After achieving perhaps the pinnacle of success in the Irish dancing world?lead roles in Lord of the Dance?Aisling Toal Casey and Shaun Casey retired to Denver to open Celtic Steps School of Irish Dance to train the next generation of superb Irish step dancers. They've succeeded; the school's dancers have won awards from the All Ireland Championships, the North American Irish Dance Championships, and the Western Region Oireachtas. Aisling, Shaun, and fellow teacher Eimear Toal are all TCRG certified and instruct boys and girls aged 4?12, as well as adults, at locations throughout the area. They specialize in traditional Irish solo and ceili dancing and teach dancers important fundamentals, such as jig steps, dancing in unison, and how to dance without your wig of ringlets flying off. In addition to competing in championships, students also have performed on local television and in St. Patrick's Day parades.
Martin Percival starred in the principal role for Michael Flatley's North America–touring Lord of the Dance and played the original Flatley role of "the lord." This knight in tights and his lovely team of jig-jumping instructors will lay down the law of rhythm and greens with beginner-level dances like the reel and light jig.
For nearly two decades, the nationally certified instructors at ATA Family Martial Arts have taught students how to block, strike, and kick in a series of self-defense patterns. Classes for kids as young as 4 focus on coordination, listening skills, and confidence, and adult-geared classes teach sparring and weapons training.
UFC Gym?s four fight-centric Denver-area gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, UFC Gym sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym?s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
SkateStart owner Patrick O'Toole started his skating career as many people do: by falling down constantly while skating a faulty board. He wanted to spend time with his skateboarding cousins, so his father bought him a generic, unresponsive deck from a big-box store. It barely rolled and always cancelled their playtime last minute to watch soap operas. His junky equipment and lack of knowledge kept him from keeping up with his peers. It wasn't until his father surprised him with a safe, professional skate set that his cousins finally slowed down and began teaching him the ins and outs of thrashing cement waves.
Now in his 20s, Patrick makes it his professional mission to teach the next generation of skaters the proper techniques they need to enjoy the sport. He and his team of certified instructors use his patent-pending skateboard system that shows beginners where to place their feet to push off, perform an ollie, and avoid tripping a board's self-destruct countdown. In addition to imparting fundamental skills, their lessons also build up the confidence necessary to tackle more complex maneuvers.
SwimLabs Swim School?s instructors have two priorities: teaching kids and adults how to swim and helping competitive swimmers optimize their strokes. In addition to CPR and first-aid certifications backed by years of experience, the instructors are aided by swimming-pool technology. Their private and small-group lessons take place in SwimLabs Pools with adjustable currents, each about 10?x16? and heated to 90?92 degrees to prevent polar-bear infestations. The custom currents can give beginner students a boost or challenge advanced swimmers with more forceful resistance waves. As swimmers paddle against the current, the staff records their strokes with Dartfish video technology. They then analyze the results together, comparing the swimmer?s form to a video of proper technique.