Hands-on learning and playtime in JW Tumbles’ interactive classes help children explore the far reaches of their cranial caverns. Parents with toddlers younger than 3 years old can enroll in parent-participation classes such as Squeakers Class, geared toward four- to 10-month-olds, Little Maestros is a musical adventure for kids four months to five years, or Wobblers Class, where baby bodybuilders 11 to 18 months old practice tumbling and balance to increase motor skills and decrease the need for sippy-cup creatine shakes. Ages 3 and older can fly solo—parents can watch from the sidelines if they wish—during age-appropriate and highly interactive independent classes. The Stompers Class prep 3- to 4.5-year-olds for kindergarten, while Specialty Classes introduces kids from 3 to 7 years old to specific forms of fun in a non-competitive environment. Each class meets once a week, leaving plenty of time for use of the playspace passes.
The Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom more than lives up to the splendor suggested by its name. When the new owner and management took over the downtown Greenwich ballroom, they completely redecorated it in the opulent style of the Regency period. Today, its expansive wooden floor hosts private lessons and group classes in dance styles such as salsa, foxtrot, rumba, and Argentine tango. Arthur Murray's renowned teaching system is designed to help students develop a strong foundation in two to four dances. Instructors emphasize the three most important elements of dancing—step patterns, timing, and leading or following—and make sure that their students are having fun at every twist and turn.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
At Steve DeMasco's Shaolin Studios, Grandmaster DeMasco and his staff of instructors illuminate students of all ages in the nuances of Martial Arts. Himself a vastly experienced practitioner of Martial Arts, DeMasco specializes in kung fu and teaches his pupils not only the fundamentals of the sport, but also the importance of self-respect, discipline, and not just learning from old kung fu movies. Each instructor here also brings their own high level of cred to their classes. As practitioners of Shaolin martial arts?the ancient predecessor of all martial arts?they're all internationally certified by the Shaolin Temple in China.
Wendy Traskos's career as a pole-dancing icon began with one fateful spin. Impressed by the strength of self-expression she glimpsed in accomplished pole-dancers, she tried the art for herself and was hooked immediately, so much so she has been honing her spinning skills for 16 years. Now a self-taught professional, she channels her background as a certified personal trainer and gymnast to enhance her routines. Wendy’s fitness knowledge landed her celebrity clients, including Montel Williams and Mary J. Blige, and her proficiency on the pole led Germany's version of America's Next Top Model to feature her as a dancing expert.
At NY Pole studios, Wendy passes on her spiraling prowess through her original Climb and Spin method. She believes that students should build a foundation of muscle and a repertoire of techniques as they progress to more advanced pole tricks, which require them to shed all rock-climbing gear. Her classes accommodate varying skill levels with choreographed routines, motivating participants to practice recently learned grips, climbs, and transitions. The studios also offer fitness classes, private parties, and workshops led by guest instructors such as Cleo “The Hurricane,” also known as Miss Pole Dance Australia.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award?winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.