Sanoe Garcia, owner and founder of Akala Dance Studio, leads a team of instructors in teaching hip-centric movements during hula and Tahitian dance classes. Across three different dance spaces, the 45-minute classes impart basic steps in a fun, noncompetitive setting, ranging from the smooth, foot-grounded sways of hula to the energetic rhythms of Tahitian dance. The studio also puts on productions, in which professional dancers don grass skirts and colorful headpieces for special events such as weddings, luaus, or amateur HORSE competitions.
Designed to recreate Hawaii's native volcanic rock and its thrilling climbs, a multitude of climbing surfaces erupt throughout Volcanic Rock Gym's 3,000 square feet. From 16 feet in the air, a large top-out boulder hangs over an expanse of traversing walls, campus boards, and safety mats. Traditionalists can scale a vertical wall with the reassurance of a physical anchor on the top-rope routes, and rebellious climbers and mountain-goat impersonators can attempt the crack-climbing walls and bouldering façades. In addition, curious spelunkers can explore the bouldering cave, negotiating its ceiling holds and stubborn bats to emerge back in the gym from a massive overhang. Climbing routes change every month to present new climbing challenges and dissuade cheaters from memorizing all the foothold nibs before testing their climbing prowess.
West Oahu SUP's staff of professional surfers and lifeguards rent out equipment, lead tours, and conduct lessons on a secluded beach flanked by mountains on both sides. Their passion for the region’s natural splendor defines their tours. The guides can pinpoint the best times of day to spot sea turtles or take advantage of the calmest breezes; lead groups to their favorite lava formations for midday dives; and remember the satisfaction of discovering the sea by paddleboard and kayak for the very first time.
Sergio Lima was only 4 years old when he caught his first wave. His board may have been nothing more than a piece of driftwood, but that experience ignited his passion for surfing. Eventually, he was selected to represent his native island, Brazil's Fernando de Noronha, in an international competition. The waves eventually landed him on the north shore of O'ahu, where he and his wife, Carly, who is also a photographer, operate Island Style Surf School.
They take advantage of the year-round waves of the North Shore to train first-timers along with experienced wave-riders. They provide the board and leash, the rash guard, sunscreen, and a towel—their students need bring only their swimsuits and their Fish-to-English dictionary.
Oahu Taekwondo Center's martial-arts classes teach students the basics of self-defense while instilling in them a sense of pride and discipline. Even young children are welcome to don a crisp white uniform and partake in non-combative workouts that transform the feet and hands into a powerful defense system. The center's instructors also teach women’s kickboxing classes in which ladies of all skill levels kick and punch heavy bags, paddles, and saucepans.
The son of a Californian flamenco dancer, Greg “The Salsaman” Henry was captivated by dancing early on. At the age of 3, he joined in on performances with his mother’s dance troupe. Years later he went on to found the Hot Salsa Dance Company, which puts on interactive latin-dance shows throughout Hawaii and California. Henry and other company members also lead the company’s instructional arm, Hot Salsa Hawaii, teaching group classes to beginning and intermediate dancers.
In these classes, you can learn the basic steps of Dominican Republic–style merengue, a more energetic version than its Haitian counterpart. You can also work toward mastering the sideways footwork of the bachata. Classes are limited in size to ensure that each student gets plenty of attention from the instructor.