The Chinese Shao-Lin Center's masters teach the ancient Chinese art of Shao-Lin kung fu, a mixture of self-defense and meditation that's considered essential for health and longevity. Inside a peaceful, welcoming space, students ages 12 and up of all fitness and skill levels are invited to enlist in various classes in the external arts and internal arts. Learn to defend yourself against aggressors, or send a message to threatening mannequins in one of various kung fu classes. Or find peace between muscle and mind in a tai chi session, which connects gentle, flowing movements with breathing exercises. The center's specialty classes, available two to three times each month, cover a range of topics designed to empower bodies, minds, and cinder blocks' rights activists and might focus on kicking techniques or meditation.
The seasoned instructors at Belly Dance Tucson demystify the Middle Eastern art of speaking with the hips during a schedule of belly-dancing classes for adults and children. Students en route to belly-dancing mastery must first participate in eight weeks of the Introductory Technique course. Afterward, each successive class increases in difficulty and begins incorporating finger symbols, veils, and Rubik's cubes that participants must solve with their feet. The studio's kid-friendly classes teach bite-size belly dancers aged 5–10 in a fun, encouraging environment. Specialty workshops and private lessons allow pupils to fine-tune specific skills under the tutelage of a world-renowned dancer. Belly Dance Tucson's professional dancing troupe can also travel to special events and social gatherings to grace crowds with hypnotizing entertainment.
Normally the den of the vacationing Tucson Toros, Hi Corbett Field throws open its doors to a rotating cast of minor-league and wood bat-wielding college teams for a summer of sportsmanship under the lights. On Thirsty Thursday, spectators stake out real estate behind home plate for bouts between visiting sluggers before decamping to the concession stands for $1 beers from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The stadium’s savvy staff augments on-field action with various theme nights throughout the summer, enlivening each game with special events such as the June 16 early Father’s Day celebration, the June 30 Jersey Shore bash, or the July 7 Census Taker Appreciation Night.
The polymath instructors at Tucson Circus Arts prepare participants for the performance arts or self-betterment with a wide range of curricula that encompasses circus, dance, music, martial arts, and theater. Through activities such as stilt walking and aerial-silk acrobatics, visitors improve flexibility, strengthen the upper body, and challenge the mind.
A partner gym of Rocks & Ropes, The Bloc climbing + fitness is a 20,000 square-foot, air-conditioned rock-climbing destination. Inside, a dozen autobelays allow visitors to make high, harness-assisted ascents. Or, you can test your bouldering skills on a 7,000 square-foot wall. In addition, the gym offers yoga, meditation, and pilates classes in its 2nd-story heartSTONE studio, welcoming both beginners and experts. The gym also includes cardio and weight equipment for those looking for a vigorous exercise or a heart-to-heart talk with a treadmill.
Ordinary Bike Shop is a full-service bike and repair shop run by a trio of knowledgeable bike professionals who are skilled in the eldritch magicks of healing sick bicycles and exorcising the spirit of flatness from possessed tires. During their tune-up of your pedal-powered conveyance, they’ll adjust your bike’s bearings, hubs, headset, bottom bracket, brakes, and derailleurs, as well as lubricate all cables, check bolts for tightness, and give the frame and wheels a quick bath. The mechanics will also make recommendations if any parts need replacement. With your bike restored to its full cruising capabilities, you can once again hitch rides to work behind buses and fill the streets with the pleasant scent of burning rubber as you zip through congested traffic.
Elemental Artistry's performers play with fire for a living. Blending the fluidity of dance with a theatrical sense of spectacle, the troupe—which includes an NBTA gold-medalist baton twirler—whirls flaming props into fiery vortexes, dazzling spectators at events ranging from the Tucson Celtic Festival to the sweet sixteens of local volcano gods.
In addition to more than 150 performances since 2007—some of which have earned print and television attention in the Arizona Daily Star and on KOLD News—troupe members teach their craft in workshops and classes that lead students of all ages through movements, such as poi spinning, staff and baton twirling, and hula hooping, using unlit props, at least to start. The art form's constant movement and careful coordination can help to tone muscles, awaken ambidexterity, heighten kinesthetic awareness, and occasionally open interdimensional doorways. Elemental Artistry's dance architects can also develop flame-free spectacles using props ablaze with LED lights.