Inside Different Strokes Art Studio, pristine white ceramic bisques fill the cubbies that line one wall, taking all kinds of shapes—from giant vases to wizard hats. Artists of all ages bend to their work at the studio’s tables, dabbling colored glazes onto the matte clay and picking colors and brushes from the center of the table as they go, creating keepsakes such as personalized dinner platters for holidays or ornaments with their child's hand print painted on. When customers are done bedecking their pieces, the shop’s assistants glaze and fire each one, turning items such as plates, bowls, and dip platters instantly food safe and ready to hang on the wall or hold beautifully presented piles of marshmallow fluff.
Certified dance instructors who have trained with Arthur Murray, Fred Astaire, and the National Dance Council of America impart ballroom, Latin, and swing moves to dancers in all-level and wedding-specific courses. The main ballroom's mammoth disco ball, grown from a sequin planted on the roof, tosses light across a blacked-out ceiling that, along with high-tech lighting, fosters a nightclub atmosphere during weekly dance parties.
On the Ross Barnett Reservoir sits the Main Harbor Marina, and subsequently, the full-service Main Harbor Store. There, the staff dispenses a host of boating aids, ranging from ethanol-free fuel to ice, food, and supplies, such as life jackets or inflatable marinas for boating vacations on the go. But the store doesn't merely indulge its customers in boating merchandise. It also rents out party-boat behemoths, such as pontoons fit for a dozen people looking to relax in the sun and dip their faces into the marina's waters. And in addition to personal watercraft, or small jets fit for three passengers, there's also the massive, 30-foot party barge, which holds up to 16 people and features two levels of above-water decks, as well as a slide.
Guided by 27 years of martial-arts experience, seventh-degree black belt Jason Griffin helps budding martial artists cultivate their skills with his team of certified Taekwondo instructors. Since 1996, they’ve helped students of all ages learn self-defense, compete in tournaments, and take pride in the practice of martial arts. The team’s dedication has paid off: In 2012, the Jackson Free Press awarded them the title of Best Martial Arts Studio. In addition to taekwondo classes, the studio hosts birthday parties, boot camps, and more.
Surrounded by the works of classes past, pupils at Easely Amused create their own pieces of art under the tutelage of experienced instructors. Provided brushes whisper against canvas while students follow their teacher to create a painting that matches the evening’s template. Like driving directions from a poet, the works often include seasonal scenes, abstract swirls of color, and bright flowers. Painters bring their own beverages to enjoy during classes, the clicking glasses of wine and beer helping provide inspiration for art.
As CrossFit trainers, the instructors at Mississippi CrossFit are less interested in how much clients can bench than whether or not they can push a stalled car off the road. They emphasize functional strength, and the team has designed virtually every facet of their training around that goal. Inside the spacious studio, free weights work not only major muscle groups, but also strengthen smaller, secondary muscles, which translates into greater feats of strength for daily tasks.