Adrenaline-pumping fitness and thrilling combat come together in Rising Star Fencing Academy's classes. The United States Fencing Association-member studio's lessons are suited to children as young as 6, and every level teaches creative strategy as it hones stamina, agility, and mental discipline. On a long, rectangular dueling area, coaches and students practice the complex foot- and hand-work for all three fencing styles?foil, sabre, and epee?all using the traditional scoring system. This intensive training is possible, in part, because of the academy's rigorous adherence to safety standards: all students are outfitted with a steel mesh mask and clothed in standard-issue force fields.
Yoga, ballet barre, Pilates, and Zumba aren't one-dimensional workouts. That's why they and other similar classes are offered at Spectrum Wellness Center. There, the team of instructors pushes students toward overall wellness, not just exterior goals like six-pack abs and chiseled thumb muscles. Classes are kept small so students can receive personalized attention, which is ideal for all skill levels. Spectrum Wellness Center's holistic approach also shows during one-on-one injury-prevention sessions, which lets athletes get back in the game without risking performance.
Perhaps it’s their diverse backgrounds—a former D1 college assistant baseball coach with a master's in physical education, a sports-psychology counselor and fitness trainer, and an amateur baseball leaguer—that make the coaches at Pitch by Pitch All Sports Camps open to such a wide variety of athletics. Their weeklong camps embody everything from baseball, soccer, and tennis to less regimented sports such as floor hockey and Capture the Flag. Through drills, games, and relays, coaches teach young campers how to command the field with confidence, while still displaying good sportsmanship. And since it all happens at Congers Lake Memorial Park, full-day campers can spend their lunch breaks swimming in the community pool, playing in the game room, or fishing for their lunch in the lake itself.
At Teel's Baseball & Softball, budding ballplayers field professional instruction from an all-star lineup of trainers and from founder Garett Teel himself, a former 10th-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Organized into different age groups, the camps and programs offer college- and professional-level training, sharpening skills in receiving, throwing, fielding, and hitting to shape well-rounded athletes. Adults, too, can improve their game with Coaching for Coaches, a program that focuses on the proper management of youth teams and the proper way to whisper apple pie recipes into an umpire's ear rather than yelling.
Rooted in the belief that anyone should be able to achieve peak fitness levels without having to break the bank, the staff at New Jersey Sports Advantage guides clients in elite-level training at affordable costs. Though they emphasize baseball and softball skill building, the licensed instructors also dedicate space in the 5,000-square-foot facility to boot camps, speed training, and sports performance programs for both individuals and teams. After a session on the Pilates reformers or relieving stress with a certified fascial stretch therapist, visitors can stop by the onsite café for a healthy snack or smoothie.
BT Dance Company has a state-of-the-art facility—their two large dance rooms are underlaid with sprung injury-prevention flooring, and there's a professional sound system that pumps out the music. But they know that it's the people that make the studio, and they have an accomplished faculty of trained, patient instructors from diverse backgrounds. These instructors lead a range of classes, teaching the finer points of ballet, tap, hip-hop, acrobatics, and the chicken dance.