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.
The stars of the Great White Way traverse time zones to shine upon San Diego in Broadway Then…and Now!, a whirlwind sing-along travelogue that whisks audiences through the greatest hits of Broadway history. Artistic Director Jung-Ho Pak and Associate Conductor Dana Zimbric pave memory lane with eye-popping video backdrops and ear-salivating sounds, leading a boisterous orchestra and a cast of Broadway ringers through golden-era melodies mixed with modern pearls. Susan Egan, acclaimed as Broadway’s longest-running Sally Bowles in Cabaret, graces the stage with her Fosse-fueled charisma to belt out beloved ditties alongside fellow master thespians Doug LaBrecque of Phantom fame and Victor/Victoria veteran Rachel York. From the razzle-dazzle of Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business” to the abba-zabba of Mamma Mia, Broadway Then…and Now! leaves no show tune unturned, allowing families to taste all of Manhattan’s yummiest fruits without having to ransack Tammany Hall for tickets.
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.
The first thing people notice about Circus Vargas is its big-top tent. Hand-fashioned in Milan from 90,000 square feet of cerulean-blue fabric dotted with yellow stars, the canopy completed the illusion of an elegant lost era when used in the 2011 film Water for Elephants. The last thing people notice is the absence of animals. They're too busy gaping at a man balancing a 12-step ladder with his mouth.
Keeping its marvels strictly human, Circus Vargas builds on a 40-year history by blending classic feats of fearlessness with surprising new tricks. The show features magic tricks along with a skilled hand balancer, a speed juggler, and the wheel of destiny.
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.