On the shores of Lake Boca, only 100 yards from the Atlantic Ocean, Ride-A-Wave doles out rentals from its fleet of WaveRunners and Sea Rays. Its entry-level WaveRunners, three-seat Yamaha VX 110s, can crest swells at up to 60 miles per hour. Alternatively, the open bows of 19-foot and 21-foot Sea Rays let up to eight passengers feel the wind in their chest hair as they steer through tropical waters while listening to the radio and grabbing drinks from the built-in cooler.
Don't mistake JAZZIZ Nightlife for a nightclub. Don't mistake it for a restaurant or live-music venue, either, even though it's all of those things. The actual roots of JAZZIZ Nightlife are in print?JAZZIZ magazine, naturally?which founder Michael Fagien began back in 1983. Throughout the '80s and '90s, he built the publication into a heavily circulated titan of the jazz world. Then in the late '90s he met restaurateur Dickie Brennan, and the two combined their experience in the music and culinary fields to form the multifarious JAZZIZ Nightlife.
The 12,000 square-foot space is capable of catering evenings to whatever you're in the mood for. A smoke? Grab a plushy leather chair near the cigar bar. A quiet drink? Have champagne and caviar in a secluded area away from the stage. But the main events are the nightly live jazz performances paired with fine dining. Onstage, jazz luminaries?including the likes of bassist Kyle Eastwood, son of Clint?enliven dinner and drinks with spirited performances that rely on musical skills rather than showy pyrotechnics or the ability to swallow whole pumpkins.
As for the food, it hews to traditional upscale American. Dinnertime highlights include 10-ounce Colorado lamb chops and 8-ounce cuts of filet mignon, either of which can be paired with Maine lobster tail, scallops, or seared foie gras. Late night bites feature stone crabs and beef tartare with picked mushrooms and ponzu sauce.
The sound of little limbs cutting into clear water with increasing confidence fills Quality Swimming's facilities, where instructors keep class sizes small in order to give individual attention and encouragement to each student. All instructors bear Red Cross certifications in CPR, standard first aid, and general lifeguard skills, and some hold additional honors such as degrees in infant teaching from the United States Swim School or certifications in instruction for developmentally disabled students. The trainers also undergo extensive training in Quality Swimming's in-house program, which includes observational sessions, seminars, and shadowing with senior teachers. Despite this intensive program, they continue to hone their skills year-round with local and national workshops, regular in-house refresher training, and international Marco Polo tournaments.
Students of all experience levels slowly grow to revel in the dreamlike effortlessness of movement through water in outdoor pools at three locations. Instructors pass on basic water-safety skills and more advanced swimming techniques, always with the principal aim of teaching students to exist comfortably within water and respect the pool noodle's natural ecosystem.
Maxim Life is in the health business, offering wellness coaching, supplements, and nutrition screenings. But health isn't just a business plan for the company—it's also personal. When local teen Talia Bennardo was diagnosed with the incurable kidney disease FSGS and learned she'd need a risky double kidney transplant, a group of friends and local merchants banded together to create the Maxim Life Fair, with admission fees going to Bennardo's care. After the transplant was performed, the organizers decided to keep hosting monthly events to support research and care for young organ-transplant patients.
Attendees are benefitting their own bodies, too: the health-focused fairs share information on health and nutritious cooking through the expertise of doctors and other wellness pros. And it's not all about eating your vegetables. Past events have included boutique trunk shows, organic wine tastings, and other fun activities.
Joao Amaral is so tough, he teaches cops how to fight. The head coach at the Brazilian Top Team (BTT) studios in both Boca Raton and Boston, Amaral boasts a resumé that includes training law-enforcement departments and winning in tournaments such as the Brazilian national championships. At the Boca Raton facility, Joao and assistant coach Matt Janzer lead group and private classes that include both gi and no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu; the former is a grappling technique that aims to give smaller people the leverage to take down a larger assailant, and the latter is more like traditional wrestling. BTT's muay thai classes, featuring a style of boxing often used in cross-training with jiu-jitsu instruction, can be adapted for those interested in competitive fighting or for those simply looking to get fit or learn self-defense.
The experienced Zumba guru Loibel Clark helms the eponymous Loibel Dance Studio, where she and her team of instructors lead a variety of fitness classes. Though Loibel's dance training began at the age of 4 with ballet and Venezuelan folk dance, she has now become a mainstay of South Floridian Zumba. Her list of accomplishments includes several appearances in Zumba founder Beto Perez's instructor-training videos, as well as a variety of television credits. At her dance studio, exercisers can benefit from her Zumba wisdom during classes held two or three times daily, as well as the packed schedule's other classes such as circuit training, cardio belly dance, samba, and jazz funk.