Though they lead group classes at multiple studio locations, the instructors at Latin Explosion Dance School don't need an official dance floor to showcase their moves. They've twirled on the Orlando Magic's basketball court during halftime, and they visit clients' homes for private lessons in salsa, merengue, bachata, and hip-hop. Such versatility enables them to teach a wide span of styles, from Latin dances such as flamenco and tango to ballroom and belly dance. They pass on their learned footwork to pupils of all ages, encouraging their diverse base of protégés to mingle at in-house talent-show socials and group travel events. A more intensive lesson plan comes in the form of their four-week workshops, during which they help dancers develop techniques and impress key differences between dance styles, including the variances in mambo versus salsa beats and how to distinguish a conga line from a linear group hug.
During a round of golf in this region, it’s not uncommon for players to see the occasional alligator sunning itself on the banks of a fairway pond. The same, however, cannot be said for miniature-golf courses, unless you’re playing at Congo River Golf, where the civilized sinking of putts coexists with the visceral carnage of live-alligator feedings. More than 25 alligators wait for patrons to feed them morsels of gator food in an exhibit beside the course. Though the course offers no chance for an encounter with the ancient, scaly species, it enchants players with waterfalls, safari-themed artifacts, and towering rock faces. In addition, Congo River Golf encompasses an indoor arcade and a gemstone-mining station, where guests dig through dirt for fossils, arrowheads, and Neanderthal’s kindergarten time capsules.
While most people’s biggest water-related fear might be sharks, Phil Pektas's was children. Not the kids themselves, of course, but the prospect of teaching them. This terror first surfaced when he was tapped to fill in for the Pre-K instructor at the swim school where he taught. Fortunately, he conquered that fear during the very first lesson and 20 years later is still introducing young people to the necessary skills for ensuring safe, aquatic fun. Pektas and his staff of American Red Cross–, CPR-, and First-Aid- certified instructors use activities, toys, and analogies to improve performance in the pool. With games such as Bird Catcher, kids will learn how to control their breathing and hunt for sub-aquatic fowl indigenous to chlorinated pools.
Meet Nannette. She's a former professional ballroom competitor with a slew of competition wins under her belt, but that's not as important as what she'll do for you. Alongside her staff of similarly talented dancers, Nannette cultivates a fun, inclusive, and laid back atmosphere while helping students perfect their ballroom footwork with classes in popular styles such as swing, waltz, tango, and cha-cha. Men, women, and even children learn how to twist and spin at all of Nannette's six locations, where guests can get exercise, relieve stress, and meet new dance-savvy people while having fun. The studio also offers private lessons in clients' homes or in their favorite supermarket aisles.
Nestled in the shadows of ancient oaks and towering cypress trees, Kissimmee Bay Country Club's 18-hole course takes golfers through 6,830 yards of fairways and greens lined with serene water hazards. In total, the course features a dozen ponds that come into play on nearly every hole, challenging players to try forced carries and other crafty shots. The verdant course also peppers a dash of wildlife into rounds, as sand hill cranes are often spotted along the fairways and waterways. Before taking to the course, golfers can warm up their swings at the driving range or motivate golf balls by showing them how easily they can be replaced at the pro shop.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,830 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.4 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 132 from the farthest tees * Five tee options * Scorecard
Golf Hall of Famer Gary Player and Karl Litten designed Kissimmee Oaks Golf Club's 18-hole, par 72 course, carving a 6,886-yard path through intersecting waterways and the century-old oak trees from which the club derives its name. Water hazards come into play on all but four holes, impeding golfers' passage while attracting wild turkey and thirsty golf carts. Golfers will need sound course management and accurate shotmaking to keep the ball in play on the sloping fairways and small greens that snake through the hazards. Before taking the course, players can warm up swings at a 20-stall driving range or at two separate greens for chipping and putting.
Course at Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course designed by Gary Player and Karl Litten * Length of 6,886 yards from the tips * Course rating of 73.7 from the tips * Slope rating of 131 from the tips * Four tee options