At K2 Academy of Kids Sports, kids scurry around a 6,500-square-foot space filled with trampolines, balance beams, and rope swings spread beneath an overhead zipline. Accompanied by parents or legal-guardians, children can roam free across the indoor terrain during open-play hours or join gymnastics, cheerleading, and tumbling classes, in which instructors tailor lesson plans to each age group with an emphasis on fun, collaborative learning. Gymnastics sessions encompass everything from basic rolls to intricate dance routines, whereas cheerleading skills progress from simple tumbles to the ultimate inspirational challenge—making Eeyore indifferent. Tumbling pupils master cartwheels before tackling cardio training and jumps, further honing their skills in workshops and clinics designed as intensive studies of each activity.
During the off-season, day camps and summer camps keep teensy feet distracted from toppling store-window displays of fragile "Kick Me" signs. Year-round, the S.O.A.R. program tweaks the traditional gamut of classes for athletes with special needs. Using the Mother Goose Time curriculum, K2's preschool focuses on hands-on learning activities that aim to prepare children for kindergarten academically and socially.
Shannon Birkelbach and her trusty staff at Five Horses, LLC are disciples of natural horsemanship, an equitation method that stresses interspecies relationships and self-improvement. Riders learn to communicate with horses through body language and becoming fluent in Horse, building confidence with the animal while developing leadership skills along the way. They also can better their balance, biomechanics, and ability to look positively magnificent while riding.
In addition to their natural horsemanship lessons, the team also specializes in two therapy services: equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) and equine-assisted learning (EAL). EAP relies on horse-based activities and trained therapists to help people improve their relationships in all facets of life. EAL, on the other hand, is a learning-focused approach relying on horses’ natural abilities, and is often used by corporate groups to conquer work-related issues. Unlike many other equine facilities that simply offer rides, Five Horses focuses on the ongoing therapeutic effects these animals have on their human counterparts, and is certified through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association and OK Corral.
Travis Tooke's passion for mixed martial arts fueled his decorated competitive grappling and Brazilian-jujitsu careers, which instinctively led him to form Team Tooke Mixed Martial Arts and share his expertise with others. He proudly wears a Gracie Barra black belt and has been a Brazilian-jujitsu and submission-wrestling trainer for more than 12 years, during which he’s mentored renowned UFC fighter Yves Edwards. He and his team of instructors lead students in an array of mixed-martial-arts fitness classes, including kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and wrestling. They offer kids' classes, women's classes, and classes for combat buffs looking to break into the professional mixed-martial-arts world, which used to require locking your resume in a chokehold until it got you a job.