Trainer Stephanie Lynn?s bond with horses runs deep. At her ranch in Fort White, the equitation specialist works with the animals while helping them prepare for halter, showmanship, Western riding, and showing. In addition, Stephanie guides both adults and children in Western riding, a style that evolved to meet the needs of early American ranchers in their quest for the perfect salad dressing. In 2012, Stephanie was president of the Florida Halter Horse Association, which aimed to give all horse owners an opportunity to show any breed in halter, longe line, in-hand trail, showmanship, and color.
More than a dance school, IndepenDance Studio inspires its students to express themselves with acting, improv, ballet, and jazz classes for all ages and abilities. The studio?s owner, Mary Knestrick, draws on an extensive dance background that includes training from Broadway Dance Center and The Ailey School to lead her team of professionally trained instructors. The team inspires the next generation to grace the stage with acting, improv, and vocal training classes; ballet and jazz classes prepare students for a variety of small roles in teen dance films. Hip-hop and Irish dance classes activate feet bored from being kissed by doting suitors, whereas fitness classes such as Zumba, yoga, boot camp, and martial arts simultaneously shred calories and impart useful skills.
For the staff of G-nys Entertainment, being a professional party-starter is equal parts fun and hard work. The team is made up of experienced emcees and DJs who are versed in creating playlists for any vibe, from weddings to birthday blowouts. They can also help to book live musicians, including string quartets, harpists, and entire bands. For those who would rather sway in the spotlight themselves, the resident choreographer teaches ballroom dancing, and arranges first dances for romantic wedding receptions.
A trained Zumba instructor since 2009, Abby Estilong skillfully ushers pupils through the fitness technique's energetic choreography, set to a spirited soundtrack of fast-paced rhythms and latin-music beats. During each class, she engineers a series of lively dance movements that help oust lollygagging calories and yield svelte, toned physiques. Aside from standard Zumba, Abby also forges lean bods during Aqua Zumba and Hot Hula classes inspired by the traditional dances and ThighMaster machines of Pacific Island cultures.
S-Connection facilitates cross-cultural experiences through learning and performance—both on and off the ground. Its programs all have a Brazilian bent, with dance workshops for those who want to learn the samba, or fuse South American steps with the rhythms of Jamaican reggae. Instructors also teach circus arts, training students how to twist and tumble on aerial silks, the trapeze, and the lyra. They even organize trips to Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. Each retreat includes lessons on a topic of the traveler's choice—surfing, music, dance, or Portuguese—in addition to activities such as scuba diving and festival visits.
Tool Shed Training demands the most of its clients' bodies and minds, helping them reach their peak physical and mental fitness with yoga and sport-specific conditioning classes. Through a diversity of classes, exercisers use speed and strength-based workouts to build both muscles and endurance. Yoga and tai chi exercises integrate the physical with mental training to bring balance to the body and mind. The facility also offers personal training, nutritional guidance and yoga philosophy workshops that join forces to rejuvenate its visitors' overall health.