Chance and Roxie Mayberry take any opportunity to get out of the studio and into vibrant real-world scenes. As the duo behind Anchorage's Mayberry Studio, they shoot families as they slice down the slopes or bond with animals, and as instructors at Alaska Photography Academy, they take students deep into wild local landscapes. Photo safaris adventure to such destinations as Matanuska Glacier and Hatcher Pass, with some shots even accomplished from the backs of sturdy ATVs. Although these intensive excursions are open to all, more experienced clickers can pursue more in-depth classes or private lessons. No matter the level, courses emphasize practical, professional-grade tips and avoid technical jargon and risqué language such as "flash."
Unlike most traditional gyms, Denali Gymnastics & Fitness is not only a place where adults can workout, but also a place where young children can exercise their brain muscles. The gym houses an early learning center and preschool where kids ages 3?4 can learn the days of the week, listen to stories, and practice gymnastics under the watchful eyes of the trained staff. In their own designated area, infants rest or participate in interactive play. The learning center also provides childcare for before and after school, helping kids with homework and organizing fun activities. Meanwhile, adults can earn a good sweat during CrossFit classes, which transform bodies with high-intensity, short-duration routines that blend boxing, powerlifting, and other exercise techniques.
Denali's gymnastics programs for kids are designed for all skill levels and fall under two categories: recreational and competitive. During preschool gymnastics sessions, parents can help their tots navigate an obstacle course that helps improve physical awareness. Older kids with a competitive spirit can join the gymnastics team to further improve their physical skills. For home-schooled children, the gym also offers a PE program that ensures a good amount of daily exercise.
Rockin’ B Riding Club’s 2.5-acre ranch boasts an indoor and an outdoor arena as well as a network of wooded paths for private rides. These facilities are home to seven school horses, who help teach young riders equestrian basics during camps and lessons alongside veteran instructors. Using the Certified Horsemanship Association curriculum, teachers focus on the basics of English- or Western-style riding but also throw in lessons on how to groom horses and how to tell the difference between a mare and a tall four-legged table.
The longest-running regular-season college basketball tournament in the country, the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout invites eight men's and four women's teams from across the country for an intense tournament packed into Thanksgiving weekend. In the 34th edition of the men's field, the Seawolves host such formidable foes as Murray State, who dribbled and dunked their way into last year's NCAA tournament, as well as New Mexico State and Southern Mississippi. Gents battle to climb the brackets in four days of play so fast-paced that games must be announced by professional auctioneers.
Eye Level takes its name—and its philosophy—from the story of an elementary school teacher who visited the Smithsonian and, oddly, knelt down in front of each painting. When a guard asked him why, he explained that he was bringing his kids there the next day, and wanted to see the paintings from their perspective.
Eye Level's instructors share this focus on understanding students' viewpoints and needs. Whether they're teaching math, English, or Korean, they start sessions with a diagnostic test, which allows them to tailor the lesson to the child's skill level. The self-directed learning sessions end with student feedback, which allows tutors to further customize their future lessons.
Whether kids have recreational or competitive cheerleading aspirations, the instructors at Alaska Athletics help budding cheerleaders and gymnasts hone their skills in all-levels classes. Tumbling classes for preschoolers help tykes grasp the basics of balance and body awareness. They build skills in these sessions that will eventually serve them to improve jumps, tumbling, and stunting abilities.