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.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Welk Resorts is proof that opportunity can strike at any moment. In 1964, Lawrence Welk was in San Diego with the intention of investing in a grove of orange trees, when he decided to take a drive. Inspired by his exploration, he changed his course; instead of procuring a grove, he bought a motel and a nine-hole golf course. As he began hosting shows and building additions at his recreation haven, Welk Resorts grew, and eventually became an international resort company with locations in California, Missouri, and Mexico.
Today, guests can swim in one of the resort pools, take in water sports, catch a show in one of the on-site theaters, or collect all the round, white jewels on the golf course. They can also explore each resort's hosted events, which range from Fathers' Day barbecues to farmers' markets.
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.