The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds adults of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of tango, swing, or rumba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice provides a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Winner of more than 100 mixed-martial-arts competitions, Tiger Schulmann shares his pride and love for fighting and self-defense with both adults and children in gyms across five states. From first-time grapplers to expert muay thai fighters, students of all fitness and experience levels are welcome to dive into a class at Schulmann’s. At more than 47 locations, adults can take classes in kickboxing, MMA, and jujitsu—the last of which instills students with the skill and confidence to take down opponents of any size, strength, or telekinetic ability. Kids, meanwhile, can learn martial arts for fun, or gain useful experience in bully prevention; the kids’ classes help victims immediately identify and safely diffuse situations when pitted against an aggressor.
Since its beginnings in 1980, Staten Island Fencing Club has developed the skills of collegiate athletes and Olympic hopefuls under the guidance of head coach and founder Steve Khinoy, a Johns Hopkins PhD with more than 30 years of coaching experience. In 2010, the club—once relegated to college cafeterias and church basements—took up permanent residence at Staten Island Fencing Center, a full-time facility as bright and spacious as the Man in the Moon's front yard, complete with fencing strips, an armory, and a pro shop. There, Dr. Khinoy cultivates an atmosphere of camaraderie, teaching both novice and advanced swordsmen to master the Olympic and NCAA sport's triumvirate of blades: foils, sabers, and épées.
Under President and Coach Susan Monardo, the center's focus has been to help both the recreational fencer and competitive fencer reach their goals. Beyond one-hour introductory lessons, regular courses stretch for several weeks, during which competitors learn the strategies and fancy footwork necessary to best opponents on the piste and during freestyle dance contests. Summertime day camps and clinics sharpen slashing technique with five hours of daily instruction that include warm-ups, basic drills, and individual lessons. The staff also hosts parties for birthdays or other celebrations, in which guests practice the art of dueling amid cake, refreshments, and bouquets of colorful balloons shrieking in terror.
Since 1973, archers have lined up to hone their shots at the front of Victory Archers' 12 regulation-size lanes. The arrow-slingers who line up there aren’t just a random collection of archers––though the indoor range does hold open shooting on Wednesday nights––but a community of archers drawn from leagues, lessons, and a group of members who team up not only to shoot, but also to maintain the facility. The real-world results from the community-based lessons and sans-leotard practice sessions have been impressive, as evidenced by the 17-point buck and other wild trophies that have been felled by club members.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles?including kenpo and tae kwon do?with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick?s seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer?s belt of live cobras.