As Shari Misher Stenzler trudged down a flight stairs on her way to kids' music lessons, toddler in one arm and stroller in the other, she wondered why early childhood education wasn't more accessible. She wanted a one-stop shop, an easily accessible location where she and her child could learn about art, music, gym, dance, and science. Inspired to avoid future climbs, she founded Kidville, an early childhood-development facility that encourages children to learn and explore new concepts, alongside their parents and plenty of teachers.
While they teach everything from ballet to science, Kidville's staff consider Rockin' Railroad to be their signature class. They host a live band for each session, taking kids and parents on an interactive adventure to instrumentville, so named for its plethora of musical devices. Kids let their imaginations and compositions run wild, encouraged by the bright, geometrically patterned walls designed to intuitively guide them through the space.
Some swim coaches can only tout their credentials and experiences, but director Susie Collins can prove the results of her labor. One of her pupils is working toward swimming in the Olympics, and a thrilled parent recently praised her ease and dedication in teaching their special-needs son how to swim. All the academy's instructors receive training in water safety, stroke curriculum, and child development directly from Collins, who also teaches games and techniques to motivate even the most stubborn inflatable alligator. Students learn at their own pace, following Collins's stage-by-stage method that leads toward individual swimming goals, whether students want to compete professionally or use their butterfly stroke to blend in at the local dolphin tank.
Throughout the year, Choice Tee keeps players in tiptop game shape with a fully automated driving range, golf-simulator room, and miniature-golf course. Ceiling fans rotate high above covered tees, keeping players cool as they practice driving balls further than 350 yards. The robotic tees reload after each drive, allowing players to practice without straining their backs. The facility also hosts surreal short-game practice on a 19-hole miniature-golf course. A misting fountain sits at the circuit’s epicenter, and a series of emerald corridors tests players who tap like a bugler at dawn through the labyrinth of faux-grass turf, harnessing their putt-putt prowess as they attempt to read testy breaks, outfox smooth-putting opponents, and curb cases of the yips.
“In victory, be humble. In defeat, be strong. In all things be fair.” This quote from Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee serves as the philosophy of Family ATA Martial Arts, where students of all ages learn Songahm Taekwondo. The martial arts form focuses on building strength of body and character through personal development based on Lee's teachings. At the center of his teachings: the Songahm star, a symbol of the circle of life and of finding balance in each day. The inclusive, family-friendly classes for youngsters as well as adults blend these teachings with Taekwondo techniques such as kicks and strikes, creating a workout that exercises the mind, body, and spirit more effectively than running a marathon while reading the work of classic philosophers.
Anthony Lewis, a championship-level dancer and owner of Ballroom Houston, believes that a technically sound dance lesson is useless if it's not practical. That's why he and his team of instructors do all they can to get students eager to hit the dance floor and thrive in social situations. During private and group lessons, students of all skill levels and backgrounds explore the graceful, rhythmic steps of the waltz, swing, and salsa, or learn how to fool a lawn into growing faster by doing the Sprinkler. The instructors at Ballroom Houston focus on all forms of partnered dancing, and are always training and refining their curriculum.
The coaches at Tumbling Cheer Fitness don't just teach cheerleading and tumbling classes, and the instructors at Family ATA Martial Arts don't just teach tae kwon do. They lay a foundation of physical fitness and mental focus that can be translated to any sport. With competition-winning experience under their black belts and glittery eyeshadow, they teach kids how to kick, cartwheel, and cheer their way to victory. Younger kids can also unleash their energy with games and trampolines while adults build muscle during calorie-burning workouts.