The experienced and certified instructors at Elite Dance Centre want to teach their students the joy and health benefits of dancing. At this newly renovated studio, dancers can take tap, jazz, hip-hop, and ballet classes, along with musical theater and kick-line sessions. With a competitive, championship-winning dance team and programs for students ages 2 through adult, there’s a class here for everyone ready to gain strength, grace, and flexibility.
While working together at a personal training facility, professional MMA fighter Jimmy Boudourakis and Chris Oddsen—a trainer with 10 years of experience—dreamed about one day opening their own business. After the establishment they worked for closed down, they brought Vincent DeRiso—a mixed-martial-arts student of Jimmy's—on board to realize their dream, eventually opening the doors to Northport’s MMA Fitness Center.
The trio of owners empathizes with the members who know they need a lifestyle change. This rings especially true for DeRiso, who—after being active all of his life and playing football—went through what he describes as “a rough patch,” hitting 290 pounds. With hard work and the right training, he dropped to 225 pounds and eventually became an MMA fighter. This mixture of empathy and diligence is the bedrock of their business model, which even extends to how they greet their patrons at the door. “The first thing we ask them is, ‘How has your day been?'” said DeRiso. And although the MMA workouts may be difficult, he says that they welcome people and video-game bosses of all fitness levels to attend, work hard, and challenge themselves.
One of the perks of the job for DeRiso is that they get to help kids develop good habits early on, including an overweight 15-year-old who dropped 20 pounds in his first month and impressed his coaches on his most recent football evaluation. The trainers offer classes to teenagers and kids to not only introduce them to mixed martial arts, but to also help them learn discipline in other areas of life. “We feel that kids should definitely learn discipline, because it's not just for the sport,” DeRiso said. “They also bring it back to home and school.”
Established in December 2008, Greenlawn Equestrian Center emphasizes the importance of proper horse care along with proper riding techniques. The facility includes a 100'x245' outdoor ring and a covered 80'x80' ring, which makes year-round practice possible and ensures that an afternoon rainstorm will not erase horses’ autographs. During riding lessons, students paired with 1 of 10 school horses learn basic commands, cantering, and eventually jumping. Horsemanship classes help to cultivate the bond between horse and human, and yearly camps cultivate the bond between humans and fresh air.
A featured instructor for ESPN Radio and Long Island Golfing Magazine, teaching professional Peter Stern assists students with game improvement through lessons held at Indian Head Golf Park. Peter instills the fundamentals of a proper golf swing, which hold up from tee to green with a focus on helping pupils replicate perfected mechanics long after the lesson ends. While the body learns to become one with the club, a video camera records the session so that students can see weak points for themselves rather than trading bodies with a misunderstood sibling. All lessons evade the elements either in Peter's indoor studio or outdoor covered teaching booth.
At LA Boxing, an orchestra of fists and feet slapping heavy bags resounds through the gym. Nobody here settles for punching empty air; instead, professional-grade bags and training mitts absorb blows chucked by students of all skill levels who can burn up to 1,000 calories during fitness classes. Although each boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts class is an authentic fight-training regimen led by a professional fighter, students never have to step into the ring.