During Lakeshore Tennis Academy's clinics, tennis-loving tykes aged 4–10 clamber around courts and batter balls customized to their diminutive limbs. The QuickStart program introduces gripping and swinging techniques with the aid of engaging visual props and emphasizes a positive attitude, the vital trait that makes tennis players the smiliest athletes on Earth. The Future Stars clinic, for beginning and intermediate wallopers bound for tournament play, focuses on mechanics, court positioning, and game-based drills. Call to consult with Lakeshore Tennis Academy about which clinic is right for your tiny racketeer's skill level and age, and then schedule his or her swing sessions.
In the heated water of the Lakeshore Foundation's two pools, the staff at Swimmers United allot time for both learning and playing. Skill development is the top priority during group swimming lessons, where instructors maintain a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Fun takes center stage at kids' pool parties, which can accommodate more than 25 kids or roughly one class president's security detail.
Linda Dobbins Dance owner and artistic director Linda Dobbins knows more than a thing or two about dancing—she has studied, taught, and performed in an array of dance styles over the past 30 years. During that time, her students have won a slew of awards, earned more than $85,000 in scholarship money, and gone on to nab successful dance gigs in the film and TV industry.
Linda is backed up by a team of talented instructors who teach both recreational and competitive dance classes. They are trained in a wide spectrum of dance disciplines including jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, ballet, contemporary, modern, clogging, and cheerleading. Their lessons are supplemented by tri-annual visits from master choreographers who lead workshops to refresh students with a shower of knowledge and inspiration.
Led by director Carla Higginbotham, the instructors of Dance Trance aim to create a fun, lively workout using intuitive, easy-to-follow dance moves and upbeat music. The instructors demonstrate the routine without shouting disruptive directions as students shake and shimmy their way through strength building and cardio drills.
Established in 1954 and having garnered the Birmingham magazine 2010 award for Best Dance Classes, Dale Serrano Dance Inc. and its troupe of talented instructors lead children of all skill levels, aged 2–18, in classes ranging from jazz and ballet to hip-hop, tap, and cheer. Budding ballerinas gracefully plié and gallivant about the class, and musical-theater mavens learn the ins and outs of stage performance. Dancers who commit to additional months of vigilant rehearsal and practice can showcase their talents at the year-end recital or opt for impromptu performances at nearby weddings and city-council investitures.
A World Taekwondo Federation black belt, Master Justin Scarsella has been molding young martial artists since the age of 14. At his eponymous tae kwon do studio, students young and old delve into the martial arts in a structured, supportive, and positive environment. Under his tutelage, students aged 4 and older progress through classes that strengthen and tone the body while fostering discipline, leadership skills, and character development through cooperation, self-control, respect, and confidence.
At Bike Link of Hoover, general manager Joe Wenning and his cycling-inclined staff outfit riders with new bicycles and tune up bikes of all brands. Visitors peruse rides from Specialized, Electra, Felt, Raleigh, Cervelo and Redline, all available for onsite test rides and fittings. In the repair shop, technicians optimize bikes with everything from minor break adjustments to complete details and tune-ups, and can even be called upon to clean and wax bikes too shy to bathe outdoors.