A 36-month-old strokes his arms through clear water as his mother gently holds him afloat with her hands. Over the past few swim sessions, the little student has learned to submerge his face in the water and float on his belly as well as his back. After he and his fellow swimmers finish their parent/baby swimester, it's likely they may never experience the fear of swimming that many children begin to encounter around age 3. This type of insight into the developmental importance of swimming is what informs the instruction at Swim-U, Leesburg's child-oriented swimming school. The school's curriculum opens its lessons to newborns as young as 6 months old and to kids up to age 12 to instill water skills and the joys of fitness swimming from a young age. The Swim-U team comprises upbeat swimming professors who are the brains behind the company's special brand of instruction in swimming, as well as in child CPR and first-aid training and dunk-tank pitching.
Prior to founding Serene Acres Riding Center, chief instructor Pamela Smith lived in Great Britain for 15 years, during which time she earned a place in the British Horse Society and the Association of British Riding Schools. It's only natural then that she offers English horseback riding lessons on the 40 acres of Virginia countryside where she now lives. She—along with deputy instructors Ann, Olivia, and Nelly—teaches group and private lessons that produce balanced and effective riders. Her method of accomplishing this involves emphasizing the proper foundations of riding—posture and balance—from the very beginning of training, as opposed to letting students get ahead of themselves by jumping over course obstacles or trotting across tile floors littered with ball bearings.
Dance King Studios owner Adam King leads his instructors in tutoring feet to move to the rhythms of salsa, bachata, tango, and swing. But his rug-cutting team doesn't simply teach students how to dance—the studio also hosts parties that encourage dancers to socialize as they show off their skills in a low-stress setting free of hecklers or trapdoors. The team also helps wedding-bound couples find their footing for first dances. Adam told Leesburg Today that he loves putting nervous pairs at ease. “Most people say they have two left feet, but I'm about overturning those ideas,” he said. “Anybody can learn to dance, it's a matter of giving yourself a chance.”
Gap Spring Farm's family-focused environment suits its main clientele: children. From an early age, kids can visit the farm and learn the basics of walking, trotting, and galloping during group or private lessons. The farm's stables are open to horses of all shapes and sizes, and its summer-camp program provides a safe introduction to riding, grooming, and kissing ponies. Once students have learned the reins, they can show off their skill in one of the farm's horse shows, which are scheduled three or four times a year.
The experienced instructors at The Pilates Center draw on more than 600 hours of training to lead workouts in a studio stocked with Pilates apparatuses. The 50-minute mat classes combine resistance work with stretching exercises, using magic circles, hand weights, and stretch bands to increase core strength and reduce stress and stress-related giggles. Beginner mat sessions establish a foundation for future classes by improving flexibility and imparting the wisdom behind each stretch, allowing intermediate classes to include more extension and inversion techniques in their regimens. Mat Flow & Stretch sessions introduce fluid transitions into the workout, creating a more kinetic Pilates class that tasks an armada of bands and rollers with elongating the body's eager musculature. Classes meet about eight times throughout the week, and the center provides mats and necessary equipment, leaving customers with nothing to tote along other than their opinions on faster-than-light travel.
The staff at Svetness brings their personal-training expertise directly to your doorstep. They provide all of the necessary accoutrements—kettlebells, medicine balls, bands, and free weights—to help clients lose weight, tone muscles, or become flexible enough to be their own coat hangers. After solo or group training sessions, clients can even enlist the expertise of Svetness's on-staff massage therapist for muscle-soothing sessions.