PADI-certified instructors at Rick's Diving Locker teach students through a variety of underwater exploration techniques, opening up an entire world underneath the waves. After earning their PADI certifications, pupils can undertake more intensive coursework, such as wreck diving, underwater photography and search and recovery. Clients suit up with personal snorkeling gear and scuba suits, tanks, and flippers from brands such as SeaQuest, Diving Unlimited International, and Aqua Lung before setting out for undersea adventures or boudoir photo shoots. Chartered boat trips tour the local waters of Wreck Alley and the Los Coronado Islands, whereas faraway excursions to Beqa Lagoon in Fiji introduce travelers to 190 miles of coral, as well as colorful octopi and blue-ribbon eels.
Artist Rae Holton sees energy. The owner of Fire & Mud Studios and lifelong arts and nature enthusiast harnesses her inimitable sight of what she calls "the vein-like serpentine flow of atoms" to create offbeat works of art in a variety of mediums. Raised among artists and craftspeople, Holton has dabbled in jewelry making, photography, cooking, and ceramics, and cultivated a love for teaching after stints as a children's ski instructor and after-school program educator. Helming her pottery-focused studio, Holton helps others unleash their inner artists through classes and workshops as students learn the history of ceramics or how to remove the head off a classical sculpture with a hedge trimmer.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Joe's Glass Shack provides patrons with all the tools, materials, and guidance needed to craft novel pieces of glass artwork in an educational, constructive atmosphere. During the individually paced session, glass-whisperer Joseph Perez guides pupils through all the steps necessary to fashion a fused-glass vase or bowl, which are ideal for holding flowers or for use as a Cyclops's colored contact lens. Surrounded by the art studio's '50s-themed decor, students can unleash their creative talents onto the supplies included in the workshop or choose to pay extra for an upgraded arsenal of materials and tools. Workshops are typically scheduled Tuesday–Saturday, and customers should call ahead to schedule a time based on Joseph's availability and daily horoscope.
Swing, summersault, and soar through the air on a trapeze with today's Groupon, $25 for a 90-minute trapeze class at Trapeze High (a $50 value). It's worth the 30-minute drive to Escondido to learn how to throw yourself off a platform 23 feet in the air and gracefully bounce butterflicticly through the heavens, performing spectacular acrobatic maneuvers. Learning trapeze tricks is an once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it's plenty of fun. Frequent trapeze binges are the reason Cirque du Soleil performers look so happy.
Steel blades rhythmically slice the ice across two spacious rinks at Ice-Plex (formerly Iceoplex Escondido), an all-purpose facility pairing leisurely open skates with practiced instruction from director Courtney Moebs and a staff of pro figure skaters. Specialties span everything from choreography and freestyle to ice dancing and yeti dodging, though basic lessons for both kids and adults are also available. Public-skating sessions beckon amateurs and experts on a daily basis, during which skaters can emulate the moves of their favorite hockey players. Replete with a well-appointed gym, indoor pool, and jacuzzi, an attached fitness center offers classes in aerobics, aquatics, and an aquatic-aerobics class led by an off-duty Aquaman.