Seasoned stage and screen actor Antoine McKay founded McKay Arts to give fresh faces the courage to step into the limelight and provide established artists with a place to cultivate and hone their craft. Antoine, an alumnus of The Second City's theaters in Detroit and Chicago, trains and manages actors and artists and also provides them with creative outlets in the form of regular performances at the Athenaeum Theatre, Pressure Comedy Café, and other local venues. He instructs students of all ages and skill levels in classes of approximately 12 students or in private coaching sessions, which give patrons ample attention and endless attempts to guess who is knocking at hypothetical doors.
The School of Rock provides contemporary musical instruction to pint-sized rockers of all ages and abilities. There is no experience required to enroll in Rock 101. Wannabe Jaggers and Springsteens can select their weapon of choice from a finely tuned arsenal of guitars, bass guitars, drums, keyboards, saxophones, or voice boxes and immediately commence beat-based training. Students receive one-on-one tutelage in the art of rocking out during a weekly 45-minute private lesson and deploy ensemble rhythms during a 90-minute group rehearsal. Real musicians provide performance-based instruction in a low-stress atmosphere, conducive to the cultivation of confidence, skill, and pigeon-free signature stage moves.
The Next Theatre Company, celebrating its 30th anniversary, stages relevant, boundary-pushing performances in a cozy, 142-seat space. Adam Rapp, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, loosely based The Metal Children on his personal experience as an author. The story, which is set in a small midwestern town, follows a young adult novelist who is forced to defend his writing to the conservative townspeople by showing them an 18-hour PowerPoint presentation. The play had a successful Off-Broadway during its run not on Broadway.
CrossFit e-town's certified coaches guide students through exercises at the crux of every CrossFit workout—functional movements executed at a high intensity. Those movements include everything from pull-ups and weightlifting to rope climbing and squats. Each day, they change up the routine so that muscles can't plateau and students won't get bored and start designating certain floor mats as their "napping area." Besides the complete workout CrossFit offers, instructors teach the system because it readies students for all sports, work, and daily activities. It's also supremely scalable, making it accessible to those of all fitness levels. To initiate new students to the system, they've even designed a beginner course that focuses on fundamentals and safety.
Founder Malik Turley funnels her passion for family into Hip Circle Studio, a center privy to the needs and hobbies of both parents and little ones. Each dance-based Zumba session aims to foster fettle in exercisers of all ages and levels of familiarity with the hokey pokey. Classic Zumba choreographs Latin-inspired steps to the beat of international tunes, igniting 45–60 minutes of calorie burn. With less impact, Zumba Gold's simple moves are tailored to those recovering from injuries as well as anyone returning to exercise after courageously breaking up with an overbearing recliner. Malik also leads domestic dance troupes through Family Zumba!, where the floor calls parents and kids to shake for fun. Children under 18 and robots convincingly sucking their thumbs can attend Family Zumba! at no extra charge. Baby-Wearing Zumba welcomes wee ones in slings or carriers and their guardians to work out together, and each class page lists a continually updated schedule.
Sprinkled across Chicago from Evanston to the West Loop, the Chicago Athletic Clubs set a modern and user-friendly gym experience in urbane neighborhood settings. The various facilities are equipped with all the required equipment for losing weight, putting on muscle, or building flexibility on cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights. Group fitness classes such as yoga, spinning, and Zumba fill the schedule, and the several locations with indoor pools host water aerobics and family swim classes. The personal-training staff can also help tailor workouts based on your particular goals and share encouragement with you as you transform from chrysalis to Dwayne Johnson. In addition to the exercise areas, the gyms also sport such amenities as kids' clubs and sauna and steam rooms. Three locations even offer indoor rock-climbing facilities. As beginners and experienced climbers traverse craggy surfaces while protected from the elements, additional challenges crop up on the gym's endurance routes and in the bouldering cave where climbers defy gravity without being strapped in by ropes.