When owner of Miss April's Musical Arts Studio April Hamm was a kid, her first piano teacher placed Skittles onto the piano whenever April played well. Though she doesn't tempt her students with sweets, April finds other ways to make music education fun. For children from newborns to 4-year-olds, she teaches music and movement classes, combining dance and playing percussion instruments with singing kids' favorite songs.
During her other classes, April instills students with music-reading skills by helping them learn their favorite traditional, popular, and classical songs on piano. In her computer-lab sessions, she even uses computer programs to teach kids music theory and songwriting skills.
As an expert in kung fu and tae kwon do, Louis Charron had learned to wield his body as a weapon. After a time, however, he felt that his martial arts repertoire had ceased to expand—how was he supposed to respond on a dime to dangerous situations if his technique couldn't adapt? It wasn't until he began to specialize in krav maga that he experienced a combat system that continuously evolved, honing rapid-fire reactions to real-life scenarios. Louis dedicated himself to mastering the same self-defense maneuvers utilized by the Israeli Defense Forces, and today runs Close Combat and Fitness as lead instructor and the Louisiana State Director for the International Krav Maga Federation.
Inside the training facility, Louis teaches students to build from the body's natural movements and ward off armed and unarmed attackers, demonstrating tactics for offense, defense, and evasion. He maintains that fostering a positive mindset can create the best sense of security, second only to the confidence that comes from wearing brass knuckles on your hands and feet. That sense of security can particularly benefit youngsters, who gain the confidence to ignore bullies and the self-discipline to succeed in their studies. Guests of all fitness levels can benefit from his lessons, which have been featured on WWL-TV and Cox Sports Television Fitness 411 for their growing influence on the martial-arts scene.
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Yoga 108's staff of local yogis teaches Bikram yoga in a studio dedicated to this popular subset of Hatha yoga. During more than 30 weekly classes, students practice up to 26 unique asanas—or poses—in a toasty room whose heat is designed to benefit the body by increasing its strength, flexibility, and fly-swatting accuracy. Instructors continuously circle the room to give timely feedback and alter students' poses.
Dubbed a “powerhouse of comedy” by the Austin Chronicle, The New Movement unleashes a dizzying number of comedy shows that belie the institution’s young age. Founded in 2009 by improvisers Chris Trew and Tami Nelson, the theater and conservatory has already established itself in two cities, training fledgling performers in the art of the extemporaneous by inspiring them to take comedic risks on stage, whether it’s connecting emotionally with a character or performing actual surgery. Whether or not the performers are costumed or bearing props, they aim to create a fully realized world on stage through grounded situations and elegant but always creative transitions between scenes.