge diet plans and discuss ways to combat the strange allure of wax fruit.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 1 counselor or staff member per 4 campers
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Fantastic Magic Camp's Winter Break Camp
Pro Tip: Fantastic Magic Camp teaches life skills through magic, juggling, and puppets to kids ages 5–13.
What makes your business stand out?
Fantastic Magic Camp is a day camp in Austin. We believe strongly in diversity and inclusion, and will work hard to accommodate any child who wants to attend. Although our staff has limited training for kids with severe disabilities, we have had some wonderful successes with children diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, Tourette’s syndrome, Down syndrome, autism, and other challenges. And we are eager to try to meet the needs of any child. There is no guarantee that we will be successful with everyone…every child is unique, and our philosophy and teaching style may not be the right fit for a particular camper. However, we will always give it our best effort.
What inspired this business?
In March of 1993, Kent Cummins the founder of Fantastic Magic Camp decided to combine his magic, juggling, and puppetry programs into a camp. Kent recruited the assistance of our current Camp Director, Peter Hinrichs (AKA Peter the Adequate) who at the time was working with him on a number of projects under the umbrella of “Magic Hotline.” The Magic Camp officially opened in June of 1993, and was an immediate success. Kids liked it because it was fun; parents liked it because they saw their children enthusiastically learning new skills.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Send your child to Fantastic Magic Camp for one day or for a whole week during this summer and I can assure you that they will want to come back to us again and again in the future.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
“The staff is trustworthy, patient, and helpful. I had no reservation about leaving my child in their care. The counselors have all been campers so they have a deep understanding and passion for the camp which shows in how the camp is run. I would recommend this camp to anyone with children between 5 and 12. Fantastic Magic Camp is inclusive of all types of children and they do an amazing job of attending to all the campers needs while making them all feel special without making anyone feel different. That is the perfect balance that I know I have been searching for and I look forward to continue to be a part of in the years to come!” Julia Galligan Vincent, parent
What’s your favorite part about your job?
I will let one of our staff members, Ariel Ximenes, speak for me: “Magic Camp was always so much more than a day camp for me. As a camper it was a place I could go and fun and feel safe, while using my creativity to make anything into something. As a CIT and counselor, it was a place where my talents and good deeds were accepted and encouraged. And as a staff member, it’s been a place for me to help others grow. Not to mention how many people have envied me for my assorted knowledge of magic, puppets, and juggling over the years.”
Austin Fit Magazine named RockBody Boot Camp its Best Boot Camp of 2011 and also lauded its owner, Brian Prinzo, as one of the city’s Top 10 Fittest Trainers in 2010. But for Brian and his staff of experienced trainers, it’s not about the accolades; it’s about helping others lose weight and reach their fitness goals. Classes eschew routine courses of treadmills and bench presses for a variety of challenging workouts that put participants through a mash-up of strength, core, cardio, and interval training designed to push them to their personal limits. Best of all, the workouts provide the motivation and accountability needed to help exercisers push past plateaus, and exercises can be tailored to accommodate many fitness levels and concerns, such as arthritis, body pain, and conjoined sweatbands.
"Anybody can paint," declares Vanessa Huff, the owner of Art & Soul. And she knows what she's talking about. The longtime artist has been teaching art to children for years and has branched out into leading art classes for all ages at her new studio. Along with her staff, she instructs students on various painting techniques such as shading and contouring, and introduces them to color theory, which is the theory that colors exist. During hands-on sessions, youngsters learn to express themselves through art projects while adults create their own renderings of paintings while sipping on wine during step-by-step instruction.
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Shop the Women in Business collection.