With more than 30 years of kid-entertaining experience, The Little Gym provides fun and safe kids' camps wherein wee ones can exercise their brains and bodies. Send one youngster to bounce off the walls over two three-hour camp days (consecutive or nonconsecutive), or send two energy-fraught moppets to one camp day. Designed for ages 3 to 8, each week has a new, unique theme and gives children the opportunity to exercise, learn about exciting topics, and use their imaginations to play make-believe. Fantasy Castle and Wild West weeks immerse children in creative tumbling, adventures, and music, and Cheerleading! (ages 3 to 12) and Sports Spectacular! weeks teach fundamentals through fun games and drills that cater to varying ages and aversions to vegetables. Special guests will make entertaining, educational visits on select days of certain weeks: live animals during Guppies to Puppies! week, firefighters during Who’s Your Hero? week, and Allan Quatermain during Super Safari! week. Camp themes vary by location.
Inner Diva gets ladies safely twirling with a staff of certified personal trainers and professional dancers during dance-fitness classes that tone bodies and transform cores into upper-body powerhouses. Ranging from beginner to advanced, pole-dancing classes build balance, control, and core strength as ladies move through choreographed spins and hoist themselves aloft with gripping moves. Other classes sacrifice the pole but none of the sultry steps by encouraging ladies to dress up in their favorite pair of heels or ankle-length Victorian bathing suits for choreographed burlesque or hip-hop sessions. The practice space also rents out the studio for 90-minute private parties. Along the hardwood floor and its outcropping of 10 poles, revelers celebrate everything from birthdays to girls' night out. Instructors lead a class of your choice, and every attendee, just like every successfully appointed Supreme Court justice, gets a free feathered boa.
Chi Chi Randolph has choreographed routines for hip-hop artists including Nelly and the Black Eyed Peas. Kari Lehman has 15 years of ballet training experience. Viviane Bressan turned her love of belly dance into a career, traversing the globe while teaching and performing the ancient art. At Dance Austin Studio, these three number among more than a dozen dance instructors whose dazzlingly diverse backgrounds enable an array of classes for everyone from preschoolers to grownups and fitness buffs to serious students of dance.
Zumba combines fast-paced cardio choreography with dynamic Latin rhythms, and the 18-and-older Sexy Stiletto Fit class uses high heels to tone calves and build confidence. Students can choose to learn fundamental positions, steps, and vocabulary during structured ballet, lyrical, and jazz programs, or they can develop video-ready swagger during hip-hop classes. The studio’s sense of fun occasionally spills out into the community—it recently teamed up with the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to spark a flash mob at city hall, held to raise awareness of emergency preparedness and help officials practice what to do if invaded by dancing aliens.
"Anyone can learn to dance," declares Go Dance owner Mylie Alrich. And she's not the only one who thinks so—throngs of her students agree, heaping praise upon the large selection of easy-to-follow classes led by a team of more than 30 seasoned teachers. In addition to student testimonies, the readers of the Austin Chronicle crowned Go Dance for having the "Best Dance Classes" for four years in a row.
Much of these hard-earned accolades stem from the instructors' ability to teach ballroom, salsa, swing, country, and other styles while, at the same time, cultivating a welcoming vibe in which students can meet new friends and feel like they're part of a community. After tackling a variety of moves in one of the four ballrooms, students can show them off during weekly social dances at the 8,700-sq. ft. studio or while stuck in a long line at the grocery store.
Joyce Willett School of Dance nurtures young dancers in an emotionally, intellectually, and socially safe space. Instructors encourage students to embrace their creative instincts, exploring music through the movement of their body while developing fine and gross motor skills in a supportive environment. Teachers integrate multiple dance styles into classes, from the precise gestures of ballet to the less-structured movements of hip-hop and jazz. The school's theater-arts preschool program cultivates young performers through theater games and role-play that emphasize socialization. Students learn to not only read picture books but to act out their stories and ultimately leverage their adorable dimples into a two-picture deal plus a cut of merchandising.