New York-native John Cassese's motto is, "If you can walk, you can dance." The celebrity dance instructor and choreographer's own quick-stepping career began at the tender age of 10, jumpstarting a passion that would eventually take him careening across the stages of off-Broadway productions, nightclubs, dance competitions, and the occasional monster-truck rally. It wasn't until he relocated to Los Angeles that an agent dubbed him "The Dance Doctor," and soon after, he found his fleet-footed prowess and teaching abilities in high demand amongst production studios such as Sony, Paramount, and 20th Century Fox.
Between choreographing a Charleston dance sequence on AMC's Mad Men and singing at the 50th birthday parties of Billy Crystal and Wolfgang Puck, John leads a team of instructors as they teach celebs and everyday Tinseltowners the finer points of styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop. Despite all the fanfare, his biggest praise comes from his work with soon-to-be-married couples, who seek his advice on everything from basic steps and song selection, to the length of the post-cake-cutting conga line.
At a time when most kids were learning to spell with the letters in their alphabet soup, Mark and Missy Seyler were learning gymnastics. What began as a fun extracurricular activity turned into a successful college career for both Mark and Missy at the University of Oklahoma, which led the siblings into the teaching profession. Their academy resembles an Olympic training facility with wall-to-wall mats and rows of gymnastics training equipment, such as balance beams and uneven bars. The center's in-ground trampolines, play mountains, and foam pits also help youngsters discover the fun in physical fitness. Mark and Missy lead an extensive gymnastics curriculum in classes for boys and girls, and students can attend the academy as soon as they enter preschool or learn to recite the alphabet backward. In addition to their standard classes, Mark and Missy lead regular events such as camps, Friday Nights Out, and birthday parties. As their skills progress, students can pit themselves against their peers in Southlake’s competitive programs.
Combat Swim's cross-training swim program will challenge you in a variety of ways including short swimming drills, high repetition weight training, calisthenics in and out of the pool, treading water with weights, and high intensity interval training. You do not need to be a proficient swimmer to participate in the program at it will get you fit, focused, and full of energy.
Inside the climate-controlled environs of his 8,500-square-foot training center, Jeff Isler heads a team of teaching professionals that helps students of all ability levels shave strokes off their scores. Each lesson illustrates the importance of the game's fundamentals, such as grip, ball position, and posture. Players absorb these principles through customized drills, practice, and a steady diet of putting-green grass. Novices learn to build an efficient, repeatable swing, and seasoned veterans see what bad habits might be holding them back, such as an overly steep downswing. The teaching team also employs a number of different technologies to assist with the instruction process, with the TrackMan launch monitor and K-Vest training system treating students to further analysis of their techniques.
Since age 3, Dana Bailey has been twirling to her own beat, progressing from childhood cha-chas to appearances in promotions for Pepsi and JC Penney. After studying under instructors in California and New York City, Dana now offers pintsize patrons the same opportunity to get a head start in the performing arts with child and teen dance classes. She enlists working industry pros to wrangle kids as young as 2.5 in tap, ballet, and tumbling classes atop pliable wood and marley floors.
The boys' tap, jazz, and hip-hop classes accommodate a demographic often overlooked by the dance industry and prepare a studio team for local and national performances. Instructors regularly glean pointers from top national choreographers to craft classes such as Teen Hip Hop, which equips students with basic moves and combos that, much like the prom held outside the Grammys, are set to a soundtrack of current hits.
Within Leapin' Lizards' 20,000-square-foot funscape, kids release pent-up energy as they trample across three rooms of inflatable slides, houses, and a bungee trampoline. Rambunctious, sock-clad tykes crawl through tunnels in a four-story playscape, zip down a 20-foot Kraken (from Pirates of the Caribbean) slide, or conquer an obstacle course. In a girls-only room, the staff treat guests like princesses, beautifying hair, nails, and faces amidst dancing, singing, and modeling for photo ops. Elsewhere, younger kids play in a toddler room, and birthday kids call celebrations together in themed party rooms, bedecked with an enchanted landscape or castle imagery to make the guest of honor feel like a monarch, demanding that each partygoer surrender a portion of their crop yield to the royal family.