The instructors and professional staff at PADI five-star instructor center Beach Cities Scuba introduce students to the big blue with PADI-certified diving courses for divers of all levels. They certify newbies with basic open-water courses and teach advanced divers in specialty courses such as Deep Diver, Rescue Diver, and Shark Therapist. They operate out of five convenient locations and sling necessary gear in onsite stores, from wetsuits and facemasks to spear guns. Beach Cities Scuba also connects divers through its dive club and hosts exotic dive trips to locations such as Indonesia, Fiji, and Cozumel.
Lord of the Rings. Star Wars. Legos. These are the areas of expertise of BrainStorm Studios' staff, who combine the experience gleaned from working on those films with brightly colored toy bricks to inspire young minds. Legos are used in conjunction with other technology to nurture kids' interest in STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art, and math. In different workshops, youngsters piece together bridges and towers, program robots, or build mind-boggling contraptions while principles of architecture, engineering, and physics secretly lodge in their brains. Future filmmakers can hone their craft in stop-motion-animation workshops or try their hand at storyboarding and acting in a short film. BrainStorm's creative birthday parties educationally elevate celebrations, inviting guests to create a claymation movie, a music video, or robots that solve mazes and do battle but, tragically, can't be programmed to feel love.
For more than a decade, physical therapist Amy Fischer helped clients recover from a range of orthopedic and sport injuries. These days, she blends her knowledge of the body with her passion for Pilates at her two Pure Pilates studios—one in Laguna Niguel and the other in Ladera Ranch—each of which host regular classes alongside specialized sessions for golfers, breast cancer survivors, and moms-to-be.
Surrounded by tranquil Asian-inspired décor, Amy and her team of instructors guide students of all levels through private and group Pilates classes, which aim to strengthen core muscles while improving flexibility and posture. After being divvied up into Level 1 or Level 2–3 sections, students learn a variety of exercises on a reformer machine built from adjustable ropes, pulleys, and springboards reclaimed from the days of vaudeville. Amy and her team also offer slower-paced courses for seniors as well as physical therapy sessions that speed healing with modified Pilates exercises paired with a personalized at-home exercise program.
For more than 25 years, seasoned performers have spread the joy of kinetic expression at Londance. Fluent in the art of "social dancing", the twelve qualified instructors on staff are competing professionals who invigorate each class with fun and energy. Two or three classes are held each day, in styles as varied as ballroom, salsa, and swing, and can be used for weddings, events, or just to get in to shape. Weekly studio parties enable dancers to show off their moves or scrutinize the mirrors to catch any vampires brushing up on the waltz they originally learned in 1790s Vienna.