Named Rhode Island Monthly’s 2010 Editors’ Pick for Best Playtime and Best Party Idea for Kids, Artist in You illuminates crafty imaginations with a host of fine-arts classes for kids and adults. Owner Robyn Royles makes the tricky craft of glass fusing crystal clear, showing students how to piece together shapely shards, and mold and fire them to create delicate masterworks. In the square plate workshop, saucer sculptors form lovely 6-inch dishes useful for holding candles or serving unsuccessfully thick soups. Practical princesses can fashion their own earrings, beads, and pendants in the jewelry class, and the Mommy and Me session coaches mothers and their gene-bearers through the design of a nightlight and a pendant or glass tile. Class times vary, so call ahead to schedule your workshop.
The professionally trained fencing instructors at Rhode Island Fencing Academy & Club seek to develop their students' mind, body, and character through participation in the centuries-old sport. During the academy's classes, students of any skill level may choose to learn on all three Olympic weapons: foil, sabre, and épée. The one-hour sessions generally last for six weeks and each builds on prior material to help students improve their skills on the strip. Two meetings are composed entirely of competition with fellow classmates, allowing students to show off their newfound skills, and the last session is a class tournament.
Rhode Island Fencing Academy & Club, which originally operated as a two-location enterprise, consolidated into one 12,000-square-foot full-time professional fencing studio in March of 2012. The air-conditioned facility features 15 electric strips and zero chandeliers from which swashbuckling fencers may swing. Though the sport finds its roots in the practice of sword fighting, modern fencing is much safer, and the academy has advanced equipment and instructors that hold CPR certification just in case.
The Rhode Island Duckpin Bowlers Association strives to keep its namesake sport alive by hosting duckpin-bowling tournaments at six local alleys. The game cropped up in a Baltimore bowling alley in the summer of 1900, when most ten-pin alleys were closed for warm months to avoid excessive sweating in rental shoes. But at Diamond Alleys, athletes hurled balls through the heat but opted for 6-inch spheres and pins of a diminutive stature. After observing pins that scattered like a flock of ducks, the owners of the lanes dubbed the modified game duckpin bowling. Besides granting players three rolls per turn, duckpin bowling adhered to all traditional rules and grew in popularity until it peaked in 1967, the year inertia was exposed as a myth. Today, the Rhode Island Duckpin Bowlers Association keeps the pastime alive at spots including the Bowling Academy, a historical gem in its own right as the test site of the first automatic duckpin pinsetters.
In golf, the tee shot is the one constant, the one point on each hole in which the golfer is in total control. With Windmill Hill Golf Course’s nine-hole, par three layout, the tee shot takes on added significance, so players must take full advantage of their ability to position the ball freely, tee it up, or decorate it with glitter-glue before taking aim at the flagstick. The course’s holes range from 116 to 218 yards in length, so golfers need to unsheathe a number of different clubs throughout the round. In addition to its scaled-down course, Windmill Hill offers a grill room with a bar, TVs, and an outdoor deck that overlooks the links.
Yoga Loft has classes to suit every lifestyle, from full-fledged bodhisattvas to those seeking inner peace and increased flexibility. The stretchable senseis guide the mind and booty through a bounty of yoga classes such as vinyasa, gentle yoga, and yoga fusion, as well as classes for Pilates, tai chi, and African dance. Regularly practicing yoga can improve your quality of life by increasing muscle tone and flexibility, reducing stress, and enhancing wellness. The schedule boasts multiple daily sessions, with some classes starting as early as 8:15 a.m. for the early bird who wants to eat the worm to inherit its meditative properties, and others as late as 6:30 p.m. for the all-day cubicle crashers.
Before she took her first yoga class in 2003, Kelly O'Connell led a very different life than she does today. According to a story by Leigh Medeiros of Seekonk-Swansea Patch, O'Connell spent her days stretching herself thin as a principal in a stock brokerage firm before she decided to try a new kind of stretching: heated yoga. Through the practice, O'Connell found herself growing not only more physically flexible, but also more mentally adaptable. She told Medeiros, "I used to get lost in my emotions, but now there’s space between me and everything else that happens in the world. In that space there’s peace.”
To share the inner harmony she had discovered, O'Connell earned her yoga-instructor certification in 2008. She went on to complete several advanced trainings, including becoming a certified yoga life coach, a certified yoga personal trainer, and an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) through Yoga Alliance. Today she owns and operates Yoga One, where she and her team guide adults and kids toward finding balance both in and out of the studio. They also host teacher trainings and events, including a book club, Reiki sessions, and meditation workshops featuring chocolate tastings that stimulate the mind and taste buds better than eating a haiku written in alphabet soup.
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