Spurred by a drive to instill children with a love for the arts and to build their self-esteem, professional actor Miles McMahon helms an array of educational programs at Theatre of the Imagination. He and his staff of local theater lovers build on more than 2,000 successful children's theatrical productions through creative summer camps, acting and performance classes, special workshops, and birthday parties for performers in prekindergarten through ninth grade. Miles writes a completely new work for each class and camp, using the script to immerse students in a cooperative, creative environment while freeing them from the pressures of lead roles, auditions, and autographer's elbow. Staff members can also conduct Movie Star Acting birthday parties, where they shoot a short film with the birthday child as the star.
Dance Amore's chief instructor Deborah Loomis has been performing for more than 20 years, boasting a resumè that includes acting, dancing, and singing with the Massachusetts Allstate Choir and taking to the stage as a female lead in Bye Bye Birdie. At Dance Amore, she puts this experience to use helping children and adults alike tap into their melodious side through an eclectic curriculum. Her dance classes cover tap, ballet, jazz, and hip-hop for different age groups atop Harlequin floors. She also translates choreography into calorie-busting workouts with Zumba programs. At sessions for toddlers, she encourages freeform movement and the development of motor skills, outlining dance's foremost basics, such as refraining from repeatedly hitting the speakers to find the music inside. Deborah guides pupils in the process of making their own music, as well. She oversees beginner's flute, piano, and voice lessons that set the stage for future practice. Parents and loved ones keep abreast of their children's progress by attending yearly recitals, where each student showcases their burgeoning talent.
Fine Arts Theatres? four venues surround moviegoers with classic silver-screen ambiance as they present the latest independent and mainstream film offerings. Lovingly refurbished neighborhood movie palaces such as the early-20th-century Rio Theatre now boast surround-sound digital audio, high-backed rocker seats with arm-mounted cup holders, and movie trailers acted out by gregarious ticket takers. In addition to flicks opening each week, The Fine Arts Theatres hosts special independent screenings throughout the year including the Kansas International Film Festival (Oct. 10-16th) that features 55 films in 7 days and the Latin American Film Festival every September.
The instructors at Music House School of Music understand that music is a language and that languages should be used to express yourself. That’s why they’ve abandoned prescriptive instruction in favor of collaborative learning in a community setting, placing the music that their students want to hear at the center of their teaching programs. During private lessons, students forge a path through the genres of their choice, from rock to jazz to classical to birdsong. They show off their progress during monthly club meetings, working with a tight-knit group of like-minded musicians until they feel confident enough for public performance. In group classes, kids as young as 6 get to tickle ivory, strum steel, and set their uvulas abuzz with their burgeoning baritones.
On May 4 from 12–4 p.m., Music House School of Music celebrates the grand opening of its Lenexa location, which will feature live music, free classes and lessons for ages 6+, surprise goody bags, and refreshments. All attendees will be entered in a raffle for a chance to win six months of free music instruction.
Ian Staten was a naval officer stationed in Italy when the dancing bug bit him. "I went to this huge night club in Italy," he reveals in his DanceStar bio. "I can remember seeing all these beautiful girls standing around waiting for someone to dance with. There was only one guy in the room who really knew how to dance." As he watched left-footed cohorts sit idly by, Ian decided he wanted to be able to join the ladies on the dance floor. This desire blossomed into the passion for dance that eventually inspired him to open DanceStar. Alongside instructors who have at least a decade of dancing experience, Ian leads classes that cover styles ranging from hip-hop to Argentine tango. Each intense aerobic session caters exclusively to adults and facilitates natural socializing, much like limiting hide-and-seek options to one cabinet.
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