The record skipped over and over. It was the third time Lisa Schwartz had pirouetted her way through Tina the Ballerina, and yet she raced over to the record player with inexhaustible enthusiasm and plucked the needle back to the beginning of the 78. If you were to ask her today, she would tell you this is the moment she knew she loved dance enough to make it her life's work. Her studio, Dancing Feats Dance Centre, springs from that love. She watches with pride as students she taught as children return to her studio to become instructors and as parents who once studied under her prepare to send a second generation of children and domesticated penguins onto her dance-room floor.
Over the years, she has assembled a staff of instructors with a vast array of backgrounds, ranging from cruise-company dance managers to life-long Irish step dancers. With help from their varied experience, her studio has developed a regiment of courses in a variety of dance styles, such as jazz, lyrical, modern, and chicken. Her students perform regularly in recitals as well, showcasing their abilities and talents as they progress.
Putting requires intense concentration, which is especially difficult when you have an elephant standing over your shoulder. At Sport-N-Fun, miniature golfers putt their way through three 18-hole courses adorned with statues of exotic wildlife such as gorillas and giraffes. These distractions are one of the many obstacles on the terrain, where bank shots and undulating hills stand between players and holes-in-one.
Sport-N-Fun's other exhilarating activities likewise vie for visitors' attention. Thrill-seekers zip around the curves and down the straightaways of the Go-Kart track, or leap skyward while securely harnessed on the bungee trampoline. In seven batting cages, machines pitch balls toward batters at speeds of up to 85 miles per hour, offering a range for different skill levels. Inside, classic games blip and bleep as players frantically tap buttons at the arcade. Amidst all the action, GG's Pizza renews energy with servings of pizza and fountain drinks.
In the mid-20th century, gymnasts developed a training tool that allowed them to rehearse their flips without fear of gravity. The mini trampolines that they used had an unexpected side effect, however: elation.
Today, Jump Station of Michigan straps visitors of all ages into these springy apparatus, outfitting them with a safety harness that is connected to stretchy elastic bands. The cords simultaneously provide lift and negate a harsh impact upon landing while propelling jumpers into thrilling leaps and flips. The experience even constitutes a stimulating cardio workout as heart rates increase during each jump. Groups can reserve the air-conditioned space for a private party, which includes unlimited jumping and games, and then head over to the Zap Zone next door for rounds of laser tag, glow golf, and go-karting.
Dance Motion Xplosion carries on the legacy of MBS Training Center for the Performing Arts, which provided 30 years of dance instruction to Detroit-area students. Two instructors affiliated with MBS, Sabrina Breedlove and Shira Duncan, now inspire a new wave of dancers by teaching the foundations of technique, discipline, and music appreciation. They lead all ages and skill levels through hip-hop, ballet, and Zumba classes and keep advanced students on their toes with competitive performing groups.
Unlike the unforgiving, white-hot slides that populate outdoor playgrounds, the plush slide at Bounce Up is colorful and soft to the touch. Kids tumble swiftly and safely down its dual lanes, stopping on a soft landing. Next to the slide is a bounce castle, surrounded by nets on all sides to keep kids in and teddy bears with ill intentions out. These pillowy structures are available for play during open bounce sessions or birthday parties with optional pizza catering.
Named one of the city's best cultural museums by CBS Detroit, the Holocaust Memorial Center is among America’s first Holocaust museums. For more than 25 years, the HMC has memorialized the senseless murder of millions, promoting tolerance while sending out a call to action to prevent future discrimination, hate crimes, bullying, and genocide by keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust and the lives it claimed.
Starting near the museum's lobby, an illustrated timeline tracing 4,000 years of Jewish history leads into The Museum of European Jewish Heritage, which highlights Judaism through artifacts and displays. From there, a ramp descending beyond a 22-foot window display of Nazi propaganda leads into an exhibit on The Final Solution. Here, displays and audiovisual installations usher visitors toward the Survivors' Theater, where live presentations by Detroit-area survivors illuminate the atrocities' personal costs. Daily tours are led by the museum's caring, expert educators, who guide guests through the exhibits while encouraging them to internalize the lessons for use in their own lives.
New to the museum is the Weisberg Gallery, where a Holocaust-era boxcar stands as a reminder of the scale of the period's atrocities. The museum also welcomes traveling exhibits such as Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow, a collection depicting the story of Jewish professors fleeing Nazism and finding teaching positions at historically black universities. The exhibit explores the encounter between these scholars and their students, the impact the relationships had on one another, and the effect on the Civil Rights Movement and American society.
Post-war exhibits cover the Nuremberg Trials, honor the righteous individuals who risked their lives to resist the Nazis or save Jewish lives during the war, and pay homage to those who perished with a memorial flame. The museum also houses a well-stocked library, where guests can research their genealogy with materials dedicated to European Jewish history. Beyond its core exhibits, the HMC hosts special exhibits encompassing photographs, art, and history, in addition to sending survivors to speaking engagements throughout the city and hosting the Kindertransport Memory Quilt, whose patches represent the experiences of Jewish youth rescued from Eastern Europe.