The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, 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 Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
It's difficult to tell whether Master Thomas Gordon or Master Gregory Bledsoe would win in a fight. That's because the two martial-arts instructors have worked on the same team for more than a decade. In that time, they've developed a teaching style that has caught the attention of the local and national press.
All the attention is warranted, because Masters Gordon and Bledsoe aren't just effective instructors—they're avid students of their craft. Gordon, for example, has attended countless tae kwon do seminars and camps, and he can articulately speak about the discipline's history as well as flawlessly demonstrate its self-defense techniques. Both instructors are also acutely aware of the real-life applications of tae kwon do and hapkido. Plenty of police officers have attended their classes looking to get a leg up on the next criminal, and kids and teens use their newly acquired moves to defend against bullies or rip up impossible math tests.
Since driving a car on water isn't possible—yet—Destin Power Boats offers a better way to transport oneself over the tides with mint-condition vessels. Prestocked with USCG-approved safety equipment, the company's fleet features Baja and Searay boats that seat up to eight riders apiece. The fleet also revs up with supercharged seadoos, which boast 215-horsepower motors and are strong enough to carry multiple passengers or tow a small island. For customers in search of a unique thrill, Destin Power Boats also offers thrilling spins on the Flyboard—a high-tech device that propels users into the sky and under the water's surface.
The Golf Garden of Destin fosters putt-putt delight and club-flailing fun in a family-friendly atmosphere replete with a nine-hole executive golf course, expansive driving range, and 18-hole miniature golf course. Golfers can groom their putting stroke with a round at the putting course, where slick, faux-grass surfaces and subtle slopes coalesce to create breaks more difficult to read than a kindergartener's dissertation. The outdoor driving range keeps metal clubs and dimpled orbs on a collision course well into the evening with over 30 hitting stalls outfitted with towering lights. Duffers looking for a more immersive golf challenge can take to the executive course, where seven par 3s beckon to players still seeking their first hole-in-one and two par 4s assure that drivers and 3-woods do not abscond in search of work at the nearest sword-forging convention.
In 2005, The Funplex of Gulf Breeze opened its doors to kids looking for competitive and recreational coaching in cheerleading and gymnastics. Over time, the demand grew so much that the facility expanded to its current 30,000-squre-foot venue, which serves the community with an even bigger variety of activities. Guests of honor have several options for birthday parties, including bounce-house sessions, princess-themed blowouts, private time on the gymnastics equipment, or instruction from a stuntman coach. Even adults can get in on the facility’s fun by taking Zumba dance fitness classes.
For more than 25 years, the technicians at Bikes Plus have enabled smooth zooming by stocking new bikes and servicing cycles of all makes and models. With the addition of new location on Palafox Street, they now sharpen their skills at three locations alongside factory technicians several times per year, channeling newfound knowledge into repairs and tune-ups that keep two-wheelers healthy and humming. Customers can also take advantage of staff expertise as they scour racks of rides such as Scott bikes and Fuji cycles. Those already in possession of rides can accentuate them with accessories such as lights and locks, which prevent bikes from being hijacked by someone fleeing a unicyclist.