As an expert in kung fu and tae kwon do, Louis Charron had learned to wield his body as a weapon. After a time, however, he felt that his martial arts repertoire had ceased to expand—how was he supposed to respond on a dime to dangerous situations if his technique couldn't adapt? It wasn't until he began to specialize in krav maga that he experienced a combat system that continuously evolved, honing rapid-fire reactions to real-life scenarios. Louis dedicated himself to mastering the same self-defense maneuvers utilized by the Israeli Defense Forces, and today runs Close Combat and Fitness as lead instructor and the Louisiana State Director for the International Krav Maga Federation.
Inside the training facility, Louis teaches students to build from the body's natural movements and ward off armed and unarmed attackers, demonstrating tactics for offense, defense, and evasion. He maintains that fostering a positive mindset can create the best sense of security, second only to the confidence that comes from wearing brass knuckles on your hands and feet. That sense of security can particularly benefit youngsters, who gain the confidence to ignore bullies and the self-discipline to succeed in their studies. Guests of all fitness levels can benefit from his lessons, which have been featured on WWL-TV and Cox Sports Television Fitness 411 for their growing influence on the martial-arts scene.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable visitors to fortify their physical well-being with a cornucopia of advanced fitness equipment and certified personal trainers. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man or one of his many secretaries tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength-training gear or top-of-the-line cardio machines, which feature televisions and other media diversions. A friendly, unintimidating atmosphere provides a refreshing change of pace from aloof gym employees and ear-splitting pump-up jams. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
The Zephyrs boast a rich history of nurturing budding bat-swatters and arm-bazooka wielders; nearly 50 former Zephyr players are currently playing in the major leagues. Led by the big-swinging 22-year-old first baseman Logan Morrison, who sported a .300 average and 10 RBIs in his first 40 at-bats, and 23-year-old hurler Ryan Tucker, who posted a 1.59 ERA and nine strikeouts in his first 11.1 innings, the Zephyrs are primed for another run at the PCL American South division title.
The elegant steppers of Arts & Rhythm Ballroom Dance Studio teach students of all ages and skill levels to sway and swing. Owner Irene Torres and dance director Carmen Torres, together with other instructors, boast a wealth of ballroom dancing and teaching experience, as well as the ability to touch their toes to their eyes. The team shares the steps of a variety of styles, such as swing, tango, fox trot, waltz, rumba, cha cha, merengue, itchy lizard, and more in a safe, comfortable studio. The center's welcoming philosophy demands neither a partner nor previous dancing experience.
Palm Tree Playground owners Eric and Heather Hays spent the first four years of their children's lives moving around the country. In spots where the weather wasn't great for playing outside, they explored the local indoor playgrounds. Inspired by the cool places they visited, the family founded Palm Tree Playground once they settled down in New Orleans. Their playground incorporates the best features of the many playgrounds they visited including small play equipment for babies and toddler, and a big-kids soft-play structure with spiral slides and a contained ball arena. An attached surf-and-snack shack sells morsels and soft drinks, but families can bring their own lunches and enjoy them in the cafeteria too.