In 1883, the Youngstown YMCA opened as a place farmers moving to the city for work could retreat to. It now boasts three branches: the Central branch in downtown Youngstown, Camp Fitch on Lake Erie, and the D.D. & Velma Davis Family YMCA.
Though the Y is a place where members can go to exercise, participate in sports leagues, and swim, it's also more than that; it's a place that strives to teach good values to community members. It stresses the importance of such principles as respect, teamwork, and sportsmanship, and it's dedicated to helping the area out through community-service efforts.
At Boardman Lanes, bowling balls thunder down 24 gleaming, waxed lanes. Automatic pin setters and scoring computers allow customers to focus on their games, with little downtime between throws. On Friday and Saturday nights, black lights cast an otherworldly glow during cosmic bowling. The facility also features video games to provide breaks from bowling action and a snack bar to keep players fueled throughout the day.
Four-year-olds scamper across ATA Black Belt Academy's padded floors, dressed in white robes and kicking with all the strength in their little legs. Instructors lead students of all ages through three separate classes divided by age. Students 4–6 develop coordination and motor skills in the Tiny Tigers program, before graduating into the Karate for Kids classes for ages 7–12. Adults and teens train together in the tae kwon do classes.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot 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 firewalking.
Founded by NFL veteran Don Beebe and athletic expert Dr. Jeffrey Schutt, House of Speed forges sportspeople of all stripes into world-class athletes with specialized equipment and personalized performance tracking. Once Steve Halloran and his crew arrange sweat donors into small groups of 5–25 (with at least one trainer for every 10–15 athletes), he targets a slew of individual body areas with an optimized warm-up. The PowerPull resistance machine teaches nimble feet to run with correct form and mechanics and the Bear squat machine's angled footplate takes stress off of the back and knees and boosts vertical propulsion for more satisfying high-fives with blimp pilots. Dartfish instant video feedback lets trainees review every juke, jump, and follow-through. House of Speed's proprietary MySpeed web application tracks progress using comprehensive data from eight core drills, allowing participants to compare their stats with those of nationwide competitors.
Since opening in 1998, House of Speed locations have trained more than 40,000 athletes, including Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and former Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner. The Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, and the University of Illinois have also used House of Speed's off-season training programs to keep players out of summer bicycle gangs and seedy all-night fireplace stores.
After five years away from American stages, the immutable hard-rock juggernaut Guns N’ Roses reuses its illusions to whip crowds into a frenzy during a notoriously raucous live show. Enigmatic siren Axl Rose, beloved for his punk-rock stance against prolificacy, leads his wrecking crew of Roses through a two-hour tour of greatest hits culled from the band's groundbreaking debut album, Appetite for Destruction, the long-awaited Chinese Democracy, and everything in between. The group soars and shines throughout a marathon performance, ranging from turbo-charged rockers such as “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” through ballads such as “November Rain.” With hatless new axeman Dj Ashba stepping into the shoes of Slash, and The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson replacing Duff McKagan, Guns N’ Roses is recharged and ready to quench destructive appetites with pure organic rock wrung from handpicked bandanas.