The game of tennis has taken Jennifer Itonyo from her native Nigeria to earning All-American honors as a singles and doubles player in college. Today, she coaches budding phenoms and casual players alike at Hampton Tennis Center, where seven clay courts host racket swingers for casual games as well as tournament play. Most students come to her for lessons that help them shore up rickety serves or add oomph to their forehand smashes. Workout-minded players can incorporate vigorous aerobic exercise during cardio tennis lessons for an extra challenge. The center also offers a racket-restringing service, which comes in handy when they get worn out from overuse or overly vigorous air-guitar riffs.
With backgrounds in professional security, the instructors at Homeland Security Solutions hold certifications to teach multiple weapons and styles of self-defense, from NRA firearms courses to classes in first aid and CPR. They are also certified by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, which allows Homeland Security Solutions to qualify students to apply to for a state CCW permit. Beyond leading classes for civilians, Homeland Security Solutions' team specializes in training law enforcement and professional-security personnel. Its services also extend to corporate consulting and designing security systems, which led Homeland's team to design the rope-and-hamburger trap that finally captured The Hamburglar.
Today, James Cook, and his team of instructors teach courses in open water diving certification, as well as beginners classes and courses that can lead to careers. They also supply divers with all requisite equipment and help organize diving trips to destinations such as the Bahamas.
Yoga Motion fully embodies its name. Not only do the center’s instructors encourage fluid movements and flexibility in their students, they also tap into the business’s origins as a former traveling yoga studio. At its start, the studio’s instructors would bring their sessions to local spaces—a tradition that continues today as they bring their classes to local health clubs and beaches, in addition to hosting them at their permanent home. No matter the space, students learn to balance their breaths, increase flexibility, and tone muscles with yoga poses developed more than 5,000 years ago. Group classes are available for varying skill levels, and instructors also offer private sessions.
In addition to yoga classes, the facility also offers dance lessons. A dancer since she was 5, Elise McKenna mastered ballet during her tenure in the American Ballet Company and even danced in music videos by Michael Jackson and Rick Astley. While she is passionate about performing, she equally loves to teach and has been helming her own classes in belly dancing, burlesque, ballet, jazz, ballroom, and other forms for more than 25 years, or the amount of time it takes to pirouette around Jupiter.
Anchored by a trio of experienced aces—including PGA-certified director of instruction Ed Collins and owner Dave Williams—Hampton Roads Golf Academy travels to courses throughout the greater Hampton Roads area to spread the pastime of golf. The pros wake each morning to the sound of humming lawnmowers and giggling 9-irons to keep alive their golf enthusiasm, which they impart in private, group, and on-course lessons. The academy’s V1 video analysis software helps instructors shed light on the murky abyss of pupils’ swings, playing back each shot in slow motion to pinpoint the root cause of each unsightly slice and snap hook. Hampton Roads Golf Academy holds lessons at four area courses, two of which boast covered and heated ranges to allow for lessons during chilly winters or divot hailstorms.
Hampton Ballroom, which first opened its floors 20 years ago, houses a team of instructors passionate about helping students become well versed in a wide variety of dances. The expert teachers lead group classes to get feet sashaying to styles such as salsa, foxtrot, rumba, cha-cha, and tango, and also offer one-on-one private lessons. Wall-to-wall mirrors flank the wood-floor studios, allowing participants to keep an eye on their moves and to scope out any vampires in disguise.
Kobukan Martial Arts’ trainers emphasize the mental benefits of the ancient fighting techniques as strongly as the physical ones. The controlled focus required in Tai Chi eases stress, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu offers the peace of mind that comes from learning self-defense techniques and sculpting muscles quickly. A full schedule also holds other MMA classes, such as kickboxing and karate.