Presented with 600 acres of verdant pasture to sculpt into an executive course, golf-course architect David Rainville dreamt up 18 Bermuda grass fairways adorned with colorful flowerbeds, four ponds strewn into play, and sand bunkers of various sizes and difficulties. In the three decades since Rainville’s vision became reality, the course’s trees have flourished on all of the eight par 4s and 10 par 3s. The well-manicured course has been ranked in the top 10 courses in San Diego, inviting golfers of all stripes to experience the verdant playground and perhaps occasional sightings of caddies that graze on the short grass. While swinging through the course, men and women are asked to wear collared shirts, protecting them from neck sunburns, informality, and vampire flagsticks.
Course at a Glance:
Throughout its 12-acre arts complex, with more than 9,000 feet of performance space, the California Center for the Arts intersperses a variety of mediums and disciplines with the overarching aim of promoting community building. The museum's three visual-art galleries and sculpture court have housed more than 75 exhibitions since 1994, including interactive exhibits on going "green" that feature tips from crocodiles and the Wicked Witch of the West. Currently, Patricia Patterson's exhibition Here and There, Back and Forth mystifies museum-goers with theatrical installations and painted snapshots. Along with free admission to the museum for two adults and up to four children, family memberships include priority seating and presale tickets to performances, invitations to preview events, and free admission for two adults to the Art & Intrigue show.
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.
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 accomplished and experienced strutting instructors at Ladera Ranch Dance Academy, a family owned studio, train toddlers, tweens, and teens in the art and discipline of dance. Boogie beginners as young as 2 can establish a solid dance foundation and a lifelong affinity for sequins with the academy’s array of classes divvied up by age, experience, and type.
MVDPAC has strutted its way to the top of numerous competitions, including first place in the 2009 CityVoter OC Hotlist for best dance studio. Under the limber guidance of decorated instructors, both novice and seasoned can shakers choose from the list of one-hour daily drop-in classes, where twinkle-toes light up floors with sparks rivaled only by Christmas trees that have fallen in the fireplace. Once inside the spacious studio, bodies bound across seven sprawling rooms and a studio theater. Students can elongate into states of grace through a selection of ballet courses, animate their legs and develop rhythm in the hip-hop courses, or practice freeform toe tapping and scatting the Greek alphabet through the jazz classes.
The adage that "there are no small parts, just small actors" rings truest at The Center Stage Studio, where budding thespians of all ages get their share of the spotlight. Under the experienced wand of director Tracey DiMiceli, a seasoned performer and theater instructor who also helmed Malibu's prestigious "Fitness by the Sea" summer camp, young actors develop the skills to sing, dance, and deliver heartfelt Tony Award acceptance speeches in a wealth of classes and camps.
In the family-tailored musical theater camps, which feature themes reflecting popular musicals and children's shows, lil' thespians learn the fundamentals of theater technique—including blocking, projecting, and stage direction—and cultivate skills that boost self-esteem and critical thinking. Camps end with a public performance where every child gets a spot in a major musical number and receives a speaking role, curbing the theatrical tradition of jealous prepubescent understudies.