At Hip Hop Heels, high-heeled shoes aren't dainty accessories, but fierce dancing tools. Owner Geena Ngaaje encourages her students to don comfortable heeled boots for her signature classes, thereby increasing the workout for their lower bodies and injecting the choreography with style. Geena and her team practice a combination of hip-hop, street, and burlesque dance, often channeling the moxie of celebrities such as Beyoncé and Ciara. They also pull from personal experience as performers—their resumés list back-up gigs with the Black Eyed Peas, LL Cool J, and Pitbull.
Their sessions aren't geared entirely toward stars on the rise, however. Whether they're demonstrating sensual hip rolls during Pumps and Grinds or the seductive shimmies of Cabaret, they cater to women of all experience levels, from first-timers to fellow pros and animated characters that are drawn to dance. They also host workshops for beginners, which focus on becoming confident in heels. Private parties allow guests to choose their preferred dance style for a customized lesson, and special-event workshops cover entire routines, including holiday-themed performances set to "Santa Baby."
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee. "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere."
To make this challenging, yet hopeful, philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. This focus, shared by Body & Brain Holistic Yoga and The Life Yoga, forms the basis of the studio's classes and consultations. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is just one of the Broadway credits on Jacqueline Porter's resume. A dancer-actress-CEO triple threat, Jacqueline has graced the stage for more than 25 years, performing in New York and on tour. Today, she draws on her extensive experience to teach students at Park Cities Dance, which she founded after relocating to Dallas in 2008. Just as hands instinctively clap during the entirety of Independence Day, feet instinctively glide across the floor during informative classes, which cover styles such as ballroom dance, Zumba, musical theatre, and ballet, among many others. In addition to weekly classes, Park Cities Dance frequently hosts workshops as well as a roster of guest artists whose past experts have included contemporary dancer Drew Jacoby and Broadway superstar Elizabeth Parkinson, who received a 2003 Tony Award nomination.
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer's good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.
In addition to providing custom clubs for PGA professionals and celebrities alike, CompuGolf Center lets golfers flex their muscles at a natural turf driving range, a short-game area, and putting greens. At the driving range, the center’s covered hitting stations keep the sun off swingers’ necks as they convince their golf balls to stop interfering with spin. After demolishing a bucket of range balls, golfers work on their short game at the pitching greens and hone their endgame at the putting greens. Finally, they head to the practice bunkers, pull out their sand wedges, and bring their favorite childhood arcade game to life by petting prairie dogs on the head. Those who need help eliminating slice or want to finesse their putting technique can schedule lessons with the center’s experienced instructors.
Nearly a century ago, the Dallas Fencers Club took root, keeping the age-old Olympic sport alive in Texas. Today, the club continues to flourish under the leadership of head coach Waldek Czaja, who draws on decades of experience to guide students in the art of the blade. As pupils of all ages learn to thrust and parry with traditional weapons such as foils and épées—updated versions of primitive fencing's sharpened baguettes—Czaja helps them to develop coordination and strategic thinking as they potentially train for medals in competition. Throughout the youth program, Czaja operates under the philosophy that the drive and determination protégés develop in class can apply to life's myriad challenges, from learning to play the flute to solving a Rubik’s cube with a sledgehammer.