My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. Coordinators organize each class according to age level (starting as young as 6 weeks) and design them to incorporate the latest physiological, psychological, and meteorological research. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem and stimulate their giggleplexes. The atmosphere is always friendly and inviting, so it fosters creativity and face-to-face engagement in the face of technological temptations and giant robotic faces.
Honored as the company's Franchise of the Year in 2010, the Frisco location teaches pint-sized classes for all developmental degrees. One-hour Waddlers sessions for babies and parents introduce tots aged 14?22 months to mobility, agility, and social skills as they build block towers and participate in puppet shows. Other classes include Tiny Tykes, a class for parents and babies that focuses on movement, as well as Mighty Mites and Whiz Kids, classes for more independently mobile children aimed at mastering motor skills to build strength, balance, and agility. During free-play sessions throughout the week, whippersnappers can frolic amid the clean and sunny facility's indoor play structures, swim through the ball pit, or practice parallel parking with toy trucks and scooters.
At Sip-n-Doodle, colors swirl, spread, and mix over canvases while lively conversations crackle. Artists walk students through step-by-step instructions, helping them fashion their own interpretation onto a painter?s canvas. Participants are encouraged to bring snacks and a beverage of their choice, the better to sip as they daringly work outside the lines. The studio provides all the necessary painting supplies, cups, and bottle openers, as well as blow dryers should works not be completely dry by the end of the night.
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Inspired by New York City's The Actors Studio, thespians Erica and Shane Peterman established The Acting Studio as a place for youngsters and adults with acting aspirations to focus on their craft. Along with experienced dancer Kellie Carroll, the Petermans train students on musical-theater fundamentals in classes that range from jazz dance to private voice lessons. The advanced Triple Threat program places pupils intending to pursue a performing-arts career under the tutelage of industry pros who prep them for performances. Kids more interested in dabbling, meanwhile, can meet industry bigwigs at workshops, and several full-scale productions each year grant children the chance to act alongside their peers and improvise dance numbers.
Fitness specialist and certified nutritionist Ron Lyons wasn’t always so svelte. Before he became a health guru, Ron was a police officer, but his 240-pound frame didn’t fit with the position. It wasn’t until a suspect in a DWI case resisted arrest and outran Ron, leaving him unable to call for backup, that he buckled down. Now, 16 years later, he helms Ultimate Body Studios, sharing the fitness and nutrition skills he has learned and mastered along the way. He leads seminars, grocery store tours that teach healthy shopping habits, and a weight loss and exercise program that combines healthy eating with effective exercise techniques. With continued dedication to the program, some of his students have lost more than 150 pounds, or roughly one ACME cartoon anvil.
At Sunstone Yoga, students radiate calm and self-awareness as they practice ancient poses designed to stretch, strengthen, and purify the body. Instructors complete 500 hours of training in yogic techniques, teaching, and physiology before leading classes, so they can hand out researched, tested tips on safety and alignment. Most classes come in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute varieties and focus on energy or restorative relaxation. A two-class introductory series welcomes beginners with basic standing poses, and the popular fire series explores up to 34 poses in a 99-degree room that loosens muscles to facilitate deeper stretches as it ousts toxins. Filled with soothing music and 90-degree temperatures, the water series cultivates more serenity than getting a massage from a singing whale.
The staff at Kids-N-Art come from many backgrounds, but all share degrees in arts or education and buckets of enthusiasm. Summer camps introduce projects such as throwing clay on a pottery wheel or rehearsing a musical to be performed at the end of the session. Kids’ classes develop skills in painting, mixed media, and cartooning, and events such as Parents’ Night Out let kids take a break from nagging their moms and dads to clean their rooms and relax with some pizza and games.