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.
Certified trainer, AJ Tucker, acquired myriad methods of staying fit while playing college football, training for jui jitsu, and during his four-year service with the U.S. Army. Today, he molds all that experience into a three-day-a-week boot camp that incorporates strength straining, a specialty class such as boxing, and a session designed for fun where participants buddy-up and complete a more light-hearted session of exercises. He also offers private boot camps that can be held at the office, school, or front yard.
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.
Kids often drive their parents up the wall, but at Urban Air Trampoline Park, they can just climb up the walls alone. At four locations throughout Texas including Mansfield, Frisco, Southlake, and their newest location opening in Rockwall in May 2014, trampolines line the floors and walls of enormous open spaces, providing several zones for visitors to jump, flip, and fall softly into hunks of foam. Activity areas may vary at each location, but they range from the Apex?a wide, sprawling space for freeform leaping?to the Bowl?a narrow pit designed for plenty of off-the-walls mayhem. Many parks also have spaces for toddlers to venture out safely as well as slam-dunk arenas and dodgeball courts, where both kids and adults can compete in familiar games without being weighed down by gravity's boring rules. This rich variety of activities has earned Urban Air Trampoline Park a bevy of attention and awards, including back-to-back "Best Trampoline Park" wins from Fort Worth Child magazine and a mention as one of Shape magazine's "Coolest Clubs in America."
Beyond the everyday action, some nights see the trampolines glow with neon lights as DJs spin, while toddlers take over the entire park on certain mornings for pre-school jump sessions. Groups can also reserve the trampolines for special events and parties, whether they're celebrating a kid's birthday or commemorating a coworker's retirement by bouncing him into orbit.
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.
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.