Alison Miller, a passionate dancer with a master's degree in performing arts, founded The Ballet Academy in 1981. Ever since, she and her team have led children, teens, and adults through classical-ballet routines based on the teachings at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet and the Royal Academy. Students can also opt for Stretch and Tone classes to lengthen the muscles.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
Blueberry Gardens' seasoned instructors cultivate whole-body health with a schedule of multi-level classes inspired by ParaYoga, Anusara, and body-balance methods. A composite of breath and movement, ParaYoga challenges students to prod the body's upper limits of flexibility and strength through vigorous postures such as downward dog, dolphin plank, and recumbent Andrew Carnegie. Fueled by an uplifting philosophy, Anusara yoga encourages students to honor their differences, limitations, and talents, and body-balance yoga integrates the body and mind through asanas inspired by Protean animorphs. Each 90-minute class includes mats and props and, if missed, can be substituted in any of the other summer sessions.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
Sport Fit's gold membership grants aspiring athletes and established exercisers 30 consecutive days of calisthenics, including unfettered access to fitness centers and motivational group-exercise classes. Sport Fit's Bowie location boasts basketball and tennis courts, as well as a variety of indoor pools for swimming laps, alleviating aches, and trying to find Nemo. Bowie's group-exercise schedule is brimming with brawn-boosting group classes, including Pump Fit, Zumba, and 2K Knockout Fitness. For restless gym-goers, the Laurel Fitness and Swim and the Laurel Racquet club offer two separate locations from which to lift weights, labor over lay-ups, or lounge in a whirlpool or sauna. Athletic endeavors abound at Sport Fit in Severna, where a long list of weekly workouts displays a wealth of ways to maximize musculature and tone tendons.
When not hosting the 10th largest adult hockey league in the United States, The Gardens Ice House opens its three full-size rinks and one mini rink for public skating sessions seven days a week. Upon arrival, revelers visit the rental desk to select hockey or figure skates, or one of each in an attempt to perfect the elusive salchow-wall-check combo. A kindly staff of zamboni jockeys keep the spacious, glass-lined rinks slick and mirroresque. After skating up an appetite, speedsters can grab a bite to eat start a conversation with a coffee machine at The Gardens’ Ice Breaker Cafe.