Located just a short distance from Charlotte and Winston-Salem, The Spa at Rock Barn is considered a "hidden treasure." The Spa offers a variety a spa treatments along with an unforgettable state-of-the-art spa area including a heated indoor mineral pool, therapeutic waterfall whirlpool, Jacuzzi's, sauns and steam rooms.
The first time Jon Walker climbed into a saddle, he was a mere 5 years old. More than 35 years later, he and his wife, Carolyn—also an avid equestrian from a young age—share their passion for riding with students at Jon Walker Stables & Riding Academy Inc. Largely focused on English riding, the trainers lead private and group lessons for eager equestrians aged 3 and up. Across their more than 15-acre parcel, two barns, indoor and outdoor arenas, and trails welcome horses and their riders to trot, canter, and gallop year-round.
When rock-climbing couple Christy and Scott Thrift got engaged, Christy was dangling off the side of Stone Mountain. The same adventurous spirit that elevated their engagement informs their married life, which they spend running their wilderness guiding service, Thrifty Adventures. While some of the duo’s trips require previous outdoor experience, most welcome all participants, and range from ice climbing adventures to rock climbing and backpacking trips. Along the way, Scott and Christy teach safety basics, climbing techniques, and strategies for preserving natural surroundings, such as refraining from nibbling on the mountain.
At first glance, All American Dance Studio may seem bare. Wood floors stretch out across the empty space, and chairs are pushed up against the walls. But once the students start arriving, the wide, empty space is full of twirling, hopping, and happy stepping. Expert instructors lead students of all levels through a variety of styles such as swing, mambo, and waltz.
The body-bending gurus at Community Yoga escort students through a variety of muscle-stretching yoga classes suitable for all skill levels. Beginning benders can stretch during the Hatha yoga basics class, which moves at a slower pace to introduce newbies to the practice; or try the Vinyasa session that promotes muscular stamina through faster-moving pose transitions. Yogis can also experience more specialized practices, such as Subtle Yoga, which explores the deeper, more cerebral aspects of yoga. Community Yoga lives up to its name by seeking out a local charity every year to support by donating time, services, and money. With classes seven days a week, the studio provides a schedule as flexible as a slinky made out of cooked spaghetti.
Steve Hall began training in martial arts at the age of 11 and went on to receive a black belt in jiu-jitsu from Master Royce Gracie, son of the style's founder. This particular belt was rare; at the time, he was the ninth person in the world to ever receive a black belt from Royce Gracie. Hall now leads Fight to Win Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, of which the Denver location is an affiliate. In turn, he's passed his skills on to Jon Plyler, a black belt who is the owner and instructor at BJJ, Inc. Fight to Win Brazilian Jiu-jitsu of Denver, NC. Like Hall, Plyer also received his black belt from Master Royce Gracie.
The gym runs programs for students aged 4 and older, teaching young pupils the most basic moves and mental discipline of martial arts and preparing older students for amateur and professional competitions. That's a realm in which Plyler is very active—he's studied both gi and no-gi wrestling and is certified as a referee by US Grappling and the North American Grappling Association. The team also boils the form down to the fundamentals of self-defense for those who simply want a few moves with which to protect themselves. Plyler is particularly familiar with those techniques, as he is a law enforcement professional and trainer.