Aiming to improve the lives of its community members through water sports, Absolute Aqua Sports offers its visitors unique, thrilling expeditions along the shores of its many surrounding lakes. Adventurers can suit up with flyboards—air-powered jet packs that soar over the water with finesse and ease—after a brief lesson with instructors that get clients airborne in under 10 minutes.
Just Dance's owner Lynda Taylor and her partner Glenda White are devoted to making the world a more graceful place. Lynda, a certified etiquette instructor and teacher with 35 years of experience, partnered with certified ballroom dance instructor Kevin Rios and associate instructor Glenda White to help make the seemingly rigid rules of the dance floor easier to navigate for adults, children, and the butlers trying to take their coats. To help get things moving, most adult dance programs begin with 55 minutes of instruction time, where first-time rug cutters learn the foundation for tango, foxtrot, rumba, cha cha, and swing before putting the steps into practice at the end of class. Though good taste usually dictates that dancers should never waltz by themselves or with the family dog, students need not worry if they can't find a partner, since the instructors will happily pair them with someone in the class.
Outside the ballroom, Just Dance also offers yearlong programs through its etiquette academy, where children aged 5–17 years develop skills related to sharing, table manners, and how to disarm a bully with a firm, respectful handshake. Kids can also exert energy in summer camps that include field trips, creative projects, and dance instruction in various styles such as hip hop, lyrical, and ballet.
Golf Etc. Lakeland helps golfers through the entire process of upgrading their arsenal, from finding brand-name equipment to adjusting their current gear to fit their game. Brothers Luke and J.J. Miller—the latter of whom coaches golf at Southeastern University—run the shop and personally oversee the custom club-fitting process. In the hitting bay in the back of the store, visitors are likely to see Luke—who fits and maintains clubs for many local pros—analyzing a client's swing with technology that helps him prescribe the right club or zone in on any modifications, such as adjusting the length of the shaft or replacing the club head with a jai-alai basket. Golf Etc. also features an indoor putting green for golfers to test out prospective flatsticks, and J.J. and Luke regularly perform club re-gripping and repair services.
The attacker lunges in and throws a punch. Before that punch lands, it's blocked with a forearm and a series of counter strikes are already disabling the assailant. At Downtown Lakeland Martial Arts, a team of highly trained instructors teaches this close-combat self-defense system. It's called wing chun kung fu. On day one, students begin to learn these fighting techniques, building toward a defensive strategy that works in real-world scenarios. Instructors incorporate a variety of combat styles, from krav maga to judo to ninjitsu and more. They even train students the quick-striking tactics necessary to overcome an attacker wielding a knife or gun. Whatever the situation, students are instilled with the skills, discipline, and focus needed to safely protect themselves as well as those around them.
Whether a client's goal is to lose weight or prepare for a professional mixed-martial-arts competition, the instructors at Lakeland Delariva Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have the knowledge and experience to help. They teach more than 20 weekly classes and open-mat sessions, demonstrating techniques that range from boxing to the submission- and grappling-based maneuvers of Brazilian ju-jitsu. After group warm-ups, kids and adults—both men and women— wearing traditional gi uniforms, shorts and T-shirts, or full suits of armor learn how to defend themselves against attackers. The team also hosts live sparring sessions where students can apply their skills in real-world scenarios.
Though skydiving is often billed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for the staff at Jump Florida Skydiving, it's a job. As they climb above the scenic landscape of Lake Country in a Cessna 205 aircraft, they stay calm as excitement radiates off customers—as young as 18 and as old as 79—about to make their first leap. At the ideal altitude, the plane levels off, and jumpers get into position. The sky is amazingly clear around the plane, which takes off from a private airport, so there are no commercial jets or flocks of migrating geese obstructing the airspace. Tandem or solo divers step to the edge, take a deep breath, and experience the thrill of accelerating at 9.81 meters per second per second.
While participants revel in their adrenaline-fueled thrills, the staff keeps them safe by adhering to the strict standards of the United States Parachute Association. These protocols enforce rigorous regulations, safety guidelines, and eminently cool member handshakes. On the ground, the team prioritizes hospitality, offering guest rooms, a restaurant, spectator fields, and a nerve-diffusing bar.