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.
Pinot’s Palette has garnered ample press coverage, including a featured spot on Great Day Houston's "Date Night". While there aren’t many online user reviews yet for the newer Katy location, Yelpers give the Taft Street location a 4.5-star average.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Dahn Yoga integrates Korean Taoist philosophies and holistic Korean Oriental medicine into a form of yoga that strives to forge stronger connections between mind and body. The certified instructors at Dahn Yoga adhere to these ancient practices and help students of all ages and fitness levels develop core strength, which, according to Dahn philosophy, is the basis of physical, mental, and spiritual health. Through classes, private lessons, and workshops, students learn to link postures with breath control, ultimately developing greater bodily awareness. Besides improving flexibility, strength, and posture, instructors also emphasize the brain's role in overall well-being. They lead brain exercises that challenge and sharpen the mind to develop more productive habits and levitate pennies out of mall fountains.
Dahn Yoga's founder, Ilchi Lee, also built a comprehensive brain-development program—called Brain Education—from the principles upon which Dahn Yoga is founded. Combining physical, emotional, and cognitive exercises with guided imagery and games, Dahn Yoga's instructors develop emotional control, improve communication between the brain's hemispheres, and inspire guests take decisive action. This program has five progressive steps that can be applied to a dedicated yoga practice as well as everyday life.
Executive chef Michael Cortez and executive sous-chef Jordy Miranda lend their private cooking services to clients looking to add gourmet pizzazz to private parties, special occasions, and everyday meals. In addition to cooking up a gastronomic storm, the chefs also elucidate the finer points of preparing haute cuisine during gourmet group cooking classes. Under the stone archways of the The Cellar Door winery, students learn to craft small salads from seasonal vegetables and roasted nuts, cook up entrees such as garlic-herb-roasted lamb and citrus-poached lobster, and pull together desserts such as lemon tiramisu with professional panache.
What began as a small studio with five enthusiastic dance students has transformed into a full-fledged company that's educated thousands and won multiple awards along the way—including a Certificate of Congressional Recognition. Today, Strictly Street Salsa has a whole team of instructors that has danced its way across the likes of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Spain, and Rome and is ready to introduce students to new cultures through the art of dance. The studio offers classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced dancers in both salsa and tango and hosts dance workshops that blend Latin dance with various cultural elements, including African movement, gypsy music, and good old-fashioned American screaming.
Luce Conservatory of Fine Arts founders and head instructors Jeremiah Moore and Gladysue Hovis embody the phrase “two heads are better than one.” Gladysue, a dancer who’s performed with companies since her teens, inspires students to explore creative movement and sharpen their technique. Jeremiah’s talent for the visual arts—including painting, ceramics, sculpting, and woodwork—combines with his art-education experience, helping him guide others in learning artistic pursuits. Together, they form Luce Conservatory, a trove of artistic education where students can find their creative voice without traveling to multiple studios, reducing their chances of wandering into an alternate reality.