By the numbers, Westchester Table Tennis Center seems to have it all: 14,000 square feet of space, 19 tables, 100+ parking spots, and a 3.5-block walk to the Pleasantville Metro-North station. That type of convenience means kids and adults can pick up a paddle and enjoy the game with ease. The center offers a number of ways to play, from day passes to leagues and long-term memberships. Players can stop by seven days a week and the center stays open until 11 p.m. throughout the summer.
"That camp changed how I felt about basketball and my future. It was the turning point in my life." That's how Michael Jordan summed up his experience at Five-Star Basketball, the premier hoops camp founded by Howard Garfinkel and Will Klein in 1966. In addition to Jordan, the alumni list is studded with stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and coaches such as Chuck Daly. In total, more than 500 NBA players have come to Five-Star to refine their basketball talent.
Today, Five-Star continues its tradition of elite basketball training for future college and professional basketball players. Open to boys and girls aged 10–18, the camp's coaches teach young players the importance of possessing basketball fundamentals, being in shape, and having a strong head on their shoulders. Players have many opportunities to show off their skills, such as demonstrating a finely tuned crossover dribble during Five-Star's highly competitive pickup games or eating the most orange slices at lunchtime.
Presenting the internationally renowned, research-based music and movement program Music Together, Over the Moon invites parents and infant-to-kindergarten-aged children to sing, dance, listen, and explore musical instruments in a variety of fun-filled classes. During weekly 45-minute Music Together sessions, adult caregivers accompany budding music muses, delving into the power of music and creativity through a variety of experiential, non-performance-based exercises. The mixed-age classes focus on natural family-filled learning as younger children watch and imitate older kids and learn a 25-song course catalog. Pint-sized sound-seekers sing, practice rhythmic rhymes, and play instruments free from classroom formalities and engage in family-building creativity.
Donna Shari started out as an early childhood teacher whose hobby was painting pottery. At first, she was a familiar face at a paint-your-own-pottery studio. Then she started attending seminars on pouring molds and glazing bisque, until she’d been to more than 250. After an injury cut her teaching career short and the owner of the pottery studio announced his plans to close the place, Donna jumped at the chance to “make my hobby, my passion, into my business,” and took over the studio.
Donna’s new career taps into her talents as both a teacher and an artist as she helps painters of all ages choose plates, figurines, and mugs to personalize with paint, glaze, and territorial tongue licks. After artists perfect their creations, they leave the masterpieces for Donna to fire in a kiln and pick them about up a week later. Donna also teaches students to manipulate clay as it whirls atop a potter’s wheel or a pirouetting ballerina’s head.
Since 1998, Axial Theatre's ensemble has worked to help playwrights develop original works and actors sharpen their skills. A bi-monthly reading series gives audiences a chance to take part in the process of making new plays, from first draft to the fifth and final standing ovation. The group extends equal support to fledgling performers by offering an acting program to train the board-treading stars of the future.
Inside Addie-Tude Dance Studio, lessons don’t just end at technical instruction and rhythm. The performing-arts center is dedicated to exposing people of all ages to the art of movement. Budding artists are encouraged to experiment and build on their ideas though theatrical work as well as with dance, in styles from cha-cha to hip-hop and African dancing.