Barbara Brenseke—a licensed fitness instructor for more than 20 years and a certified Olympic weightlifting sports-performance coach—puts her experience as a competitor in Olympic distance triathlons, marathons, and USTA tennis leagues to use by showing others how to prevent injuries and achieve the sharpest competitive edge possible. Her semiprivate training center constantly maintains a 3:1 client-to-coach ratio, allowing her and her team of impassioned instructors to show clients personalized attention as they prepare them for athletic competitions or guide them toward a lifestyle of health and wellness. Staffers teach students how to perform optimally, using strength and power in athletic disciplines that range from lacrosse to baseball. They can also help clients sculpt their bodies for non-sports-related hobbies, such as golfing, biking, or building life-size model-train sets. Additionally, they can show students how to chisel away excess poundage with individualized weight, cardio, and nutritional programs.
The more than a dozen brick-and-mortar locations that make up Ultimate Champions Taekwondo Association share not only a style of combat, but a teaching philosophy as well. Tracing the lineage of their combative art back to Grandmaster Sang K. Oh, the instructors adhere to his teachings, exemplified by the quote, "The person who can defeat others with flashy techniques but is without love toward his fellow man will in the end defeat himself." Students use the physical empowerment of mastering jumps, kicks, and weapons to arm themselves with discipline, confidence, concentration, self-respect, and courtesy for others.
Outside of the classroom, the organization reaches out to the tri-state community with ample demonstrations of some of their most exciting techniques. Practitioners soar skyward in flying kicks or fill the air with the whirring blows of nunchakus, bos, and kamas. Fists slam through boards, balloons, and bricks to demonstrate the striking power of tae kwon do and the structural flaws in the Three Little Pigs' panic room.
For more than 25 years, Drama Kids International has nurtured thousands of thespian students and kids simply searching for an engaging activity, instilling children with the ability to speak clearly and confidently. Classes focus on sharpening articulated speech and encouraging creative expression. Children are placed in classes according to their age group: the Lower Primary (ages 5–8) teaches kids how to deliver lines and hone social skills, the Upper Primary (ages 9–11) delves into improvisation and dramatic movement, and the DKI Acting Academy (ages 12–17) preps scene-stealers on how to audition for their dream role. Each class includes a variety of activities for kids to unleash their imagination, which develops their dramatic abilities in a fun, easy-going setting. Drama Kids instructors foster an open, comfortable acting environment. Call ahead to schedule the first class and start your child down the path of becoming one of the more notable Baldwin brothers.
The PADI- and first aid-certified instructors at QC Scuba school students in the slippery ways of underwater breathing apparati with hands-on courses held seven days a week. PADI designs its Discover Scuba course to expose students to breathing underwater, which is the most elemental of scuba techniques next to looking good in a wetsuit. After a brief introduction at QC headquarters, pool dives are held outdoors in Bellmore, Huntington, or Bayshore or indoors at Queensborough Community College or the Freeport Rec Center.
The Governor's locations are ranked among 10Best's Editor's Picks for live Long Island entertainment; they have featured some of the best-known names in the business, such as Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, and Jerry Seinfeld. Upcoming performers include Mike Yard with Eric Tartaglione at McGuire's, Andy Pitz at the Brokerage, and Greg Fitzsimmons at Governor's. Check the schedules to find out which club will make you laugh so loudly area birds will be too scared to sing for days.
Katrina Wells was frustrated. The new mother loved spending time with her child but still longed for a place to relax and sip coffee. Family-friendly play centers had been widespread when she lived in South Florida, but they seemed entirely absent from her new home in Long Island. Undeterred, Wells took initiative and designed a business that would cater to children and their parents.
Across Le Play Cafe Indoor Play Area & Coffee Lounge's 2,000 square feet, imaginations spring to life at performance stages, dress-up areas, and pretend kitchens. A climbable play structure helps little ones to develop gross motor skills, and age-appropriate toys delight toddlers. On the other side of the play center, scents of fresh roasted coffee fill the café as parents relax, socialize, and share photos of their baby dolls. In addition to cheering children and adults, Wells' brainchild also puts a smile on Mother Nature's vine-covered face. Her eco-friendly facility boasts LED lighting and oversize windows that help to reduce energy costs.