Barefoot students sway to the music, moving their arms rhythmically, punctuating the flow every so often with martial-arts-style punches and kicks across the sprung wood floor. The low-impact, low-pressure practice nourishes the body, mind, and spirit alike—as co-owner Helen Tracy told Great Day Houston, “I fell in love with my body through Nia.” The instructors at NiaMoves specialize in Nia’s aerobic workouts, in addition to an eclectic assortment of other group fitness classes. The instructors lead students in everything from body-stretching and mind-calming yoga sessions to aerobic hoop-dance workouts. Many of the classes are holistically refreshing, including the healing drum-and-dance-circle sessions, which begin with a tension-relieving meditation session. Instructor Emilia then leads students in expressing themselves through movement and thumping drum beats, both of which are effective during most job interviews.
Antonio Daniels studied elementary education at Bowling Green State University. But rather than making a career of reading Newbery Award–winning books or conducting science experiments over bunsen burners, he entered the 1997 NBA Draft and was chosen as the fourth overall pick by the Vancouver Grizzlies. However, once he recognized the hollowness of a baller's lifestyle––whose only rewards were a 1999 NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs and the perk of wearing shorts to work––Antonio atoned by establishing his annual youth summer basketball camp.
For all five days of the camp, Antonio prowls the sidelines, giving kids pointers and boosting their confidence in the game he has now played professionally for 13 years. Coaches from the middle-school through college ranks join him in running the aspiring dunk machines through drills, skill training, and competitive games. At the end of the camp, children will not only have sharpened their hooping tool set, but they will also leave with two of the best souvenirs Antonio can offer other than plaster casts of his hands and feet: a T-shirt and an autographed photo.
In 1979, millionaire Donald J. Carter and Mavericks' founding president, Norm Sonju, began making efforts to secure an NBA team in Dallas. His dream became a reality at the 1980 All-Star game, when league owners voted to admit the new franchise for an entry fee of $12 million and Mr. Carter's entire baseball-card collection. The newly formed Mavs experienced quick success, making the postseason six times during their first decade. The 1990s proved not so kind, however; the team failed to make the playoffs even once. That ineptitude came to a prompt halt with the start of the new millennium, when, under a fresh and outspoken ownership regime, the team set off a string of 12 straight playoff appearances, highlighted by its first NBA title in 2011.
Organized by the Austin Sports and Social Club, the community-oriented Downtown Dash TX unleashes teams on a race across the city rife with physical challenges, social interactions, and mental puzzles. The undefined course lets participants choose their own route, but with a catch: travel must be completed on foot or by public transportation, not on bicycles, rollerblades, or stolen emus. While following a clue sheet, teams attempt to topple up to a dozen challenges all while encountering some of Austin's most historic and renowned sites. Upon crossing the finish line, the top three teams receive a special prize, but everyone wins during a postrace party that stretches the day's festivities into the evening. There will also be random drawings in which every team has a chance to win. The race benefits the Austin Sunshine Camps.
Beyond the race, Austin Sports and Social Club offers a range of coed team sports leagues, including soccer, softball, dodgeball, bowling, and sand volleyball. Participants are able to socialize on the court and at team happy hours following games.
As legend has it, an 1875 article in the Dallas Herald claimed that a live panther was spotted walking the streets of Fort Worth. The city soon became known as the "The Panther City," so when Fort Worth's first minor-league baseball team was founded, in 1888, calling it the "Panthers"—rather than, say, the "Fighting Dandelions"—just made sense. Over the years, journalists shortened the club's nickname to the "Cats," and the team dominated the Texas League through the first part of the 20th Century, at one point winning six consecutive league titles in the 1920s.
After bouncing between affiliations with several MLB teams, the Cats disbanded in 1964. However, the Cats returned in 2002, almost immediately reliving the success of the previous century and capturing three straight titles from 2005–07. Despite never adopting the Panther name, the modern-day Cats have never lost sight of their history, as evidenced by mascot "Dodger" and LaGrave Field's classic design.
From September through March, the El Paso Hockey Association’s rink rumbles with the hard hits of the El Paso Rhinos—El Paso’s Junior A hockey team that netted a Silver Medal at the 2011 National Championship. But when the Rhinos are off the ice, the facility opens the rink to the community for a number of different uses. Public-skating sessions, for instance, invite guests to stop by and experience the thrill of carving a perfect figure eight or the profile of Stone Cold Steve Austin into the ice. Classes and programs, such as Learn to Skate, further sharpen skaters’ skills. And kids’ hockey leagues give youngsters the chance to get a feel for the sport.