The instructors at Bay Area Sailing School—an American Sailing Association–certified professional training facility—pass their love of sailing on to fledgling skippers in classes that range from entry-level basic keelboat sailing up to advanced coastal cruising. Based at Watergate Marina on Clear Lake, the school sends training boats out to make wake in Galveston Bay and churn the Gulf's salty waters. Students can build up their skills over time, graduating to bigger ships, mastering navigation tactics, and learning how to say "which way's north?" in dolphin. Eventually, thanks to Bay Area Sailing School's partnership with Sackett Sailing Center, they'll be able to rent boats at reduced membership rates and start enjoying the good sailing life.
Maximum Scuba's team of PADI-certified instructors caters to all levels of aquatic adventurer with a wide roster of name-brand equipment and all-inclusive classes. PADI open-water certification courses employ textbooks and at least four open-water dives to acquaint underwater neophytes with the joy of subaquatic breathing, enabling them to finally explore timeshare options in Atlantis. The PADI advanced open-water certification course sends previously certified divers on five adventure dives, plumbing watery depths to discover ocean-floor wrecks. Other specialty classes deepen underwater adventures and arm explorers with the know-how to defeat Blackbeard's ghost by teaching skills in spearfishing and technical or cave diving.
B Sailing's origins go back nearly 40 years and 1,300 miles, when Alan Bates learned to sail on his father's boat on Lake Erie. His dad welcomed anyone aboard who had an interest in sailing, turning the boat into a de-facto sailing academy that ran both regattas and chartered pleasure cruises. Having gone on to race in the Great Lakes, along the Atlantic Coast, and in the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Bates now continues his lifelong passion through B Sailing. Both students and members have access to a fleet of J/Boats, which are known for their stability, ease of operation, and sails stitched together from Blackbeard’s 400-thread-count bed sheets. Harbored at Seabrook Shipyard, these vessels glide onto Clear Lake and Galveston Bay.
Within their walls, the instructors at Tiger's Den Martial Arts & Fitness preach lessons that transcend physical stamina and hard work. This is because, regardless of ability level, students also receive mental and spiritual strength from the facility's positive learning environment that is replete with respect, common courtesy, and recognition. Boasting experienced instructors and a reputable martial arts system with over 5 million worldwide followers, the facility offers an array of endurance-building programs. In addition to karate, the programs include kickboxing, after-school, and pre-K classes.
Kara's Pole Studio is anything but exclusive. Owner Kara Davis makes a point to welcome every adult—no matter their age, size, or gender—to engage in high-flying, liberating exercises. Though spouses and significant others can't attend the same classes as their mates, Kara welcomes all to experience her pole-conditioning, chair-dance, and cardio-burlesque courses. As an extra treat for her students, Kara also hosts special guests, which have previously included industry celebs such as regional pole-dance champions and Miss Pole Dance Australia 2012.
Q&A with Dominique, Owner of Harbour Dance
Tell us about your business.
Harbour Dance school is a dance studio that focuses on formal and recreational training in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, modern, contemporary, dance tumbling, drill team, and college prep for ages 2 to 18. The studio also offers dance-fitness classes and technique classes for adults of any age. The studio is open to all skills levels and has open enrollment all year long.
What inspired you to start this business?
Dance is my life, and I love sharing it with others. I couldn't imagine a day without it, and I really do feel it can bring out the best in people. It has always been an outlet for me, a way of expressing myself, a way to unwind. I love watching my students grow with confidence and turn into beautiful dancers.
What makes your business stand out?
We have professionally designed dance studios with specialty sprung dance floors that . . . greatly alleviate stress on the joints and help in injury prevention. Our teachers are professionally trained and all have college degrees. All teachers are also cross-trained in kinesiology and anatomy, and follow a curriculum that creates beautifully technical dancers without straining their bodies.
What is your most popular offering?
Ballet: almost every little girl wants to be a ballerina someday. It also is the most basic and important form in dance training. At Harbour Dance, ballet is the structure which all [of] our other classes follow. Hip-hop: this is the latest hit in the dance world. Dancers everywhere are breaking out of their shell and letting themselves loose in hip-hop class. We offer upbeat, physically active, and funky fun in the hip-hop classes at our studio.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
People love the size of our dance rooms. Our smaller room—primarily for preschoolers and the youngest dancers—is 700 square feet, and our main studio—where most of our classes are held—is a whopping 1,500 square feet, perfect for endless leaps across the floor.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
The best part of my job is watching a student struggle with a skill, practice tirelessly for weeks over it, then see that look on their face when they finally master it. They are so proud of themselves, and I couldn't be happier for them.