Milwaukee’s only women’s tackle-football team, the Wisconsin Dragons supply hard-hitting action for sports fans of all ages. The team faces a quartet of worthy opponents in four home games this season, bringing precise passes, forceful tackles, and footwork fancier than that of Fred Astaire's pet peacock. The included Dragons bandana keeps ardent fans stylishly supportive and doubles as a convenient wipe for excitement-generated sweat droplets.
Led by CrossFit Level 1 certified trainers Frank Colavita and Erin Stewart, CrossFit classes combine weightlifting, gymnastics and sprinting into a strength-and-conditioning program that hones in on endurance and agility. Participants in 15–20 person On Ramp classes receive personal coaching as they work up to training shape by learning basic core lifts and maneuvers such as deadlifting weights off the ground and heaving stalling airplanes off crowded runways. After two weeks, On Ramp graduates confront more of CrossFit's 4400-square-foot gym through workout-of-the-day courses, which build upon On Ramp exercises with gymnastics and specialized moves. Pull-ups, pushups, and sit-ups sculpt upper halves, jump ropes course cardiovascular exercise through entire bodies, and Turkish get-ups strengthen shoulders quicker than scooping gravy with a fez.
At Underwater Connection, southeast Wisconsin’s only PADI five-star instructor-training center, an award-winning course director and a team of skilled instructors educate both undersea novices and emergency-service professionals in the art of scuba diving. Following safe, low-stress basic diving courses in a pool, teachers and students move to the open water to cover techniques that include rebreathing, underwater videography, and recovering toy-boat wrecks from flooded bathtubs. Underwater Connection provides all equipment for classes, relying on its factory-trained equipment mechanics and Aqualung Master Technician, who refill tanks and do in-house repairs on gear from brands such as Dive Rite, Poseidon, Oceanic, Aqua Lung, and Scubapro.
Most pools are not designed for children, with their plunging deep ends, regular calls for "adult swim," and robust colonies of piranha. Not so at Swimtastic Swim School, where every aspect of the center's design caters to youthful aquanauts. After passing by the colorful front desk changing into their suits, kids rinse off in the warm water of the on-deck palm-tree shower. Once classes begin, swimmers dunk into the pool itself, ranging from 3.5 to 4.5 feet deep and heated to a constant, comfortable 90 degrees. In the lessons themselves, experienced instructors use the skills they learned in the center's 30-hour training course to lead small groups through the basics of water safety and proper swimming form. Regular open swims let kids show off their aquatic mastery to parents and friends and make unlimited use of the deep-end water slide.
In 1947, on New York City's Park Avenue, the first Fred Astaire Dance Studio—cofounded by the eponymous toe tapper himself—opened its doors to the public. More than six decades later, now boasting schools across North America, the dancing institution still adheres to the legendary Mr. Astaire's curriculum and instruction techniques.
Specializing in social ballroom and competitive dances, the schools' current consortium of professional instructors shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through dance lessons that span from classic ballroom and foxtrot romps to the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. In addition to classes, the studio hosts social practice parties where up to 40 students hone newly acquired rug-cutting capabilities. As foot-charming music blares from the speakers, instructors work to cultivate a lively social setting where each guest can dance, mingle, and surgically correct their second left foot without fear of embarrassment.