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.
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.
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.
Defensive Shooting Instructors' training staff includes Special Forces members, SWAT officials, and intelligence specialists. Drawing from these backgrounds, the highly trained team teaches dozens of public courses that cover everything from pistols to shotguns to hand-to-hand combat. Rather than guiding their students through simple lessons, the instructors run drills that simulate real-world conditions and aim to create safe-yet-intense environments. Depending on the class, they might have groups race through obstacles, run up stairs, or even roll in the dirt. For firearms training, they travel to local ranges and put shooters through repetitive drills focused on speed, accuracy, and consistency. In addition to civilian instruction, Defensive Shooting Instructors designs courses for law enforcement officers, military members, and deploying journalists. Its staff mans a gun shop.