At Sound Fitness, one can almost hear the calories sizzle. Ample rows of bikes, ellipticals, and other cardio equipment let guests build strong, healthy hearts without feeling pressured to give up their machines to other guests or movie cops needing to commandeer treadmills. To propel exercisers toward their goals, certified personal trainers plot custom workout plans and demonstrate how to build specific muscle groups with the free weights and strength-training machines. Babysitters corral pintsize visitors while their parents jog and pedal, and shower-lined locker rooms keep watch over clothes and gym bags to make sure they don't wander home.
A nationally renowned tutoring program, Sylvan Learning utilizes a personalized tutoring approach to develop students of all ages and abilities into perceptive pupils. During the initial visit, children will partake in a Sylvan Skills Assessment that reveals areas a child may need help in and serves as a base line for future progress. An erudite educator then leads four one-hour tutoring sessions tailored to young minds' particular needs, covering subjects that include math, reading, writing, and the ethics of alligator wrestling. Polymaths looking to increase their potential can use their customized tutoring sessions to prepare for future algebra tests or fine-tune study skills to get a head start on memorizing next year’s phone book. Sylvan Learning gifts proud progenitors with regular progress reports granting comprehensive summaries of their offspring's progress. All six Sylvan Learning Centers are open Monday–Saturday, with hours in the morning and afternoon to accommodate busy estival schedules.
The body disciplinarians at Grupo Cafu Capoeira instruct both beginning and experienced pupils in the traditional Brazilian martial art of capoeira, and its svelte mixed-martial-arts arm, Jaguar MMA, instructs in a hybrid styling of various martial-arts methods. Capoeira fuses music, dance, acrobatics, and combat in a fluid mélange that, like holidays with the in-laws, deftly mixes fun with reflexive defense moves. The practice helps to develop strength, grace, and physical confidence, in sessions that last 45 minutes to an hour. Capoeira is complemented by a swift gear change to mixed martial arts, a full-contact fighting system emphasizing adaptability and quick reaction to threats. Martial artists spend five to 10 minutes kindling cool muscle sticks, then 25 to 30 minutes absorbing methods and moves. Sessions in each discipline take place five days a week, mostly in evening; see the separate capoeira schedule and mixed martial arts schedule for full listings.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
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; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. 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.