Experienced dance coach, competitor, and choreographer Charlie Hardcastle trains dancers of all abilities in a bevy of ballroom styles. During three 45-minute classes, Hardcastle homes in on individual goals and abilities, customizing rug-slicing routines for novices, experts, and modest experts pretending to be novices. The studio welcomes children and adults individually or in couples to trot through a variety of techniques inspired by traditional American and Latin styles.
Since opening in 1895, the Hoigaard family and its eponymous shop has been supplying nature lovers with the equipment and apparel necessary to make a playground out of the great outdoors. Today, third- and fourth-generation Hoigaards run the shop alongside a staff of camping aficionados and skilled craftspeople. Their expertise comes in handy as they dress fellow outdoorsfolk in a selection of belts, jackets, shoes, and boots from brand-name manufacturers such as Patagonia, White Sierra, FiveFingers, and The North Face. A collection of outdoor gear––including tents, bicycles, sleeping bags, and canoes––is available for rent or purchase, and the shop's staff repairs damaged equipment in their onsite repair and service shop. They also perform tune-ups for snowboards, skis, and inline skates, and split bicycles into two separate unicycles upon request.
The instructors at Gracie Barra Twin Cities aren't content to watch while students practice chokes and take-downs on each other; they regularly step on the mat with them. At Gracie Barra they believe that hands-on instruction, which many martial-arts schools lack, is a crucial step in developing a student's confidence and skill level. During these teacher-student spar sessions, the instructors compete at each student's ability, applying just enough resistance to challenge them without overdoing it or using cheat codes.
National Sports Center is one of the few places in the world where you can step from verdant fields onto stretches of ice. Eight ice arenas?four Olympic-sized, four NHL-sized?comprise more than 148,000 square feet inside the Schwan Super Rink. And as for the fields? The National Sports Center was originally conceived as a soccer complex, and it still boasts 52 fields. The Guinness Book of World Records has certified National Sports Center as the largest soccer complex on earth.
Hockey and soccer still only make up a small portion of the sports that are playable at the center. Those same soccer fields might host rugby on one day, lacrosse on another, and ultimate disc the following week, provided the discs have not flown south for the winter. The ice rink might host figure skaters as well as broomball teams. At the center's outdoor cycling velodrome, brake-free bikes race each other along a canted track, thrilling crowds every Thursday from late May to September. And of course, there's the Victory Links Golf Course, a 400-acre expanse that's home to an 18-hole championship course, a grass driving range, and an 18-hole bent-grass putting course. Players of all stripes can sign up for leagues and lessons in their favorite sport, or check out everything from expos to fitness classes on the calendar of events.
Champion Ballroom is the brainchild of twinkly-toed owners Robert and Jennifer Foster, who, over their illustrious 25-year career, have garnered three U.S. ballroom dance titles and enraptured audiences internationally on NBC, ESPN, and PBS. Accompanied by their daughter Caitlin, the duo cycles through private and group dance lessons in ballroom, Latin, salsa, swing, and tango techniques for both competitive and casual events. The studio’s free consultations work to ascertain students’ goals while introducing them to the instructors’ individual teaching styles, which, unlike most dance studios, do not incorporate weirdly aggressive games of Twister. Special guests often lead one-night-only workshops atop Champion’s 40'x80' dance floor, and live performances from local bands allow hoofers to put new steps to the test without having to provoke local dance crews into impromptu competitions.
In 1987, Brian McInerny was careening around Italy in a four-wheel, multipassenger Surrey cycle. An avid cyclist, he fell in love with this quirky contraption that he'd never seen in the United States and he immediately sought out the manufacturer and purchased a crate of them. Wheel Fun Rentals traces its origin to this very moment, as Brian changed his surrey-distribution company into a rental and tour company that spans the nation. In spite of a general suspicion of unicycles and their ulterior motives, the company's corporate philosophy espouses "Supporting active healthy lifestyles for our customers and maintaining a healthy environment for all." Wheel Fun's fleet of rentals now includes bicycles, multipassenger Surreys, scooters, surfboards, and paddle-based watercraft. They also promote green communities by offering free rentals to Big Brothers Big Sisters.