Veteran ballet dancers Lauri-Michelle and Benjamin Houk run a duo of prominent dance academies designed to aid children in the pursuit of toe-tapping excellence. Five four-hour days of dance camp break up the drudgery of summertime like an ice-cream truck breaks up a cul-de-sac water-balloon fight. Jazz Contemporary Hip-Hop workshop and the Ballet Summer Intensive offer various age-specific seminars for young hoofers all the way up to older teens, and the Mary Poppins Musical Theater Camp trains the starry eyes and limbs of Broadway-bound 6- to 12-year-olds. The academies' Dancing Princesses camp teaches 4- to 6-year-olds how to gracefully sway with any glass footwear or beast dance partner.
Hewing to the artistic vision of director Leslie Craig-Foxworth, the international cartel of stage-trained rug-cutters at Performing Arts Workshop lead dancers of all ages in ballet, tap, and jazz classes. Scan the schedule courses suiting tap-ready toes attached to child or adult feet, with new classes including Vaganova-style adult beginning ballet, modern dance for the 45+ crowd, and the Mommy & Me sessions, which set tots as young as 2 spinning while they're still small enough to hide inside a jewelry box. Children aged 6–12 as well as full-grown adults can click shoes in respective beginner tap classes, while Starlets and Twinkle Toes classes impart the foundations of classical ballet in children 3–5 years old. The Performing Arts Workshop puts on twice-yearly performances, including The Nutcracker in December, which, unlike the cliques of haughty real-world wooden dolls, remains open to all students.
Renovated in 2011, the Museum of Making Music showcases a permanent display of hundreds of unusual and vintage instruments charting the progression of song-crafting from 1900 to modern times. Five museum galleries present popular music, innovations in instruments and their manufacture, and marketing and distribution techniques in five eras throughout the 20th century. Racks of gleaming instruments line the cases, as well as more eclectic pieces such as double-neck guitars, the crossbreed GuitarViol, and an ancient, forgotten instrument whose name is always whispered: the "clarinet." The museum is dotted with interactive exhibits, giving visitors the chance to craft their own tunes on the exhibit's drum kits or keytar.
Leila Parello has been teaching ballet for more than 40 years. At The School of Ballet Arts, which Leila founded in 1974, she and her team of professional instructors cultivate a noncompetitive environment in which students can learn the joy of dance through the lens of classical ballet. They teach proper ballet technique, pointe, classical variations, stretch, and jazz, culminating in a well-rounded curriculum for dancers of all ages and skill levels.