Imagine the moment when a shy, introverted young girl steps in front of a room full of people for the first time and speaks with confidence and clarity. This is a regular occurrence at Drama Kids International, where experienced teachers use a unique, copyrighted curriculum to help shape and focus outgoing children or draw shy children out of their shells. Classes for kids as young as 3 refine speech techniques, dramatic movement, and imagination, giving them the confidence to perform in front of an audience or finally ask their parents to change their names to Thespis. For older kids, aged 12–18, Drama Kids International offers the DKI Acting Academy, where serious theater kids can expand their speaking, acting, and auditioning skills through exercises and performances.
For nearly two decades, the nationally certified instructors at ATA Family Martial Arts have taught students how to block, strike, and kick in a series of self-defense patterns. Classes for kids as young as 4 focus on coordination, listening skills, and confidence, and adult-geared classes teach sparring and weapons training.
After beginning martial arts in 1980, two karate students earned seventh-degree black belts and eventually went on to become masters and open their own schools. They wanted to share their love of karate and other martial arts with even more people, so in 2011, they created Go2Karate.com. Go2Karate is a website that connects people around the world with martial arts schools in their communities. It also helps users learn about the various styles of martial arts?teaching them the differences between karate, Brazilian jujitsu, capoeira, and mixed martial arts, for instance?as well as helps them find a class based on their individual goals.
On the easy-to-use website, parents can find a karate school to successfully teach their child self-confidence and respect. Kids' karate classes acquaint students with others their own age, and also build skills that help them deal with schoolyard bullies. For women, karate and other martial arts do double duty as a fun and confidence-building fitness regime while also equipping them with essential self-defense moves. Karate and martial-arts classes for men help them not only hone fighting technique, but also reduce stress and drop pounds while chiseling stronger bodies. Users simply enter their location information and the style of martial arts they're interested in, and the website shows them a bounty of schools conveniently located nearby, many with a class schedule and news about recent events.
Featuring 6,516 yards of impeccably manicured landscape, Oakridge Country Club is a par 71 golf course designed to challenge everyone from first-time clubbers to full-time swingers. Conquer tight fairways, emerald greens, and challenging roughage while roaming among the scenic terrain and picturesque Duck Creek during your 18 holes of golf ($50 on weekends, $40 on weekdays). Water comes into play on several holes, along with more than 50 strategically placed bunkers—use a golf cart to travel to and around the obstacles. Before hitting the links, golfers can practice their swing and take aim at target greens with a bucket of balls ($7) at the driving range. While not included in this deal, Oakridge Country Club also boasts an onsite restaurant, offering daily lunch specials and a fully stocked bar. You can reserve your space seven days in advance, so call ahead to schedule your tee time.
Equipment: Martial arts equipment
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
At Hip Hop Heels, high-heeled shoes aren't dainty accessories, but fierce dancing tools. Owner Geena Ngaaje encourages her students to don comfortable heeled boots for her signature classes, thereby increasing the workout for their lower bodies and injecting the choreography with style. Geena and her team practice a combination of hip-hop, street, and burlesque dance, often channeling the moxie of celebrities such as Beyoncé and Ciara. They also pull from personal experience as performers—their resumés list back-up gigs with the Black Eyed Peas, LL Cool J, and Pitbull.
Their sessions aren't geared entirely toward stars on the rise, however. Whether they're demonstrating sensual hip rolls during Pumps and Grinds or the seductive shimmies of Cabaret, they cater to women of all experience levels, from first-timers to fellow pros and animated characters that are drawn to dance. They also host workshops for beginners, which focus on becoming confident in heels. Private parties allow guests to choose their preferred dance style for a customized lesson, and special-event workshops cover entire routines, including holiday-themed performances set to "Santa Baby."