With more than 10,000 creatures, 30 display tanks, and a 300-foot ocean tunnel, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium gives visitors an up-close look at the sea's intriguing inhabitants. Sand tiger sharks feed on crustaceans and squid, one of the world's largest collection of jellyfish floats under multicolored disco lights, and the popular day octopus emits clouds of black ink to prevent visitors from glimpsing its unfinished autobiography. An interactive quiz trail helps deepen visitors' knowledge of the sea creatures, many of which are on the endangered list and have been rescued or were born and bred as part of Sea Life's conservation projects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At Tidewater Hit and Pitch, a team of professional baseball and softball coaches pass their wisdom onto future generations of pitchers and fielders in one-on-one coaching sessions and group camps. The staff breaks down the sport into three digestible parts—pitching, hitting, and fielding—which helps players hone discipline with drills while imparting universal skills such as balance, body control, and how to dispose of chewing gum besides swallowing it.