Each of YMCA of Western North Carolina's five branches and 19 childcare sites remains true to its lasting mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, caring, responsibility, and respect as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, basketball courts, and personal-training sessions. They’ve also filled their fitness centers with free weights, cardio equipment, and weight machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during cardio-dance and aerobics classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead more than 200 programs, including children’s day camps, after-school programs, and dance classes.
What is JBMS? In short, we’re a music school offering lessons for acoustic/electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, keyboard, drums/percussion, violin, music theory, and more. But we’re much more than that: we’re a community of musicians, working for musicians. Our studio has served over 1,000 students in the WNC area.
The mixologists at ABC Bartending School divulge saloon secrets during certification-based and recreational bartending classes. During two-week certification courses, burgeoning bartenders mix classic and popular drinks while learning about alcohol laws, responsible liquor service, and stocking and inventory. Alternatively, an entertaining mixology course lets amateurs shake up drinks and take cover from projectile champagne corks behind an ornate bar with mirrors and gold trim. Once finished imparting their knowledge, the instructors set students up with ABC’s job-placement program, which puts certified graduates to work everywhere from restaurants and nightclubs to the zero-G sports bar where astronauts celebrate successful trips to the moon.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that valued personal growth over competition. Robin's program is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide, but he still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, teaching kids to progress the skills they need to build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer classes or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
Ladies Workout Asheville's supportive, attentive staff help women navigate the facility's full exercise circuit, packed schedule of workout classes, and other body-bettering amenities such as tanning beds and nutrition counseling. Members and pass holders can tone tired muscles while shaking their hips in a Zumba class, tackle cardio and strength machines sized specifically for women's bodies, or channel their disdain for punching bags during group kickboxing lessons. After each workout, a thermal massage on a Migun bed relaxes weary muscles, and the sweat-sapping far-infrared sauna evicts toxins from the skin and lifts voodoo stress curses. Ladies Workout Asheville also offers fitness programs for kids at Cardio Kids.
In 2012, the Runaway Circus struck upon a brilliant idea—find an unused studio space to fix up and turn into a community art center dedicated to teaching and practicing acrobatics, juggling, comedy, and highly physical performance art. That dream became the Toy Boat Community Art Space, which today provides a home base for such acts as the jugglers Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth and the mysterious Wendal Wandell, who conjures waves of applause with his feats of legerdemain. Those without a big-top passion project to work on at the gym-cum-art studio can participate in other upcoming events involving folk music acts, DJ sessions, goofy plays for young and old, and unpredictable comedy shows.