As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
The riding experts at Fieldstone Park, a full-service boarding-and-riding facility, teach lessons for beginning or experienced riders of any age. Instructors emphasize the forward, or hunt-seat, style, and lessons are targeted by level and discipline; riders can chat with the staff about what class best fits when they call to schedule lessons. Fieldstone's equestrian tutors lead classes in either English–style, in which both hands grasp the reins with pinkies raised, or larger Western–style tack and techniques. The 60-minute group lessons may include up to three riders at once, which affords each rider both full personal attention from the instructor and a sense of camaraderie as students refine horse-human collaboration.
Equipment: State-of-the-art sprung floors, mirrors, and barres
Average class length: 60 minutes
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Want the look of a dancer but never owned ballet shoes? Miss ballet? Then DREAM Barre is for you.
"D.R.E.A.M." stands for dance, recreation and fitness, education, arts, and mentoring, and the Family D.R.E.A.M. Center stands for all that plus community and Biblical teachings. Dance, music, and fine art classes provide space for every member of the household to learn, grow, and connect. Instructors draw on the Bible in character-building classes that teach subjects such as phone manners, transportation etiquette, and which fork to fling first at a food fight. Carrying off this ambitious scope is a "D.R.E.A.M. team" of instructors who are all degreed, working professionals in their respective fields, from graphic design to dance to speech therapy.
Since 1982, Spirals Gym & Ed-Venture Kids Center has been helping kids hone balance, coordination, and muscle control via competitive gymnastics programs. Today it has expanded to include swimming lessons and afterschool activities, during which kids jump on trampolines and participate in outdoor group activities. Their newest program, the Ed-Venture Kids Academy Preschool, emphasizes both childhood academic learning and physical education, with the intention of helping to prepare children for elementary school. Members of a dedicated staff supervise all activities, whether they are taking place on the 40’x40’ carpeted and padded spring floor or on the trampoline.
Waterways snake all over the planet's surface, many emptying into a great blue ocean. As many scuba divers have found, those depths comprise a whole other world to explore—and require a specific set of skills to conquer. At SCUBASTOP, certified instructors use their knowledge to open that aquatic world to just about anyone.
Students here first get their feet wet with Discover Scuba, a class that teaches the absolute basics of diving. Anyone inspired to delve further can enroll in a PADI certification course that starts in classrooms and heated pools before voyaging out to the open waters of Balmorhea State Park or The Blue Lagoon scuba park. Specialized advanced courses are also available for anyone interested in rescue diving, digital underwater photography, or joining an improv group run by clown fish.
With 30 years of music-arrangement experience, Kevin Bigham expertly guides fingertips across piano keys during lessons held in studio, at students' homes, and even online via Skype video chat. Bigham welcomes students of all ages and skill levels, encouraging them to remain enthusiastic regardless of whether or not they’ve played in the past or showed up to the lesson wondering where the piano’s mouthpiece is. When he's not sharing skills with pupils, Bigham can often be found adding live soundtracks to weddings and events. He also blends his twin passions of music and spirituality by playing piano during faith-based events.