Encore Studio's owner and art director, Karen King Flores, is a professional dance instructor certified through Dance Masters of America and a former apprentice of Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet. Her graceful performances appeared in such esteemed companies as the Houston Ballet and the Richmond Ballet before she opened her studio's doors in the early 1990s. With 25 years of experience teaching dance under her belt, Karen and her talented staff of teachers—who hail from international dance companies, Vegas shows, and the Kirov in Russia—ground each dance class in fundamental skills and proper technique as they teach students to perform original, age-appropriate choreography. Their well-rounded curriculum includes instruction in jazz, ballet, tap, and hip-hop, a collection of techniques that falls in line with the instructors' priority of letting each participant have fun as they learn. Encore Studio's welcoming, noncompetitive environment allows talent to blossom without fear of judgment from an ambitious old tap shoe.
There's no rushing creativity, which is why the instructors at Art Adventures present students with the fundamental techniques, and then allow them create a truly individual piece at their own pace. The center's classes are open to students of all skill levels, including adults as well as children as young as 4, and they explore mediums such as sketching, painting, photography, and clay sculpting. By keeping class attendance small, the instructors are capable of providing more personalized feedback while helping students find the confidence that they need to express themselves through artwork. The classes may use a reference photograph as a source of inspiration; however, it is up to students to use that inspiration as they see fit and exercise their own imagination. At the end of every year, Art Adventures hosts its own gallery show where students are encouraged to display their pieces and debate the differences between the shades of eggshell and ivory.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength and use more than 150 pieces of cardio equipment, attend over 100 different classes, and play on the racketball court, basketball court and in the pool. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated. Members also have access to Kids Care and even tanning booths.
Clad in white, yellow, and green uniforms, the capoeiristas stand in a circle, drumming, clapping, or playing instruments to help keep time for the duo at the center of their formation. These two performers circle each other, tumbling and kicking, seeing how fast they can go without ever striking their counterpart. Though the pace is fast and the potential blows powerful, the match is more festive than ferocious, its participants playful instead of pugilistic. This combination of physicality and fun forms the core Capoeira Resistencia's teaching philosophy, and curricula of its every class.
More than self-defense or athleticism, the gym's instructors teach students to embrace experimentation and confidence through the art of capoeira. They help students master the art's basic movements—which generally resemble a more measured form of breakdancing—before layering in new techniques, pushing each pupil towards a state of lithe flexibility and physical strength along the way.
Runners race down the road, leaving splashes of color behind them and on one another. Such is the scene at every Sparkle Me Wild, a color run event incorporating a whole lot of sparkle.
During the 5K race itself, they arm their runners with packets of pure color, made from a mix of glitter and dyed, organic cornstarch.
Though Sparkle Me Wild is a fun way for families to cut loose together, it also supports local charities, as well as GO FAR (Go Out For A Run), a national charity that fights childhood obesity.
Located near the James River, Kayak Richmond offers kayaking instruction and guided tours in the river?s diverse water conditions. Beginner?s kayaking lessons stick to the river?s more placid stretches, giving first-time paddlers a safe environment in which to learn the basics. Tours, meanwhile, are led by Kayak Richmond?s team of experienced kayakers, who guide groups through gentle whitewater, rapids, and portages on trips up to five hours long.