Not every student at Academy of Fencing Masters dreams of competing in the NCAA or the Olympics, but those who do are in good hands. Coaches Natasha Maximovich, PhD and Alexandr Maximovich are veterans of prestigious competitions, having achieved success as professional fencers themselves and having trained innumerable athletes who have gone on to win medals in U.S. nationals, world, and Olympic championships. Alexandr's accomplishments include coaching the foiling team that won the gold at the 1988 Olympics, as well as earning national coaching awards from both the former USSR and his home country of Kazakhstan. Also a native of Kazakhstan, Natasha has taught more than 1,000 championship-winning athletes, but she doesn't just coach student fencers—she coaches coaches themselves, teaching them how to develop youth athletes with fast foils and faster minds. At Academy of Fencing Masters, these seasoned oracles teach students the art of fencing through four tiered levels that focus on endurance, technique, agility, and sportsmanship skills. The facility features 14 total strips, nine of which are electric and five of which are for practice, and specially manufactured floors that are easy on legs and joints. Families are encouraged to watch from a quiet second-floor spectator area with Wi-Fi.
When Scott Rempfer was a kid, sports were fundamental to his self-esteem and sense of discipline. So much so that, even as a pre-teen, he began to put plans in place for what he calls a dream job – helping kids and people develop self-esteem, focus, and discipline through sports, martial arts, and professional training.
Doing something to benefit himself and others through sports and exercise, Scott ultimately founded KidSportzUSA which features after school programs and summer camps for kids of all ages including Sports Play, Summer Camps, Sports Camps, After-School Sports all located at MED-X Sports & Fitness Center. Students participate in activities such as sports, laser tag, video interactive play, obstacle courses, games, movies, and more. Alternative activities include free play, science, arts and crafts, and creative performance. They not only combat the effects of sedentary modern lifestyles, but they build self-esteem, discipline, listening skills, focus, and all the other intangibles that made playing and learning sports so important to Scott years ago. Two-hour extended care is also available for an additional fee.
After two decades spent perfecting his secret barbecue recipes on friends and family, Ed opened Big Ed’s Buzzard BBQ to bring his sauce-slathered brisket, pulled pork, and St. Louis–style ribs to the masses. Today, the barbecue master piles plates high with eight styles of smoked and spiced meat, and his chefs fashion multicourse meals full of saucy barbecue, homestyle sides such as honey-jalapeño corn bread, and desserts including peach cobbler.
Meals can be enjoyed at home or onsite at get-togethers. The shop caters a full range of staples for private events, including whole-hog roasts, pintsize sides, and binding agreements to kiss the cook. When he's not cooking, Ed can be found teaching competition-level classes, where he spends five hours covering barbecue basics.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Pro Tip: Be prepared to have fun.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Painting class
Recommended Age Group: Adults
Recipient of the National Wildlife Federation's 2007 Photographer of the Year and National Geographic's 2008 Best Nature Photographer awards, Aperture Academy founder Stephen Oachs has dedicated himself to passing on camera know-how to newly minted picture snappers alongside a team of pro teachers. His beautiful, wood-floored studio and gallery hosts classes that usher beginners through their first forays into photography. These sessions impart such advanced techniques as high-quality printing and using Photoshop to give red eye to every family member who refused to say "cheese." Workshops spirit students to beautiful locales throughout California, giving budding photographers the chance to hone their skills in stunning natural environments.
If you’re ever going to make good on your New Year’s resolution to climb the outside of the Bank of America Corporate Center, you’re going to need some well-maintained nails. Today’s deal will cover you with a deluxe manicure and pedicure at My Nail Spa–Peninsula in Cornelius for $25 (a $58 value). Geographers agree that the spa is technically a promontory, but you won’t mind once the skilled nail technicians hand you your choice of beer or wine and start to work on your dainty digit-helmets.