Raindrops slither down the window as you stare outside, searching the sky for a break in the clouds. No such luck—it’s grey as whale skin. The thermometer reads a frigid 40 degrees; you can only imagine how much colder it is on the trail, and what a frozen mud-luge it must be up there. Nope, not going outside today. So what to do about all that pent-up energy after a long day at your desk? Worry not—you can still shed the khakis and collared shirt and head out for an evening of fun and physical activity. Just turn your head toward Bozeman’s indoor scene—lesser-known though it may be, it’s equally rich and every bit as rewarding. Here are three ideas to get you started.
by Alicia Baker
Do you ever watch Dancing with the Stars and think “I wish I could do that!”? Here’s a secret: you can. Dancing is like anything else—with time and practice, anyone can do it. So get up off the couch, lazybones, and learn how to move your body to the beat.
Options abound; the Bozeman-Livingston area has two social-dancing schools that offer classes in a wide variety of dances, and several clubs teach specific dance styles. There are even free country-dancing lessons at some of the local bars.
An easy, informal, and affordable option is Sizzling Salsa, where you’ll learn the most famous—and arguable, sexiest—of all Latin dances, the salsa. Thursdays at the Montana Movement Arts Center brings folks from several age groups and all walks of life together to spin, slide, and shake their way across the dance floor. The evening starts out with a lesson, followed by open dancing where you can practice the basic steps or get fancy with that cool move you saw on YouTube.
Other dances at Sizzling Salsa include meringue, bachata, and cha-cha. They all engage the body, requiring coordinated movements, spatial awareness and control, and good balance. Not only will it keep you flexible and loose for outdoor activities, but you’ll meet new people, learn a new skill, and have fun. Still want to sit around and watch CSI?
For cost, times, photos, and more, visit facebook.com/sizzling.salsa1.
Mixed Martial Arts
by Bryan Deats
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self-defense system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. It teaches that smaller, weaker people can successfully defend themselves against bigger, stronger assailants by using leverage and proper technique—most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds. It’s also a great workout; in open-roll practice sessions, participants often discover that two minutes can be a very, very long time when struggling to outmaneuver an enthusiastic opponent.
Kickboxing refers to a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching. It is often practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport. Historically, kickboxing was considered a hybrid martial art and is now a hybrid of ground fighting techniques from jiu-jitsu and wrestling.
Opened in 1998, Montana Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is home to Flavio Behring Jiu-Jitsu certified instructors and undefeated MMA fighters, and also offers classes for men, women, and kids. Adult and youth jiu-jitsu take place at the same time for family convenience. You can train for self-defense, fitness, confidence, or to compete.
Visit bozemanMMA.com for class schedules, fees, and other details.
Gallatin Roller Girlz
by Marcie Hahn-Knoff
Eight women clad in colorful knee-high socks and quad roller skates drift around the track in a tight group: the pack. Hips and shoulders slam—a skater goes down. Two skaters, the jammers, chase one another around the oval track, vying to be the first to bust through the pack and score points. This is roller derby and it has arrived in the Gallatin Valley.
The Gallatin Roller Girlz (GRG) are part of the bold comeback in roller derby; an estimated 500 leagues existed worldwide last year. GRG is the seventh league in Montana—Missoula, Billings (2), Flathead, Great Falls, and Helena also have leagues. Adhering to standardized rules and a flat track, roller derby has reemerged as a legitimate athletic sport, losing its once-theatrical overtones—though there are still costumes and derby names.
Interested? Women 18+ can try out for the team, and GRG needs both male and female volunteers for skating and non-skating officiating. “Fresh Meat” (i.e., new skater) practice is on Monday evenings at the Fairgrounds and Thursday evenings at Mt. Ellis Academy—no previous skating experience is necessary. The Girlz host their first home bout on Saturday, June 9, at the Haynes Arena in the Gallatin County Fairgrounds.
For more info, skate on over to gallatinrollergirlz.webs.com.