Helmed by a team of passionate climbing coaches, both of The Gravity Vault's locations surround climbers with more than 13,000 square feet of climbing space. Walls tower past 35 feet, mimicking such natural rock formations as overhangs, keyhole arches, and slabs, and bouldering areas challenge climbers with a latticework of problems that—unlike most of life's—can't simply be solved with dynamite and a pair of roller skates. Visitors can choose from up to 60 top-rope stations, trusting either the trained staff or a certified fellow climber to man the ropes while they scramble to the summit. When not dangling from a hold or saving lost kittens from a rappel ledge, members can bulk up in the cardiovascular-training area.
Master Byung Uk Kim owns World Champion’s K Tae Kwon Do, but helming the studio is hardly the most impressive stat on his martial-arts résumé. A seventh-dan black belt, Master Kim’s tae kwon do experience spans the globe—he was the head coach of the USA’s Junior Olympic Team, and a 10-time national champion in Korea, the sport’s country of origin.
At his two New Jersey studios, Master Kim currently teaches his specialty to students of all experience levels and belt hues, aided by a team of trainers. Beyond courses in their namesake discipline, the studios also host free cardio-kickboxing nights for parents every Tuesday, as well as tae kwon do–themed birthday parties.
The certified trainers and coaches at Williams Sport Training, LLC work with clients at every fitness level to help them increase endurance and build strength for everyday life. Williams Sport Training offers a turf floor, state-of-the-art weight equipment, and a large, 2,400-foot training area.
Starfish Aquatic Club doesn't exist within a single building; rather, it connects a network of pools and veteran instructors with students aged 6 months and older for lessons that develop and hone vital swimming skills. Instruction primarily occurs in private lessons for kids or adults, which feature one-on-one in-water instruction doled out in 20- to 30-minute chunks. Instructors also schedule small-group lessons for kids, focusing on general technique progression with no more than four students at once. Their parent-child class gives caregivers the opportunity to splash around with kids, though all other lessons prohibit moms and dads from being in the pool at the same time to avoid distracting the youths with retro swimwear. Typically, full sessions take place once a week for four weeks. Instructors also hold pay-as-you-go lessons for those who only want a couple of days of instruction.
School directors Diego Di Falco and Carolina Zokalski spent years dancing in Buenos Aires before they launched their professional dancing careers at the age of 20 by landing roles in the touring production of Forever Tango. When the show made its way to the U.S., the two became two of the youngest tango dancers in history to make it to Broadway. Like a puppy at show-and-tell, they earned enthusiastic acclaim, eventually picking up a Tony nomination for their choreography. These achievements were only the beginning of careers that graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Marquis Theatre, the Hollywood Bowl, and other esteemed venues.
Their reputations secured, Carolina and Diego turned to sharing the art of Argentinian dance with students, which they do today at Summit's Twin Maples mansion, a neoclassical home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside, the hardwood dance floor is lit by chandeliers and accented by classical touches such as crown molding and bronze curtain rods, giving one the sense of dancing at a presidential ball or in a really, really fancy broom closet. There, the pair strives to make each step as authentic as possible by importing traditional music and guest artists directly from Argentina for the classes, workshops, and performances they helm.
Grandmaster Taek Sung Cho has accrued more than 40 years of martial-arts experience and a host of titles on his resumé, including coach for the International Junior Taekwondo Championships and the U.S. Junior Olympic Taekwondo Team. However, he derives the most reward from his role as teacher, a position he has coveted since establishing Master Cho's Talium in 1991. Working with expert instructors, he imparts the value of community and inner balance through the lens of tae kwon do technique.
Master Cho's lessons amplify confidence as well as coordination in young children, teens, and adults. Students can practice with others in their age group or alongside their families, depending on whether their school bus or their house transforms into a giant fighting robot. Kardio Kickboxing workouts toast calories with rapid jabs, and the staff emphasize the social aspect of self-defense training by hosting summer camps and birthday parties.
While working with players ranging from toddlers to high-schoolers, the professional coaches at U.K. Elite Soccer, Inc. incorporate individual training and team-focused programs to create well-rounded athletes both on and off the pitch. Their game-based approach to teaching helps younger students learn motor skills, social skills, and coordination, and gives older students the chance to learn how to dribble in Morse code. The instructors also incorporate methods from football clubs around the world, borrowing tricks from footballers in England, Brazil, the USA, Holland, France, Italy, and Germany to augment training courses. Programs run throughout the year, allowing players and coaches to focus on continual development no matter the season.