Dancers of all ages have been sashaying, pirouetting, and leaping through the studio at Dance Plus since 1987. Teachers lead classes for all ages and skill levels, from the 2.5-year-olds learning basic coordination in Creative Dance to the adults honing their skills in hip-hop, ballet, and lyrical classes. For those looking for a more fitness-based routine, the studio also offers Zumba classes, which secretly tone muscles by focusing clients on fun-filled dance routines fueled by Latin music. No matter what class students take, they're sure to get the individual attention they need to master the steps thanks to Dance Plus's commitment to intimate class sizes.
Greek immigrant Louis Santikos founded his first movie theater in San Antonio in 1911, when silent moving pictures of train robberies and slapstick comedy were an exciting novelty. Today, the thriving regional theater empire continues the family tradition of dazzling audiences with attractions such as IMAX sensory journeys.
Santikos's expansive theaters house up to 19 screens of first-run cinematic entertainment at some locations. Equipped with popcorn and sodas, moviegoers can nervously munch and sip their way through every pulse-pounding car chase, tragic missed connection, or gripping montage of drying paint. Screenings in 3-D of select films are brought to life by the gloriously immersive illuminations of Xpand 3-D projectors.
The San Antonio Film Festival unearths cinematic treasures and provides a platform for artists to unveil their works to a diverse audience. College and high-school categories showcase the future of filmmaking, and documentaries drag real-world issues—such as the epidemic misuse of the word "literally"—into the light. Festival-goers literally never stop between viewings, keeping busy while meeting some of the filmmakers, soaking in words of wisdom from panelists, and participating in workshops.
For Mark Richter, opera is more about impact than scale. He founded Opera Piccola of San Antonio to artistically prove that point, making it the company's mission to create accessible productions with a smaller scope. His dedication to intimate performances is right in the name—"piccola" is the Italian word for "small." Today, that less grandiose approach has become the opera's greatest asset: it allows directors and performers to take more risks on stage, and gives audiences a different, up-close perspective on an often misunderstood art form. To further that accessibility, all productions are staged in the opera's original language, with English super-titles for those not fluent in the dialect of dramatics.
Taking time out of the NBA season to inspire young athletes, the San Antonio Spurs organization’s annual holiday basketball clinic uses basketball as a vehicle to teach the values of sportsmanship and leading a healthy lifestyle. During single-day sessions, former and current Spurs players and coaches swing by to alley-oop advice into the ears of boys and girls aged 7–18, leading practice drills and competitions in which coaches emphasize core principles and training techniques, such as how young players should react when college recruiters start replacing the prizes in cereal boxes with letters of intent. Afterward, kids head home with signed souvenirs and a better overall understanding of the game, both on the court and off.
Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio has classical music in her blood. The one-time concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony descends from a line of concert pianists and symphony violists, and her sister Sara plays the cello in the award-winning ensemble Eroica Trio. One summer evening in 1996, Stephanie was feeling deprived during the symphony's seasonal hiatus when inspiration struck: why not found a new festival all her own? Going strong 17 years later, the Cactus Pear Music Festival sprawls out with five concert programs scheduled in three cities over the course of two weeks.