Basketball may be a team sport, but the coaches at Minnesota Developmental Basketball know that mastering the game takes individual attention. Since 1993, they've shaped more than 35,000 athletes—including players who’ve gone on to play on Division I teams and even professionally in the NBA D-League. Led by Kevin Kelley, who served as assistant men’s basketball coach at Winona State University, the staff imparts their wisdom to young players of all experience levels. They help them with everything from developing fundamentals to boosting their vertical leap without the aid of jet-pack shoes. Here are a few of the services they offer:
Private lessons for individuals, groups of up to four, or even entire teams
Strength, speed, and vertical-training workouts to boost athletic performance, reduce injury, and increase confidence
Summer mini-camps, in which they help athletes perfect specific skills, such as sinking shots, handling the ball, or mastering point-guard tactics.
Along one wall at Kiln Kreations are floor to ceiling shelves filled with over 1,000 pieces of ceramic bisque ready to paint. Painters are able to customize their pieces
by choosing from the rainbow of available colors and various tools, such as brushes, sponges, and other equipment for daubing before sending their masterpiece to be glazed and fired. In addition to pottery painting, the studio also offers canvas-painting, mosaic-making, glass-fusing, and parties for all ages and occasions.
Experienced photo gurus Doug Box and Randy Kerr impart practical photo skills to curious shutterbugs during engaging seminars that have appeared across the States and in eight countries abroad. Doug Box, author of myriad photography-technique books, is one of 13 Kodak mentors and is the Executive Director of the Texas Professional Photographers Association. His co-teacher, Randy Kerr, heads World Photographic, which uses photography as a vehicle for illuminating humanitarian and environmental topics. Both men have been teaching photography classes for years and help amateurs take photos that capture piercing looks, toothy smiles, and elusive dodo sightings.
The instructors of Minnesota Music Factory promise they don't want any of their students to spend hours just practicing boring, monotonous chords. Instead, they want to make music engaging and fun—while fully acknowledging that no beginner is going to pick up a guitar and instantly transform into rockstar, which, everyone knows takes at least two private lessons to accomplish. Specializing in lessons for beginners, the music instructors help students learn a simplified version of their favorite song on their very first lesson, a technique that helps students get excited about playing and realize the possibilities if they just apply patience and practice.
The consortium of professional and certified instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic, certified teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.