In January 2013, sisters Angie and Ashley Webb set out on a long run. Their destination? The moon. True, they didn't do it all at once. And they had a lot of help?after initially setting a 1,000-mile goal, they found that friends, family, and runners from around the world wanted to get in on the action. The group eventually hit a new cumulative goal of reaching 238,855 miles?the distance between earth and the moon.
Today, people from more than 40 countries call themselves Moon Joggers. Each of them contributes to the organization's collective goal by jogging, running, or walking, then logging their miles in the online database. Back in 2013, the group made it to the moon by May 23, but the journey didn't end there. They're expanding their goal every year, currently aiming for Venus in 2014. As team members contribute at their own pace, they also hit checkpoints along the way and climb in the rankings, earning the right to be called Captain while remaining entirely unqualified to run a starship.
Shoes clap cross the wooden floor, sequins sparkle in the stage lights, and ringlets bounce with every dancer's leap. Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance keeps these sights and sounds alive and well. Imparting tradition to its students while teaching them how to master the techniques of Irish dance, the school has produced 12 North American champions, 3 all-Ireland champions, and 2 Senior Men's World Champions in the past three decades. It's hardly a surprise, though, considering the school was founded by Ann Richens, a Dublin native, and is led today by John Timm, the 1993 Senior Men’s World Champion.
Classes start with beginners lessons and introductory workshops to help students get a feel for the motions and remember where their feet are located, before they launch into the full routines of more advanced classes. Once they reach senior status, they can perform at the Dublin Irish Festival and the Indy Irish Fest, as well as a variety of venues across the region.
Beginning in 2001 as a small fitness operation in the basement of an office building, Pure Barre Dayton has since blossomed into a widely acclaimed, widely publicized approach to exercise with a nationwide following. Dancer, choreographer, and fitness buff Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre Dayton more than a decade ago in Birmingham, MI. Since then, Carrie has traveled around the country, hopping from gym to gym demonstrating the innovative program that draws techniques from ballet. Much like angering a witch with a penchant for frog spells, performing the Pure Barre Dayton technique can be a fast and effective way to transform your body. Motivating music slices through the 60-minute workouts, each of which utilizes a ballet barre and small isometric movements designed to burn fat and tone muscles.
Kimberly Denney has dedicated her entire adult life to teaching music to kids. After receiving her BA in music education and MA in education administration, Kimberly taught music and band in public schools for 21 years. Now she teaches Kindermusik to families in Dayton and Cincinnati.
At her school, Kimberly and her team of instructors lead children from newborns to 7-year-olds in playful music classes with the goal of helping kids develop into great learners—not necessarily the next Mozart. Children sing, dance, and play age-appropriate instruments, all while developing a variety of skills in language, literacy, socialization, and problem solving, as well as improving their self-esteem. Parents and children receive Kindermusik@home materials that include a variety of activities to continue learning at home between weekly classes.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.