A veteran of the arts, with more than 15 years of experience, Sarita Ciallella has performed her fair share of gymnastic, dancing, and acting routines. But it wasn't until May 2003 that these passions culminated in Virtuous Productions, a performing-arts community center where she could imbue kids, teens, and adults with her knowledge of the arts. Together with a dedicated staff of instructors, including dancers and acting coaches, Sarita's mission—to teach new artists creative skills in a purposeful and moral way—has never changed. Sarita and her team uphold the center's seven core values: excellence, innovation, teamwork, respect, integrity, social profit, and joy.
The schedule runs six days a week to keep dancers of any age or ability tapping, salsa-ing, and rhythmically stomping their feet across the studio's competition-size floor, which is made of the same material as the floor on Dancing with the Stars. Film and television classes teach aspiring stars how to emote for the camera and how to never lose a staring contest with the camera man, and the company's in-house shooting crew captures special moments with half- and full-day shoots that include editing, DVDs, and makeup applications.
Virtuous Productions also supports the arts through Virtuous Nites, which offer a safe, smoke- and drink-free environment for partiers to let loose and dance.
Insider tips on tidal patterns and secret surf spots, borne of a lifetime in local waters, are part of the intangible edge offered by Singer Island Surf Camp Inc., in operation for the past 15 years and run by a born-and-raised native of Palm Beach. As a Palm Beach County native, camp founder and owner Paige Parker doesn’t remember a time she wasn’t closely tied to the water. When she and her neighborhood pals were kids, she recalls, “The ocean was our playground and our babysitter.” And though it's probably true that anyone with a lifeguard certification could lead snorkeling tours and sportfishing charters, Parker knows that her inborn understanding of the local tidal patterns makes a difference.
A staff of surf-seasoned EMTs and firefighters who are also certified in ocean rescue, lifeguard, CPR, and first aid help Parker lead private and group surfing lessons for all ages and experience levels as well as provide paddleboarding and kayaking instruction. And when school’s out, kids aged 6–16 years old can dive into summer camps and surf along Singer Island's reef-and-sandbar system or paddleboard to Peanut Island. A full rental shop, meanwhile, fills out its stock of standard surf gear with standup paddleboards, kayaks, water trampolines, and inflatable water wheels.
Swinging and serving on the secluded Deer Creek Tennis Resort's 12 courts, a trained staff of tennis pros helps players to improve their racket skills. Under the tutelage of a certified instructor, novice and seasoned competitors alike receive customized coaching during private lessons, whether it’s learning the versatile racket's mashed-potato-making methods for newbies or mastering a steady serve for tennis vets. Tailored to each player’s personal needs and skill level, the one-hour sessions focus on practical tennis techniques such as proper grips, body position, and swinging methods.
The verdant brainchild of course architect William Mitchell, Deerfield Country Club's 18-hole course plots a 4,120-yard track through lush groves of palm trees and impeccably maintained turf. An executive layout composed of nine par 3s and nine par 4s, the course offers diverse play in a time-efficient package. New greens and recently refurbished bunkers compete for golf balls' affection, their success determined by dowries offered by paternal flagsticks and sand-trap rakes. Golfers streamline straight-hitting swings and soft, greenside shots at the practice facilities, which include a driving range with practice bunkers and an immense putting green. Leather chairs await weary legs in the clubhouse, where golfers can slake their thirst or clean off sand wedges with a sudsy drink from the bar.
Course at a Glance:
During the Superhero Scramble, racers of all fitness levels tear across arduous terrain littered with body- and mind-challenging obstacles. Participants must wade through mud and, to reach the finish line, persevere through a barrage of Super Slime generously donated by retired Ghostbusters.
Upon completing the race, athletes ride their endorphin high into a party stocked with ice-cold beer. There, they can mingle with other contestants, sway to live music, and see awards doled out to the fastest runners in each age bracket. Male and female Scramble Gamble contestants compete for prizes that can cover the cost of replacing the engines in their sneakers. The benefits of the race extend beyond the Gamble winners, too—the organizers donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.