A creature with roots in Native American lore, the Piasa bird has survived antiquity in large part due to etchings found on limestone bluffs throughout Illinois. Under the banner of the mythical predator— most depictions lend it reptilian claws, fish-like scales, and mammalian fangs—the Illinois Piasa charge onto the field against Professional Arena Soccer League foes, stopping just short of actually eating their opponents. Founded in 1998, the PASL consists of 19 indoor-soccer squads throughout the United States; upon their league debut in the 2010–11 season, the Piasa won the Pro Frontier Division with a 9–3 record.
Kids can experience the sensation of weightlessness over and over again at Kids World Gymnastics, which counts an in-ground trampoline amongst its 19,000 square feet of gymnastics equipment. Kids can experiment with backflips an tumbles on the trampoline, which has a foam pit around it to ensure safety. There's also a preschool section where younger kids can play comfortably without the threat of a noogie. Classes feature expert instructors that teach age-appropriate tricks as well as skill-specific maneuvers for gymnastics or cheerleading.
When it comes to describing Kristin Chenoweth, "multitalented" is an understatement. Overlaying a soaring voice with sparkling charisma, Chenoweth won the 1999 Tony for best featured actress in a musical and originated the role of Glinda the Good Witch in the smash Broadway hit Wicked, earning both fame as the definitive incarnation of that character and the legal right to carry an Oz passport. Her forays into television have included an Emmy win for Pushing Daisies, a stint on The West Wing, a guest appearance on Glee, and a starring role in ABC's new comedy GCB. Mixing classically trained control with the ability to call up a folksy twang from her childhood in Oklahoma, Chenoweth regales audiences with heartbreaking ballads and high-energy romps.
In their 10th anniversary season, the St. Louis Ballet presents a holiday classic choreographed by Artistic Director Gen Horiuchi, a former principal of the New York City Ballet and choreographer of the opening ceremonies of the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Indulge in Tchaikovsky's famous ballet while installing permanent memories of gingerbread soldiers, sugar plum fairies, and peppermint nightmares. Performances take place on the following dates and times, firmly in the depths of the holiday season:
The classically focused Alexandra Ballet entertains audiences with a well-rounded dance diet ranging from contemporary original pieces to traditional masterworks. The company’s agile dancers have pirouetted their way to uproarious applause in past performances that include The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Peter and the Wolf. Since 2003, the company has enriched the community through its educational-outreach programs, which provide youngsters with free learning materials and ballet performances throughout the school year.
For the fourth race on its 2012 tour, the American Drag Racing League returns to Gateway Motorsports Park's 1/8-mile drag strip for the first time since 2010. Piloting dragsters separated into seven all-professional racing classes, from Top Sportsman to Pro Extreme, drivers rocket down the track so quickly that they finish each race younger than when they began. The SuperCar Showdown—a new feature on the 2012 circuit—pits the latest consumer automobiles against one another in no-holds-barred drag race free from the usual handicaps, performance restrictions, and rules against fiddling with rival drivers' preset radio stations. After reopening under the helm of former Indy driver Curtis Francois, Gateway Motorsports Park has stepped up its devotion to motorsports of all kinds, looking beyond the drag strip to fill its amphitheater-style seats with fans of everything from hot rods to world-class stock cars.