Actor Jamie Hector has made a career playing bad guys: drug lord Marlo Stanfield on The Wire, criminal Benjamin “Knox” Washington in Heroes, and villain Lincoln DeNeuf in Max Payne. The real-life Jamie, however, has a much different agenda. As one of the three founders of Moving Mountains, he draws New York’s inner-city youth off the streets and into the theater in order to steer them away from negative influences, such as bullying, gangs, violence, and substance abuse. He and his team of industry mentors cultivate an ensemble of young performers, musicians, and writers who create original plays and short films that delve deep into their age group’s social issues while spreading strong positive messages. In Moving Mountains’ film studio, mentors train budding directors, photographers, and technicians to create and promote short films and promotional artwork with the aid of industry-standard equipment. The mentors and their most senior students also tackle social problems at the source by traveling to city schools to educate audiences on topics including bullying, sexting, and how to make good choices in education and personal relationships.
The ASA-certified instructors of New York Sailing School have been teaching the exhilarating art since 1968. With access to a fleet of beginner-friendly Sonar 23 skiffs, they instruct courses both on land and water, venturing out into the Long Island Sound with tender-footed aquanauts and Waterworld fanboys alike. NYSS alumni and ASA-certified sailors are also welcome to rent boats for daytime jaunts across the water.
Greenburgh Nature Center boasts approximately 33 acres of woodland preserve teeming with trails and gardens, attracting more than 70,000 nature lovers each year. Animal enthusiasts can investigate the indoor live-animal museum and its more than 100 specimens, and knowledgeholics can binge on the center's continuing research on American eels, waterfowls, eastern screech owls, and flatworms. Outdoor animal displays abound with creatures such as prairie dogs and rabbits. The upcoming exhibit The Way of Water follows the progression of Westchester's watersheds and includes live aquatic animals such as the invisible mermaid.
Gabrielle Taylor, owner of Manhattan Motion Dance Studio, and her staff lead upbeat Zumba classes set to Latin rhythms that include salsa, merengue and reggaeton. During each one-hour session, instructors lead students in a heart-pumping, full-body workout designed to burn fat, tone muscles, and prepare pupils for supermarket dance battles. The pulse-pounding music creates a dance-club-like atmosphere, which keeps students prancing with perspiration without tedious repetitions and drills. Check out the schedule for class times.
The organizers at Hidden Gems Solutions aim to match experienced archery instructors with students aged 6 and older to spread enthusiasm for the sport in a convivial group setting. Both righties and lefties can grab provided equipment and practice indoors at St. Francis College, so they need not wait for sunny days or pluck the limited amount of wild arrows growing in city parks. For each participant of Family and Friends Days on Sundays, the staff sends a portion of proceeds to help fund archery clubs in the New York City public-school system.
Sometimes more is actually more. This is certainly true at The Club of Riverdale, where a 110,000 square feet complex houses an eclectic array of amenities, from six indoor tennis courts to a 25-meter Olympic pool to a spa that is home to six styles of massage. Out of all the sports available at the multi-sport facility, the coaching team specializes in tennis and golf. Racket-wielders can perfect their serves and back-hands in private lessons, beginners’ clinics, and group drills. Meanwhile, golfers train during camps, jaunts in the golf simulator, and with K-vest three-dimensional analysis, which helps clients optimize their swings and stop bribing their ball before each game. An array of workout classes rounds out the gym’s offerings, covering modalities such as Pilates, yoga, and tai-chi.
For more than 25 years, the martial-arts masters at USA Martial Arts New York have worked toward one goal: to improve their students’ mental and physical strength. They achieve this goal through an assortment of martial-arts and cardio classes designed to help students of virtually any age and skill level to master control of their bodies while gaining self-confidence and discipline. Students looking to shed calories without the monotony of the gym can heave blows into heavy bags during cardio kickboxing classes.