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.
Serving Up Cures brings together concerned parties for an evening of socialization, gourmet bites, and craft drinks, all in the name of raising funds and awareness for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The MDA funds research, health care, and support services for the sufferers of the 43 neuromuscular diseases fall under the association’s jurisdiction, including Lou Gehrig’s disease, spinal muscular atrophy, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The proceeds of Serving Up Cures go toward research efforts that could impact the lives of the 1,500 local families affected by muscular dystrophy.
Each of Cinetopia's locations adds a touch of luxury to the movie-watching experience, accenting stunning, lifelike projections of blockbusters with fine wine, a selection of local microbrews, fresh market-to-table cuisine, and plush, cozy seats.
At the newest Overland Park location, movies in the GXL theater light up a 75-foot wide, super-high-definition screen equipped with high-tech sound systems like Dolby Atmos and Meyer EXP. Up to 300 guests fully recline in its plush, oversized seats, which are steeply banked to maximize visibility. The living-room theater cultivates a more intimate atmosphere with full restaurant service and comfy leather seats, while the new movie parlor imitates a celebrity home screening room with its cozy "cuddle couches" and its top-of-the-line digital 7.1-channel surround sound. 18 LED screens dance with themed animations to complete the immersive experience.
Patrons can order food made fresh in Vinotopia and wine from waiters and dine during their movies. Viewers can also eat before or after in the on-site restaurants, where live musicians often serenade diners on weekends with tunes such as "I Love You Just The Way You Are (Full of Food)."
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.
A 36-month-old strokes his arms through clear water as his mother gently holds him afloat with her hands. Over the past few swim sessions, the little student has learned to submerge his face in the water and float on his belly as well as his back. After he and his fellow swimmers finish their parent/baby swimester, it's likely they may never experience the fear of swimming that many children begin to encounter around age 3. This type of insight into the developmental importance of swimming is what informs the instruction at Swim-U, Leesburg's child-oriented swimming school. The school's curriculum opens its lessons to newborns as young as 6 months old and to kids up to age 12 to instill water skills and the joys of fitness swimming from a young age. The Swim-U team comprises upbeat swimming professors who are the brains behind the company's special brand of instruction in swimming, as well as in child CPR and first-aid training and dunk-tank pitching.