Working with students of all ages and experience levels, the patient and knowledgable dance instructors at Johnson City Ballroom get participants tapping, twirling, and stepping in no time. They teach a number of styles, including cha cha, rumba, swing, foxtrot, waltz, and tango, covering basic steps before having students move on to intermediate classes or show off their newly-gleaned skills during dance parties. Both singles and couples are warmly welcomed during the group sessions, where pupils can cut a rug with instructors, dance with each other, or summon the spirit of Fred Astaire.
The PCIA-certified climbing instructors at Rock Dimensions lead guests through a variety of vertical activities that range from the in-air discovery course to half-day or full-day rock-climbing excursions. Using their years of rock-climbing experience and local expertise, they teach all levels and ages, and equip guests with harnesses and helmets for all vertical activities.
For 50 years, Cedar Rock Country club was a private facility. It has since made the switch to semi-private status, inviting members and guests alike to test their skills on one of the toughest golf courses in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The course's 570-yard third hole is especially difficult?it features an uphill layout, a two-tiered green, and a creek, meaning golfers should consider themselves fortunate whenever they make par or whenever their ball doesn't scurry away out of sheer terror. Away from the course, Cedar Rock boasts an expansive practice facility and a fully-lit tennis area with four composite courts. The property also has an Olympic-sized swimming pool that, much like the lemonade stand outside of the White House, remains open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The treetops are traditionally the playground of winged beasts and tiny, furry climbers. So it's not unnatural to do a double take upon seeing humans flying from tree to tree?at heights of up to 50 feet?with all the grace of a forest native. Today, 15 treehouses peek through the leaves of the sprawling wooded area, serving as resting points and educational outposts for visitors soaring on ziplines. The Beanstalk Journey at Catawba Meadows came to fruition to fulfill its builders? goal of providing fun and physical activities for families to enjoy. Now the park is open year-round, supplying adrenaline-pumping recreation to all who seek it.
Like veins coursing through the forest, swinging rope bridges and covered rope tunnels run through the foliage alongside ziplines of varying difficulty levels, enabling visitors to soar from tree to tree and finally assuage any regrets about not being born with hollow bird bones. For an extra challenge, the 32-foot beanstalk climbing tower and a massive multidirectional climbing web put upper- and lower-body strength to the test, and educational stations at each treehouse challenge minds with lessons on nature and local history. In addition to the standard attractions, outings can also be catered to visitors with special needs.
Combining the park's adventure opportunities with educational pursuits, the staff occasionally runs an adventure-photography workshop, nighttime zipline tours, and Birds of Prey Journeys. Continuing the mission to foster outdoor education and physical activity, the beanstalk's building team continuously erects new courses at other locales, ensuring that all are family friendly and none require hand braking.
At the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park surrounds a 5-acre lake with a constellation of camping stations and activity centers. The Garcia family graciously plays host to guests who careen down the twists and turns of the park's 300-foot waterslide, play mini golf, or cast lines into the lake to catch waiting fish. Along with opportunities to connect with nature and name every tree after their fathers, the Garcias furnish visitors with space to set up tents, pop-ups, and RVs, or stay in the ground's own rough-hewn cabins. They also provide showers and laundry facilities to help campers maintain ties with civilization. The family becomes especially excited when pointing guests in the direction of North Carolina's Chimney Rock or Grandfather Mountain for hikes and breathless sightseeing adventures.
Lisa Zahiya’s dance career has taken her all over the world, but it might be the work she’s doing in her hometown she finds the to be the most rewarding. At her studio, she teaches her students how to express themselves through dance with a curriculum that hinges on belly-dancing classes. Zahiya, who was named 2008 Tribal Fusion Belly Dancer of the Universe at the Wiggles of the West belly-dance competition, offers both traditional and cardio-heavy versions of the core-chiseling style. Though she helms a majority of the studio’s classes—which also include Bollywood-style dance, hip-hop, world-dance workouts, and kids’ belly dance—Zahiya enlists instructor Teejei Brigham to teach tribal dance. All classes welcome beginners, since Zahiya believes that dance is an art form that everyone—including the rare few with pogo sticks for legs—can enjoy.