Dolphin Swim Club's trained instructors guide young children through a garden of aquatic delights in four half-hour lessons over the course of one month, sowing the seeds of safety and proper form at every splash-filled turn. After placing students in levels according to their age and ability, instructors schedule classes of no more than four students to ensure safety and personal attention. Infants nostalgic for their watery wombs can participate in baby swim classes, and children old enough to have chores can train fiercely for intra-family diving competitions to determine nightly dishwashing duties. Parents can observe from the shores as their water-bound whippersnappers learn breath control, back floats, and stroke mechanics in a heated indoor pool.
Envy Dance Factory aims to turn bodies into art, creating lines and shapes that appear to defy the laws of physics. The dance studio focuses on specific dance styles to help students speak the language of ballet, jazz, or hip hop in the way they move. Go on pointe to create elegant lines from head to toe or bounce to a pulsing beat in hip hop classes that also burn calories. Instructors also pair traditional movements with gymnastics-inspired feats in tumbling and leaps and turns classes. Meanwhile, the express yourself classes open up dance with ballet and jazz lessons paired with music and games designed for students with autism, down syndrome, and developmental disabilities.
Beneath the lofty ceiling at Carlson Ice Arena’s year-round rink gleams 17,000 square feet of well-groomed ice. Rented skates clasp guests’ ankles as they slice across its frozen surface during public skate sessions, and pupils in hockey and figure-skating classes learn to deftly maneuver blades to score slap shots, land lutzes, and scrawl cursive love notes for Zamboni drivers. Chilly fingers defrost as guests lounge in the 600-seat spectator stands, and iceless recreation areas such as the soft, three-level Sapora Playworld or the Tiny Tots Playspace host troupes of carousing kids.
For more than 40 years, the staff at Bob's Bike Shop has been matching customers to new two-wheeled companions. Staffers specialize in maintaining the individual parts of nearly all bicycle makes and models, correcting damage caused by routine wear and tear, as well as storage in a garage that angry raccoons have claimed as their home. Their tune-ups include brake and gear adjustment, chain greasing, and detail cleaning. In an effort to become an authority on BMX bikes and products, the staffers spend much of their time attending races and freestyle-cycling events.
At GL Dance Fitness, working out is often a form of cross-cultural exchange. As Latin-inspired music from around the globe reverberates in the studio, instructors lead students through high-energy dance moves that draw inspiration from salsa, belly dancing, and merengue. Specialty classes tweak the formula, slowing things down a bit during Zumba Gold, adding a strength-building element with small weights during Zumba Toning, and introducing students to man’s first best friend—the chair—during Zumba Sentao. Kids also get their groove on during six-week Zumbatomic sessions that utilize tot-appropriate beats to boost metabolisms and encourage the confidence necessary to excel on math tests and beat back bullies with nothing more than a perfectly executed musical number.
Between the dark, black walls at The Lazer Maze, green beams of light stretch from one wall to another, striking anyone willing to venture through their neon labyrinth. Levels of difficulty vary as beginners and pros nimbly crouch, tumble, and Macarena over and under laser beams, trying to beat the best time. The staff also equips a 3000-square-foot party room with party lighting, music, fog, and bubbles for birthday parties and other social events.