For the instructors and staff members of Rising Starts Equestrian Center, the chance to work with riders and horses is a professional dream come true. The center's founders—all from different horse-riding disciplines and backgrounds—aim to provide care for riders at any level, from those seeking the joys of casual riding to those welcoming the rigors of serious competition. Along the path toward equine excellence, the trainers welcome guests to enjoy the pictaresque scenery of the West Hills farm. With views akin to early-century paintings, the farm and its surroundings are enlivened by large, broad trees, hewn wood fences, and open green fields that smell like acrylic when scratched.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Brands Used: Tanner Tees and L-screens, Diamond Baseballs, Rage Equipt
Pro Tip: Gatoraid, Water, Sweatshirt, and extra bat and mit
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Drills, Video Analysis, Live Pitching
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Amid the ballroom's dramatic red walls, professional rug cutters impart proper dance techniques, shepherding feet through wedding dance interludes and styles such as salsa, swing, waltz, and the fox trot during group and private lessons. Five primary curricula await pupils, who start off with classes from the basic introductory program before boogying on to the Associate Bronze, Bronze, Silver, and Gold programs. As classes progress, Bronze sessions get students comfortable and stylish on any dance floor, whereas Gold classes prep more advanced dancers for exhibitions and competitions. Event-specific classes are also available to prepare Sweet 16 guests of honor, aspiring brides and grooms, bar mitzvah attendees, and tiny plastic cake toppers for properly getting down on party floors.
The Village Artist’s experienced portrait pedagogues guide aspiring artists through a bevy of media. Pintsize Picassos will spend the morning or afternoon in a focused workshop under the tutelage of experienced instructors. The three-hour sessions (for ages 6–12) concentrate on fun right-brain pursuits that include working in watercolors, drawing cartoons, and sculpting life-size clay models of the Great Wall of China. Meanwhile, those ages 13–18 hone their individual creative cachets in a guided portfolio workshop, which devotes 2.75 hours to channeling the muse of their chosen medium while free from distractions such as recreational trigonometry. Village Artist also publically exhibits the eye-catching output of its students, reaping accolades for Monets in training and opening doors to future art opportunities.
A team of friendly gurus runs each club. Fitness buffs of all buffness levels feel welcome in the fun and accommodating atmosphere at Washington Sports Clubs. During your two weeks, you get access to all the professional equipment, group exercise classes, locker rooms, and facility amenities offered (some group exercise classes require a reservation). Different clubs have on-site features such as pools, Pilates and yoga, babysitting services for a tag-along papoose, electricity, and more. Search for the club that suits your checklist here.
In the 74 years between the Paramount Theatre's opening night, when people used to line up to see “talkies” for 50 cents, and 2002, when it was voted Best Mainstage Theatre in a Seattle Weekly Reader's Poll, the palatial venue faded and decayed alongside its Roaring Twenties brethren throughout America. Luckily, former Microsoft Vice President Ida Cole saved it from the rubble heap in the mid-‘90s when she established the Seattle Landmark Association and vowed to render the Paramount "kissable" once again.
Over the course of seven months, the renovation crew expanded the size of the stage wings to accommodate more ambitious live productions. They also cleared decades of grime from the french baroque plaster reliefs, uncovering long-forgotten designs and causing only one long-dormant horror to snap open its eyes dramatically. They also replaced the gold leaf in the floral designs of the wall medallions, repainted all the surfaces in their original 16 colors, and scrubbed each of the 1.6 million crystal beads in the chandelier by hand with a toothbrush. The original Knabe Ampico player piano was returned to its spot on the four-tiered lobby's lush carpeting, and a 21st-century sound system now shares sonic space with the thundering, luminous sonority of the Paramount's fully restored Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Though the Paramount's calendar runs the gamut from rock concerts to standup comedy to Broadway musicals on the scale of Wicked, its decadent Beaux Arts trappings transport audiences to the days when reality was still black and white.