Tucked in the breezy shadows of towering douglas firs, golfers hunt birdies and pars across Lake Spanaway's 7,083-yard course. Fairways tunnel through communities of trees that convince errant golf balls that they are pinecones. Three of the course's holes earned honorable mention in the Seattle Times' Puget Sound area's Dream 18 Holes, including the par 4 12th, where tee shots must trace the fairway as it curves left through a narrow tree line and toward a green shielded by an oasis of vast bunkers.
A covered, lighted driving range sits beside the course, where golfers smooth out swings undisturbed by waning daylight, rain, or hail caused by skydivers eating sunflower seeds. The course's staff of golf pros also helps manage on-course techniques with a variety of instructional options, including complimentary 10-minute lessons.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 7,083 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 73.5 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 124 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
See the scorecard
In 2004, a group of skilled climbers and experienced route setters married their expansive knowledge of the sport to create Edgeworks Climbing. The gym is an indoor paradise that expertly match the dynamic challenges that athletes face outdoors, boasting 10,000 square feet of climbing area with 25-foot top-rope routes, 35-foot lead routes, and 3,500 square feet of bouldering. The team of setters draws on years of experience outdoors to create hundreds of challenging, satisfying routes for climbers of all skill levels. Most of the setters are teachers as well, leading classes for beginners or advanced climbers, as well as heading outdoors to help the class appreciate the adrenaline rush of an outdoor climb ending in a fistfight with a bear.
Additionally, the passionate staff realized that alternative workouts are needed to push through plateaus in climbs, so they created a fitness area to complement the climbing gym. Classes such as yoga, Pilates, and cycling further exercise muscle groups that are useful when trying to finally ride a bike up your favorite route.
New York-native John Cassese's motto is, "If you can walk, you can dance." The celebrity dance instructor and choreographer's own quick-stepping career began at the tender age of 10, jumpstarting a passion that would eventually take him careening across the stages of off-Broadway productions, nightclubs, dance competitions, and the occasional monster-truck rally. It wasn't until he relocated to Los Angeles that an agent dubbed him "The Dance Doctor," and soon after, he found his fleet-footed prowess and teaching abilities in high demand amongst production studios such as Sony, Paramount, and 20th Century Fox.
Between choreographing a Charleston dance sequence on AMC's Mad Men and singing at the 50th birthday parties of Billy Crystal and Wolfgang Puck, John leads a team of instructors as they teach celebs and everyday Tinseltowners the finer points of styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop. Despite all the fanfare, his biggest praise comes from his work with soon-to-be-married couples, who seek his advice on everything from basic steps and song selection, to the length of the post-cake-cutting conga line.
The nine-hole course at Highlands Golf tests the mettle of mid- to short-range irons with nine par 3s and a bounty of scenarios that demand short-game finesse. Whereas most courses place value on long drives and superhuman muscles like Arnold Palmer's, Highlands Golf makes players rely on dexterity with shorter irons and putting prowess. Tee shots range from just 100 yards to 200 yards on the par 3s, with eight bunkers and three water hazards ready to confound overconfident swings. Rounds typically take less than 75 minutes to complete, providing an unintimidating layout for new players to practice, space for veterans to show off their short-game theatrics, and enough soft landing spots for speed golfers to test the aerodynamics of argyle tracksuits.
Course at a Glance:
Nine-hole, par-27 course
Nine par 3s
No hole longer than 200 yards
Rounds often completed in less than 75 minutes
Instructors and real-life couple Paul and Pollie are the dynamic duo behind Mousai Studios, forging both their business and romantic partnership around Paul’s lifelong love of dance. The couple specializes in several types of ballroom dancing—which Paul considers his niche—and they impart their toe-tapping skills to the public through private and group classes that focus on social, rather than competitive, dancing.
The studio, which encloses floor-to-ceiling windows and lush potted plants, also hosts weekly belly dancing, burlesque, and guitar classes taught by passionate instructors. The inviting space doubles as an art gallery, featuring works by local artists and professionally trained Etch A Sketches and contains a boutique consignment shop that features vintage and gently used fashions for the whole family.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Studio 6 is Tacoma's center for dance, offering Ballroom, Latin, Belly, and Classical Dance.
What's one tip for first-time students that will make them feel like veterans?
Expert instruction combined with your positive attitude is all it takes to have fun learning to dance.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Studio 6 Ballroom has expert instructors who love dance and pass their passion to their students and the community.
We offer a single place to take classes in many dance disciplines, for all ages.
What do you love most about your job?
I am a total dance geek.
I get to dance and teach dance all day.