IF YOU WANT TO SAIL THROUGH THE BREEZE WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE
Arkansas Circus Arts
If you’re of a certain age, there’s a fair chance you once harbored dreams of one day running off to join the circus—to tame lions, breathe fire or swing daringly above the heads of circusgoers on a flying trapeze. Although the former two activities might require some more specialized training, when it comes to trapeze (and aerial silks and pole dancing), you no longer have to run away. You just have to drive to Maumelle—specifically, to Arkansas Circus Arts, where Camille Rule has been helping students recapture their childhood flights of fancy since 2013. For those not quite ready to take the circus leap, fear not: You’ll take an introductory class to help you get into the swing of things.
Fine print: ACA offers a full lineup of classes, open gym sessions and private lessons, all of which are detailed at length on its website. Ground classes (i.e. acroyoga, aerial strength and conditioning, etc.) are $15. Aerial classes (trapeze, silks, aerial yoga) are $25. (arkansascircusarts.com; (501) 701-3622)
IF YOU WANT TO LEAD OTHERS TO NAMASTE
Circle Yoga Shala
They don’t train instructors at Circle Yoga Shala—they train teachers. Even though the difference might seem semantic, it matters. Because while an instructor could likely tell you that your downward dog is a hair lopsided and your child’s pose is veering on fetal, a teacher who’s been immersed in the shala’s 200- or 500-hour programs—which you can do either all at once or break up over time—will have a different understanding of the form. (To give you some sense of the approach: At this retreat nestled in the serene Ozark hills outside Jasper, you won’t work on yoga styles per se but on how various techniques fit together to form a dominant focus, which “moves them into the direction of ‘styles’ like restorative, vinyasa flow, alignment-based, etc.”)
Fine print: Unfortunately, the foundational, month-long 200-hour immersion is only held once a year in June; however, the center also offers quarterly four-day “mini-immersions.” Take note: The program requires at least one year of yoga practice prior to registration. (circleyogashala.com; (870) 861-5175)
IF YOU WANT TO LACE UP YOUR SKATES
Yes, it’s a great sport. But if we’re being honest, there’s one main reason that ice hockey sounds like a cool idea—and that’s because, even as the outside temps are scorching the mercury, this is a place where a sheet of ice can maintain its integrity. Before piling on the pads—all of which are included in the $15 fee—for the Sunday classes, you’ll probably want some practice getting your ice legs at the open-skate sessions offered at Arkansas Skatium throughout the week (we promise it’s easier than it looks). But once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll believe us when we tell you: On summer days, there’s seriously no better place to work up a sweat.
Fine print: Adult hockey skills classes are offered from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Sundays. If it’s your first time out, plan on getting there about 30 minutes early so you can get help suiting up. (arkansasskatium.com; (501) 227-4333)
IF YOU’RE THE NEXT NINJA WARRIOR
Flip Side Ninja Park
Ever since American Ninja Warrior took hold of our collective imagination just shy of a decade ago, prospective contestants around the nation have taken it upon themselves (and their backyards) to train for the intense physical duress of the TV hit’s gauntlet. For those less than keen on the prospect of transforming their basement, however, the recently opened Flip Side Ninja Park in Lowell now offers a place for ninja trainees and alternative fitness buffs alike to test their mettle on a series of hanging rings, nets and swings—and even a few “Warp Walls. Bonus: Obstacle-race-goers and aerial yogis will also find great opportunities to train as well.
Fine print: 90-minute drop-in sessions are typically scheduled in the evenings throughout the week. A fee of $15 gets you one drop-in class, but a five-class punch card ($55) or a monthly subscription ($35 for one class a week) is a much better deal. Still need some convincing? Come witness some prime ninja-ness at the Flip Side Ninja Park Competition on Sept. 15. (flipsideninja.com: (479) 927-6070)
IF YOUR GROWN-UP DANCE MOVES HAVE A BIT OF GROWING UP TO DO
Rock City Dance
Say it with us: You’re never too old to learn how to dance. And look, we’re not saying those mom moves you busted out at your niece’s wedding were a little outdated, but your macarena routine leaves some room for improvement. Enter Rock City Dance Center. This fall, the Little Rock institution is boasting a roster of dance classes you can totally enroll in as a grown-up, including hip-hop, jazz and—what!—ballet. Not to mention, all the barre exercises and center floor work woven into RCDC’s ballet classes will help you break a sweat while improving your balance and awakening your muscle memory. And if ballet is tutu much for you, RCDC’s adult hip-hop and jazz classes will still keep you on your toes.
Fine print: Fall sessions start Sept. 4, and there’s no registration required (or dress code, for that matter). You can drop in after work for as little as $10 a class. (rcdancecenter.com; (501) 225-6833)
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