Accomplished artists themselves, both Tracy Malmstrom and Gail Carson—"Ms. Tracy and Ms. Gail" to their young students—have taught art in elementary schools. After a deluge of requests for private lessons, Tracy founded ArtCastle in 2006 and Gail signed on in 2011. Together, they nourish the artistic spirits of children 6 and older through drawing, painting, printmaking, and a plethora of other mediums.
As the young artists hone visual skills while silk painting or practicing batik-watercolor techniques, Tracy and Gail also strive to bolster their problem-solving abilities, listening skills, and confidence. In addition to after-school and home-school art sessions, the duo offers Friday kids' night out parties in which kids belt out karaoke, scarf down pizza and desserts, and amaze their parents with a finished work of art at the end of the night. Summer camps and classes keep kids active on break and Saturday workshops teach youngsters of all ages a new artistic skill each month, such as how to construct a new best friend out of papier-måché.
The staccato snap of ricocheting billiard balls rises up through a warm chorus of cheering fans, who come together beneath signed jerseys from Josh Hamilton, Terry Bradshaw, and Emmitt Smith and 22 flat-screen televisions. Volcano's all-female staff works to make first-time guests feel like regulars without having to remember the jukebox's birthday, all the while delivering platters laden with half-pound Black Angus burgers crowned in chipotle spread. As darts flick through the air, sauce-covered hot wings fuel investigation into honey-hued cascades of brews and shakers chattering on cool loads of cocktails behind the bar.
New sets of friends formed by the mythological fates who determine shuffleboard teams sip libations while planning strategy. Golden Tee, a virtual golf game that draws a cult following, lets patrons compete against players sprinkled across the country or work on swings without the distraction of clouds shaped like a favorite paramecium. The bright jukebox sings a haunting siren melody to itchy index fingers, and the ambient satellite radio station plays hits from the top of the charts between selections.
A row of flat-screen TVs casts a glow over Bronco's Sports Bar & Grill's interior, illuminating cocktail glasses and frosty pints. While watching the game or listening to a live band, patrons can dine on American and Tex-Mex flavors: fajitas, burgers topped with guacamole, and shrimp po-boys are just a few possibilities.
Helmed by a husband-and-wife team of competitive power lifters, Stroud’s Fitness sculpts bodies into tiptop shape with personal training, boot-camp classes, and a workout space brimming with strength-training tools. Available Monday–Saturday, 45-minute personal training sessions pair clients with certified trainers to set fitness goals and build workouts that make muscles burn with satisfaction, like an insult uttered from the lips of a sarcastic fire swallower. Clients can practice recently learned lifts and curls with free weights of various sizes or trample stress on a sturdy treadmill. One-hour boot-camp classes work each major muscle group with bodyweight exercises, dumbbells, resistance bands, and yoga poses. To raise heart rates and burn calories, some workouts incorporate 40-second bursts of kickboxing and plyometric moves such as box jumps and bunny hops. Standard boot camps take place weekday evenings and Saturday mornings, and low-impact sessions lure exercisers into the 20,000-square-foot facility Monday–Thursday at 10 a.m.
After playing as a defensive back for Texas A&M, Angel Rivera III joined AFL, AFL2, and IFL teams such as the San Antonio Stampede and the Dallas Knights before injuries eventually forced him into retirement. But then another chapter of his life began, and his love of the game led him to begin training local athletes. In 2010, he created All Out Sports Training to help high-school, college, and professional athletes take their game to the next level. Angel’s team of sports nuts empowers football, baseball, soccer, and basketball players by whipping them into shape and developing their sports-specific skills. The fitness team uses programs such as the Speed, Agility, and Quickness training, which gets participants racing through speed ladders, doing box jumps, and donning speed resistance belts.
The trainers also help non-athletes reach their goals through programs such as bridal boot camp, which is designed to boost self-esteem, tone bodies, and give brides more energy for the traditional 50-yard dash down the aisle. During personal and couples training, the trainers might get their clients hefting dumbbells, jumping rope, or straining against resistance bands, all depending on their individual goals.
When hairstylist Shelton Ogle opened his first salon at 21, he quickly realized the secret to maximizing the number of gorgeous haircuts he could render: a well-trained staff. So two years later, he opened his beauty school, Ogle School of Hair, Skin & Nails. Now in its 40th year, the school leverages its accrued experience and knowledge to teach aesthetic arts ranging from skincare to hair coloring. In the school’s salons, students practice on the public, cutting hair into elegant, customized shapes, texturizing strands with relaxers and perms, and highlighting nails with manicures, rather than with rings with built-in strobe lights. A testament to Shelton’s success in building his vision, he was even able to develop a weekly show for PBS about the beauty industry.