Girls garbed in colorful dresses festooned with Celtic knots leap into the air and then land softly on the stage. Their feet whip into a mad blur, but their stick-straight arms never leave their sides. They look like marionette dolls whose arm strings have broken off, but their movements are precise and choreographed. This is Irish dance, and its unique steps are taught to beginner, intermediate, and championship dancers aged 3 or older at Ardmore Academy of Irish Dance.
Students here learn everything from basic footwork to advanced leaps, as well as how to keep their arms rigidly at their sides without resorting to a plaster upper-body cast. As they progress, dancers graduate from soft shoes to hard shoes.
A sun rising over a crashing wave. This is the logo for Sunrise Taekwondo and Fitness Kickboxing—a logo that symbolizes the start of a new day; a logo that celebrates Taekwondo Master and owner Christopher Smith’s first style of taekwondo training, known simply as Blue Wave. From within the calm confines of his taekwondo training and fitness center, Smith and his team educate students on the basics of self-defense. Beyond pure movement, each cardio-fueled session carries an overall emphasis on respect, discipline, and working together in a supportive, team-like environment.
It's all about self-expression at Backstage Performing Arts Center, where instructors enkindle the passion that their students feel for dance. Students as young as 15 months or as old as 21 will find a class for their age group in the studio's expansive curriculum. Small class sizes ensure that instructors can take time to tweak each participant's technique, whether the class is jazz, tap, ballet, or tumbling.
Kickboxing classes deliver a knee to the face of fat with the high-energy striking moves of martial arts and boxing. All four limbs get in on the bag-bludgeoning action at iLoveKickboxing as each class (a $15 value per class) provides a full-body workout that tones arm, leg, and tentacle muscles while tightening the body’s core and improving balance. Hitting the heavy bags won't skin your knuckles once you don the included boxing gloves, which also double as excellent spring-loaded props for re-creating Three Stooges gags. Classes take place Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m., Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:00 a.m. ,Thursdays at 7:30 a.m., and Saturdays at 11:15 a.m.