Liz London experimented in college. After a K-12 career spent learning the likes of ballet and modern dance, she was ready for the harder stuff, and that’s when she fell in with the belly-dancing crowd. Eventually, the flirtation grew into a full-blown infatuation, and she started Memphis Raqs, a troupe of professional dancers. Still, Liz never gave up on her first loves, and Memphis Raqs couldn’t completely accommodate her dream of creating a modern-day salon for all types of dance traditions.
When she created MidSouth World Dance Center, she rounded up a crack-team of professional instructors—along with her belly-dancing troupe. The group includes a Brazilian-trained flamenco dancer, a choreographer, and a former Fly Girl. Together, they teach recreational world-dance classes for adults and children. Their evolving class schedule features salsa, hip-hop, belly dancing, tango, and hula hoop, and they continually add new dance styles as more and more people escape from that town in Footloose. Augmenting the international moves, the studios host kids' summer camps and children- and adult-themed parties.
Renowned dance coach Anthony Lewis, who’s mentored many nationally ranked clients, boasts several competition titles, as well as a fourth-place win at the World's Championships himself. His teaching experience spans the country, having overseen studios in Kentucky and California, and his staff of instructors emulates his star quality with their devotion and skill. Yet, for all of their impressive credentials, the teachers at Nashville Ballroom specialize in training adult beginners, deriving fulfillment from transforming two left feet into comfortable twirling tools.
As Nashville Ballroom’s students sashay through the studio's three-step schooling approach—composed of private lessons, group classes, and social practice—they can choose from more than 20 dance styles. Instructors stress that their setting is "not your grandma's ballroom," culling modern steps from Latin, swing, and country-western choreography. Though they do tutor such classical styles as the waltz and foxtrot, lessons typically focus on the modern techniques needed for nightclub outings and wedding receptions in the year 4012.
Visitors enter a gleeful realm of recreation and friendly competition amid the indoor and outdoor attractions of Putt-Putt Golf & Games. The emerald corridors of 54 mini golf holes meander throughout the playscape, forming three 18-hole courses that gradually escalate in both difficulty and the territorial aggression of their native windmills. The thunderous clap of bat barrels smacking line-drives resonates from the baseball and softball cages, where mechanical hurlers sling baseballs at four different speeds and softballs at fast- and slow-pitch standards. More than 50 arcade and ticket-redemption games hungrily devour tokens in the game room, and guests can sate their appetites with pizza ($9 for a large), hot dogs ($1.50), and scoops of Blue Bunny ice cream ($2 for one scoop).
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months to 12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
•Consistently Persistent FitBody (Franklin) Up to 10 classes •GetFit Anytime (Nashville): Up to 10 classes •GetFit Anytime (Springfield): Up to 10 classes •Basics and Beyond – Fitness, Nutrition, & Rehabilitation (Nashville): Up to 10 classes •Circuit Athletics Fitness and Wellness Center (Clarksville): Up to 10 classes •WestSide Athletic Club (Nashville): Up to 10 classes •West Dragon Kung Fu (Nashville): Up to 10 classes •Tiger King Muay Thai (Nashville): 10 classes
An indoor rock-climbing gym, The Ascent resides inside a cavernous, warehouse-like building where the angled walls are studded with handgrips and gravity challenges participants on every ascent. The facility's top-rope walls stretch as high as 32 feet, and angled walls bevel off into challenging overhangs where chalky-handed patrons cling tightly during ropeless bouldering runs. When opening the gym, owner Jeff Hess—familiar with the passion of bouldering enthusiasts—made sure to leave room for a 2,500-square-foot bouldering area, now located in the center of the large open space.
Jeff's efforts to foster community through climbing have lead to some unique fusions at The Ascent. The new auto-belay system enables climbers to climb without need for a partner. Additionally, a partnership with neighboring Crossfit Murfreesboro now affords The Ascent's members a bonus benefit, access to Crossfit’s cardio and weight-training facilities.