Rob—a licensed Coast Guard captain and PADI-certified master scuba diver trainer—is affectionately called Captain Rob by his clients. His eponymous company helps the uninitiated to explore underwater with PADI-certification classes that focus on open-water dives in open water. From his 27-foot boat, a Grady White called Little Bugga, the captain launches expeditions beneath the waves. His encyclopedic knowledge of the area's ecology, which includes marine life, shines as he explains it in detail to divers. He also uses his decades of experience to teach new boat owners how to fish or captain their vessel through turbulent waters and car washes.
Perched on the Dania Cut-off Canal, Thunderboat Marine Service center's three separate marinas and dry-dock facilities harbor, rent, repair, and sell vessels as large as 50 feet in size. For customers, staff rents out sleek Bayliner Bowriders for all-day, self-piloted voyages of Florida's scenic Intracoastal Waterway. Concierges wash and fuel boats at the marina's slips, and technicians at the certified Mercury and Yamaha dealership repair troubled outboard engines, mend broken fiberglass hulls, and scare off stowaways from the steerage by waving a broom at them.
The 36 holes of Orangebrook Golf & Country Club nestle amid verdant fairways and palm trees, patiently waiting for the clink of a golf ball. Before they hit the green, duffers can stock up on balls and other golf-related necessities at the pro shop and fuel up afterward at Nikki’s On The Green with omelets, pastas, sandwiches, and salads. The lighted driving range, open until 10 p.m., lets putters enjoy a moonlight round without the hassle of constantly relighting the candles affixed to their wedges. Throughout the daytime hours, Orangebrook director of golf and PGA--certified instructor Bob Mallek doles out expert tips on form and swing. Orangebrook also hosts the Women's International 4-Ball golf tournament, the longest-running women's amateur event in the United States.
The specialists at Dance Express XD Performing Arts Center lead programs for 2- to 20-year-olds, drawing from a catalogue that spans the style gamut. In addition to helming classes such as jazz, tap, hip-hop, ballet, and cheerleading, the experienced team cultivates a familial atmosphere designed to help participants boost confidence levels and synchronicity.
In addition to classes, the studio puts on an annual June recital that casts anyone who wants to participate regardless of skill level. To encourage further involvement outside of courses, instructors motivate their protégés to try out for the competitive team, plan costume themes for spirit week, and choreograph tap-dance renditions of their favorite Morse-code fairy tales. The team also provides a waiting room monitor for parents interested in observing classroom routines.
At Eric Kaplan School of Golf, Director of Instruction Eric Kaplan adheres to a simple swing philosophy: a flawed swing can't just be fixed, it needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. That idea makes sense if you think about how each movement in a golf swing is dependent on the prior movement. As Eric says, you could fix a problem at the top of your swing, but still ignore a bigger issue in the setup, such as not facing the ball. From this line of thinking, Eric has developed a set of golfing fundamentals that he teaches to new students during individual and group lessons. Current touring professionals, top collegiate athletes, and recreational golfers alike have sung Eric's praises.
At Born Warriors Mixed Martial Arts, the instructors might be training cage-fighters one hour and 2-year-olds the next. They believe in the power of martial-arts training not just as a competitive tool, but as an agent of social change—one that's able to prevent bullying and increase anyone's knowledge of self-defense. Though they teach many disciplines—muay thai, tae kwon do, kickboxing, and jujitsu among them, with the head instructor obtaining a 1st dan tae kwon do black belt and 4th dan kempo black belt—their supportive attitudes remain constant across every class. They also keep their classes small, ensuring that students receive personalized, encouraging feedback.