It’s sometimes incredible to fathom just how many people are behind one movie: you need a group to write a script, draw up storyboards, direct, act, hold the camera, do makeup...the list goes on. Casting all these roles is a familiar task to Suezean Matarazzo and Nicholle Walton-Durban, both veterans of the film industry. At Austin Film and Arts Academy, they teach elementary- through high school-aged students how to collaborate on a short movie of their own.
In the academy's main digital filmmaking course, students go from developing their ideas to shooting and lighting each scene on location. While they focus on the bigger picture, other participants refine more specialized skills, such as choreographing stunts, creating horror makeup, or keeping the crew away from craft service before lunch.
Classes stay small, so the academy's roster of instructors and guest speakers—such as casting agents and stuntmen—can grant each student personalized attention. Every session culminates in a final project, such as auditioning on camera or, in the case of digital filmmaking, receiving a DVD of your movie along with a customized poster.
It takes plenty of dedication just to stay in the 105-degree studio for 90 minutes at a time, which is what many of Pure Yoga Austin's students do multiple times a week. Mardy Chen followed her own devotion to the practice to open Pure Yoga Austin with help from her husband and co-director, Jeff Chen. Their team of certified Bikram Yoga instructors share the sweaty yoga style that has been known to help students of all fitness levels achieve leaner physiques, improved athletic performance, and greater mental clarity. The signature Bikram sequence of 26 postures help students develop strength, improve flexibility, and attain the heat endurance necessary to succeed at spelling bees held in saunas.
Abrakadoodle's Art Education programs juice childlike creativity with the natural steroids of art, color, form, and design. Year-round classes include everything from Twoosy Doodlers for children ages 20 to 36 months to Doodlers for more advanced artists (grades K–8). Specialty classes help kids master the basics of anime, work with canvas painting, capture the horrors of war in sweeping cubist murals, and much more. Courses are offered at a variety of locations and times. View the schedule, course descriptions, and additional information here.
With more than 30 years of kid-entertaining experience, The Little Gym provides fun and safe kids' camps wherein wee ones can exercise their brains and bodies. Send one youngster to bounce off the walls over two three-hour camp days (consecutive or nonconsecutive), or send two energy-fraught moppets to one camp day. Designed for ages 3 to 8, each week has a new, unique theme and gives children the opportunity to exercise, learn about exciting topics, and use their imaginations to play make-believe. Fantasy Castle and Wild West weeks immerse children in creative tumbling, adventures, and music, and Cheerleading! (ages 3 to 12) and Sports Spectacular! weeks teach fundamentals through fun games and drills that cater to varying ages and aversions to vegetables. Special guests will make entertaining, educational visits on select days of certain weeks: live animals during Guppies to Puppies! week, firefighters during Who’s Your Hero? week, and Allan Quatermain during Super Safari! week. Camp themes vary by location.
Fitness 19 chisels existing humans into shapely body sculptures with a wide array of cardio, weight, and resistance-training equipment from quality manufacturers such as Life Fitness. Members feast on the gym's cornucopia of workout machines, pumping up their pulses on the elliptical cross-trainers and preparing for an elevator-free postapocalyptic future on the stairclimbers. Muscle-chasers can make use of a mélange of free weights, along with benches, power racks, and Smith-assisted squat machines. Fitness 19's workout gurus share exercise expertise based on their protégés' goals in the one-on-one personal-training sessions. For an extra fee, parents can access the gym's supervised kids' room, where tykes can play with a treasure trove of games and toys while their guardians strive toward a muscle-bound horizon.