Celebrating their 20th anniversary this season, the Charlotte Eagles contend with 10 rival teams for supremacy in the United Soccer League’s Pro division. This year's roster is packed with seasoned players such as Colombian Jorge Herrera and local Charlottean Darryl Roberts, who sits among the league’s top scorers so far in 2012. A glance at the current schedule will help fans plan to attend a game when the sun will be close enough to earth to tan their bodies in home-team orange.
The sound of feet slapping on the padded ground and little voices twisted by constant motion fill Xtreme Play. Jeff and Julie Austin, owners of the play center, have five children, so they are familiar with the busy chorus. The duo and its staff are also well prepared to keep an eye on youngsters as they bounce from inflatable obstacles or squeal down slides. At a miniature arcade, small hands grab Wii and PlayStation controllers, simulating adventures through castles and the civil-service tests to become a castle inspector. The babble of special events drifts from private party rooms, where pizzas fuel fetes.
At Stonebridge Golf Academy, with Fred Bond, we believe that no two individuals learn in the same manner or at the same pace. Therefore, we strive to offer personalized instruction programs to foster the development of each individual student, from junior to adult amateurs as well as professional players.
Since 2006, ice-bound visitors have laced up their hockey and figure skates and shined their curling rocks before taking to the rinks at Extreme Ice Center. The center’s pair of NHL regulation-size rinks hosts public-skating sessions each day of the week, as well as private figure-skating lessons, broomball and curling matches, and USA Hockey–sanctioned programs for youths and adults. The center is the practice facility of the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers.
Off the ice, visitors will find a fitness center and ballet academy, as well as Center Ice Tavern, located between the ice rinks. It slings chicken wings, quesadillas, and draft beers to help skaters overcome the hunger developed during a multi-hour sit spin.
Carolina Dance Capital is a family affair. Husband and wife duo Fritz and Annette Schulte own the studio along with their daughter, Nina, who serves as artistic director. The rest of the staff includes eight regular dance instructors and more than 15 guest teachers and choreographers. In a variety of classes, they help students as young as two and as old as whatever to get fit and express themselves through ballet, jazz, tap, yoga, and Zumba.
Class sizes are kept small to encourage close personal attention and a supportive atmosphere. Six studios occupy the 8,700 square foot facility, and each is outfitted with observation windows, spring-loaded floors to prevent injury, and Super Soakers to facilitate Gene Kelly impressions. In addition to classes, pupils of all abilities can partake in cheer camps, workshops, and competitive dance teams. A waiting area for parents is equipped with complimentary WiFi.
Though competitive ballroom dancer Dana Glandon spends much of her time preparing for and winning national dance championships, she's still found the time to establish several dance studios. Drawing from more than 20 years of dance experience, she joins Tony Prado—a WDC World Pro-Am finalist, stage performer, and tango dancer commended by the USTA—in coaching students of all skill levels at Queen City Ballroom. Through detail-oriented instruction and customized lesson plans, they and their instructors give customers personalized attention, earning accolades as one of Charlotte's best ballroom dance studios from CBS Charlotte. During classes, instructors teach basic techniques of leading and following before moving on to specific steps. Students may learn Latin dances such as salsa, bolero, and merengue; ballroom dances such as foxtrot, Argentine tango, and Viennese waltz; and social dances such as swing, hustle, and two-step. While well versed in the language of dance, the instructors also speak 10 other languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, and Slovakian.
Motivated by a passion for climbing and an understanding of how the sport enhances both mental and physical strength, the architects of Inner Peaks designed their gym to challenge climbers with 13,000 square feet of continuous, molded climbing walls boasting an altitude of 25 feet. With the addition of 50 rope stations, terrain for every skill level, a bouldering area, and training courses for ages 16 and older, they created a facility that fosters development of the skills needed to climb natural rocks or trim Lincoln's nose hairs on Mount Rushmore. The gym's team of expert climbers is headed by husband and wife owners, Doug Cosby and Page Lee, who both have many years of experience in sport climbing and climbing-gym management under their belts. The passionate staff is always dangling somewhere nearby ready to assist or offer instruction as burgeoning climbers scale an unparalleled lead cave, negotiate three long, aesthetic cracks, and maneuver around arches, roofs, and routes that are altered each week.