Having spent many years in the dance and fitness industries, Vanessa Berry knew precisely what to look for in her staff members when she opened Kick Dance Studios more than 10 years ago. Today, staffers include those who have trained at distinguished organizations including the School of American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, and Broadway Dance Center.
But as proud as she is of her team, Berry is doubly so of her students, including her award-winning dance team. Her facility's two studios constantly bustle with the moves and grooves of highly organized dance classes, which include ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, musical theater, and acrobatics.
Pushing off from from Waterfront Park, paddlers in kayaks and on standup boards from Freeport Kayak Rentals can go exploring in the surrounding bays. Traverse the waterways to Wampum Island, where you can stop to search for shells or practice etching S.O.S. into the sand. Duos can share rowing duties in tandem kayaks, scoping the waterscape for local wildlife such as egrets, gulls, and other shorebirds. Each rental includes lifejackets and paddles, as well as a brief orientation and safety tips for your journey.
A putt-heavy microcosm set smack in the middle of the sprawling Twin Brooks Golf Center, the manicured mini-golf course offers 18 holes of exciting, varied terrain. The petite playing field is loaded with obstacles for all ages and skill levels, with carefully designed caverns and free-flowing waterfalls conspiring to prevent multicolored balls from settling into holed homes. Great for competitive double dates or a family activity less controversial than window-shopping for puppies, Twin Brooks' miniature golf provides oversized fun by way of a shrunken-down sport.
Transformation Fitness Studio combines the benefits of personal training with the convenience of at-home workouts. In addition to offering their clients webcam workouts led by certified personal trainers, the studio also boasts a new facility where participants can work out at their own pace. In addition, visiting the facility in person gives people a good reason to leave the house in sweatpants, second only to impersonating Rocky Balboa.
Island Martial Arts' team of black-belted instructors pours passion and years of training into fitness and self-defense classes, each marbled with strands of tae kwon do. Adult-oriented sessions mix the Korean fighting technique with elements of kickboxing, boosting muscle memories with various takedowns, throws, chokes, and joint locks. Kids aged 3–13 get parceled up into age-specific groups to study tae kwon do, ground fighting, and grappling skills. Peewee ninja classes (3–5 years old) focus on stretching tykes' attention spans and laying a foundation of maturity on which to build in later classes. In the same way Spartan warriors would train for brutal pillow fights, all students train with target pads, focus mitts, standup Wavemaster heavy bags, and padded weapons. Female instructors also lead women-only fitness sessions, and the studio regularly holds workshops hosted by guest instructors and martial-arts masters.
At LaSalle Mixed Martial Arts, founder Michael LaSalle—whose resumé includes fighting in the 1999 Golden Gloves match and honing jujitsu skills in Brazil—shares his lifelong passion for mixed martial arts with pupils as young as 4 years old to students as old as adults. His classes focus on Asian and Latin American combat styles, including muay thai, Filipino weaponry, and Brazilian jujitsu, and they cultivate a noncompetitive, fun environment as pupils learn grappling techniques and how to defend themselves from throngs of rabid lucha libres. In addition to emphasizing technical skills and developing strength, the children's mixed-martial-arts program encourages kids to hone valuable life skills such as self-discipline, self-esteem, and concentration.
Beyond mixed-martial-arts classes, the studio also offers fitness classes, including cardio kickboxing and strength and conditioning training, and women's self-defense classes.