Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with instructors during private lessons and other classmates for group lessons as instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Aqua Shop is in the business of defying physics; inside, water flows uphill. The FlowRider wave machine—an attraction usually reserved for theme parks or cruise ships—projects a frothy current blasted up a slanted ramp, emulating a wave for surfers, wakeboarders, and ambitious belly floppers to catch anytime, regardless of tide conditions. Before visiting, guests can check out the fun from the company’s live camera view, which shows off sweet rides and spectacular wipeouts during all business hours.
Water isn’t the only element Aqua Shop harnesses. The emporium of all things extreme hosts shred sessions on its Big Wave mechanical surfboard and encourages visitors to fire foam balls back and forth in the Cannon Ball Blaster arena. The in-house Thrill Zone features a padded obstacle course with a climbing wall, a slide, and a secret portal that grants one wish from Kelly Slater’s magic bald head.
Fitness specialist and certified nutritionist Ron Lyons wasn’t always so svelte. Before he became a health guru, Ron was a police officer, but his 240-pound frame didn’t fit with the position. It wasn’t until a suspect in a DWI case resisted arrest and outran Ron, leaving him unable to call for backup, that he buckled down. Now, 16 years later, he helms Ultimate Body Studios, sharing the fitness and nutrition skills he has learned and mastered along the way. He leads seminars, grocery store tours that teach healthy shopping habits, and a weight loss and exercise program that combines healthy eating with effective exercise techniques. With continued dedication to the program, some of his students have lost more than 150 pounds, or roughly one ACME cartoon anvil.
A coalition of ice arenas endorsed by the Dallas Stars, Dr Pepper StarCenters help nurture athletes of all ages and skill levels with activities on or off the ice. Dr Pepper StarCenters house NHL-regulation ice-hockey rinks that host hockey leagues for players of all ages, eradicating the need to play on dangerous frozen lakes dotted with irritable frozen geese. StarCenters' skate academies instill students with the fundamentals of ice hockey or figure skating, allowing them to progress to hockey leagues and local skating competitions if they choose. To warm up after laps around the Euless ice rink, skaters can check out the onsite baseball stadium, batting cages, soccer fields, and Texas Star Golf Course. All locations are open for birthday parties and special events; see each location's website for details.
At Sunstone Yoga, students radiate calm and self-awareness as they practice ancient poses designed to stretch, strengthen, and purify the body. Instructors complete 500 hours of training in yogic techniques, teaching, and physiology before leading classes, so they can hand out researched, tested tips on safety and alignment. Most classes come in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute varieties and focus on energy or restorative relaxation. A two-class introductory series welcomes beginners with basic standing poses, and the popular fire series explores up to 34 poses in a 99-degree room that loosens muscles to facilitate deeper stretches as it ousts toxins. Filled with soothing music and 90-degree temperatures, the water series cultivates more serenity than getting a massage from a singing whale.
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.