Sylvia, the owner and operator of Ballroom Dance Center, draws on more than 15 years of ballroom-dance experience and her title as US Rising Star Latin Champion to teach students the graceful art of dance. She and her coterie of instructors lead a variety of programs based on students’ ambitions and desires, ranging from basic dance lessons for students who just want to learn the moves to gold packages that prepare hobbyists for performances and exhibitions. Sylvia solidifies steps during private lessons that focus on technique and styling and supplements these sessions with group lessons and practice parties that allow dancers to experience different partners and practice in a social setting.
Founder Rick Sweitzer started the adventure travel company in 1983 before leading one of the first amateur dogsled expeditions to North Pole. Driven by his vision, the guides and instructors of The Northwest Passage lead travelers of all skill and fitness levels to some of the most dramatic terrain on the planet. Locally, the team leads outings around the Chicago area, ranging from stand-up paddleboarding classes on Lake Michigan to kayaking and camping trips in Door County, Wisconsin. As for the rest of the world, Northwest Passage sends it adventurers to conquer it locale by stunning locale during programs that include hiking across Europe, trekking to remote Polar regions, and dressing up like scientists to infiltrate Area 51.
The beguiling motions of Irish step dance are just a hop, skip, and several tap-filled jumps away at the Chicago Academy of Irish Dance. Here, world-championship medalist and certified instructor Mallory Wendt introduces students to the Emerald Isle's traditional dance forms. Mallory can also guide more advanced students, too, drawing upon training she received from legends including Tim O’Hare, Mark Howard, and Glasgow's McLoughlin family.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
The nine holes of Willow Hill Golf Course sprawl across 87 grassy acres before the scenic backdrop of the Chicago skyline. The par 35 course conjures up visions of the early days of golf with a Scottish links-style design winding for 2,895 yards through low rolling hills and dense rough, left high to punish errant shots and provide cover for napping golfers mid-game. Before or after a round, players can work on finesse around the greens at the 100-yard short-game practice area, or hone their hacks on the driving range, where all 40 stations mimic strokes off the fairway with grass hitting surfaces.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 35 course * Total length of 2,895 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 34.2 from the back tees * Course slope of 118 from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole