Inside a cavernous gym with aquamarine floors divvied up by clean white lines, badminton devotees thwack shuttlecocks over taut nets. Arcadia Badminton Club’s facilities boast 17 Olympic standard badminton courts, along with amenities such as three ping-pong tables, a lounge, and men’s and women’s showers. Players can load up on gear at the pro shop or stop by the café to strain tea with a racket.
On 12 sunny courts at Arcadia Tennis Center, certified instructors help students learn the fundamentals of tennis and hone their playing skills. Under new management as of June 2012, the staff is dedicated to new beginnings, organizing group lessons for both juniors and adults, each with a low student-to-teacher ratio to ensure individual improvement. In addition to the beginners' lessons, Arcadia Tennis Center hosts youth summer camps and regular leagues, which merge healthy competition with the sport's social aspects, much like a football game's halftime debutante ball.
Greek music reverberates into the open air as the rich smell of roasting lamb entices crowds walking into the annual Pasadena GreekFest in Santa Anita Park. Lined with stalls selling Greek wares and traditional Greek food, the fest celebrates Greek culture with three days of socializing, dancing, and lightening-bolt throwing. When not munching on honey-soaked bites of fried loukoumathes or shish kebabs, families can look at the goods for sale or scale the inflatable equipment in the kids’ fun zone.
The certified instructors at Pilates Sculpt Studio forge strong muscles and mind-body connections through the system of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates. Pilates, the son of two gymnasts, devoted his lifetime to studying fitness. He eventually developed his signature Pilates method as a way to help heal old injuries and correct poor postures. His exercises and stretches, using the body as resistance, are especially useful for people who sit at their desks all day or sleep on lava rocks at night.
The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.
Classes at Creative World Art School don't simply teach the skills of painting, sketching, and sculpting. Instead, the non-profit's instructors encourage children and teens to view each project as an exercise in critical thinking and self-expression. This emphasis on enrichment above all else helps students develop a sense of curiosity and creativity that can help kids succeed outside of the studio as well. To accomplish this, the teachers lead age-appropriate programs that utilize both traditional and contemporary media—everything from drawing and book-binding to digital computer animation and e-book-binding.