Encore Studio's owner and art director, Karen King Flores, is a professional dance instructor certified through Dance Masters of America and a former apprentice of Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet. Her graceful performances appeared in such esteemed companies as the Houston Ballet and the Richmond Ballet before she opened her studio's doors in the early 1990s. With 25 years of experience teaching dance under her belt, Karen and her talented staff of teachers—who hail from international dance companies, Vegas shows, and the Kirov in Russia—ground each dance class in fundamental skills and proper technique as they teach students to perform original, age-appropriate choreography. Their well-rounded curriculum includes instruction in jazz, ballet, tap, and hip-hop, a collection of techniques that falls in line with the instructors' priority of letting each participant have fun as they learn. Encore Studio's welcoming, noncompetitive environment allows talent to blossom without fear of judgment from an ambitious old tap shoe.
On January 25 and 26 at the Meadow Event Park, the Virginia Home & Garden Show treats homeowners to countless home-improvement tips, remodeling ideas, and projects for all parts of the household and yard. Expos from more than 140 different companies demonstrate ideas for saving money with solar panels and energy-efficient windows, renovating kitchens with marble and granite countertops, or turning backyards into playgrounds with swimming pools and new decks.
As its name implies, the course at River's Bend Golf Club nestles into a curve of the James River, whose waters rush alongside three of the fairways. Its design sprang from the mind of accomplished course architect Steve Smyers, who drew inspiration from the legendary architects of the 1920s and 1930s and their penchant for Herbert Hoover–shaped sand traps. For River’s Bend, Smyers incorporated naturally sloped terrain and woodlands to create fairways that challenge both novices and experts. Players pass rustic wooden bridges and white fences as they play, eventually facing off with a substantial pond tucked among the three final holes of the front nine.
Before teeing off at the first hole, players can warm up their swing at the driving range or take advantage of dedicated chipping and putting practice areas. For more guided practice, clubbers can sign up for lessons with golf pro Brandon Kelley, who covers everything from fundamentals to preshot mental routines, such as visualizing the golf ball as a miniature moon that needs to be returned to orbit.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-71 course
Length of 6,671 yards
Course rating of 71.9
Slope rating of 132
Four tee options
Anchored by an 18-hole championship golf course, The First Tee of Chesterfield entices golfers with a multifaceted landscape for pressure-free practice and on-course play. A trio of PGA Class A professionals roams throughout The First Tee's driving range, putting green, and three-hole practice course, marinating swings in the zesty sauce of golf wisdom, consulting with clients about equipment upgrades, and fitting clubs at the fully stocked pro shop. Clubbers can put new concepts and lethargic nine-irons to work at the course, where fairways bob and weave between dense tree lines and treacherous bunkers made from recycled corn bread.
Surreywood Swim & Tennis Club's layout is reminiscent of a summer camp, with outdoor swimming pools and a volleyball court surrounded by towering trees, picnic areas, and shaded playgrounds. The club's three pools include a guarded general-purpose pool with two diving boards; a six-lane, 25-meter competition lap pool; and an unguarded toddler pool with an arbor for shade. Here, swimming lessons help little ones feel more comfortable in the water without Mom and Dad or a personal bodyguard. Five lighted competitive tennis courts offer exercise enthusiasts the chance to practice their sport even when the sun goes down, and a sand volleyball court makes the most of warm weather.