South Kingstown is the newest location opening in 2013 of Rock Spot Climbing’s multiple locations, where colorful footholds and route markers sprawl along artificial rocks create diverse climbing surfaces for every major discipline. Dozens of top-rope stations challenge climbers to scale the wall in safety, whether belayed by a human companion or hooked up to an auto-belay unit that reduces the risk of conversation. Meanwhile, others eschew ropes in order to tackle bouldering routes—low-altitude obstacles littered with arches, steep faces, and caves—and lead climbers set their own anchors as they scale the wall. The climbing courses vary for all skill levels, ranging from sheer faces with ample handholds to cliffs for expert climbers and lemmings. Cardio machines let athletes warm up or cool down between climbs, and instructors lead afterschool classes to teach kids the art of competitive climbing.
As a veteran of the U.S. Army and Gulf War, Bill Newcomb probably knows a thing or two about hard knocks. He’s probably also received his fair share of bumps and bruises, too, considering he’s practiced martial arts his entire life—including muay thai for the past 16 years. The owner and head instructor at Hard Knocks Muay Thai & MMA, Bill now shares all of his wisdom by training others in both muay thai and in mixed martial arts. But much like an iceberg with a modest online dating profile, classes at Hard Knocks go deeper than one might think. They not only help exercisers stay fit, but instill core values of respect, discipline, and self-esteem as well.
Youngsters master karate chops, take on fencing opponents, and perfect balletic pliés under the same roof at New England Sports Academy. As you walk through the facility, you might hear the sounds of guitars as kids learn to strum chords. And of course, the academy also offers competitive team sports—from basketball and soccer to cheerleading.
Through every program, the upbeat instructors foster a fun and supportive atmosphere in which students learn to cooperate with their peers and challenge themselves, whether it's in a class or during a summer camp session. Parents and guardians can also rent out the space to celebrate a child's birthday or recent ascension to the royal throne.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
For 44 years, adventurers and outdoor athletes have emerged from Country Ski and Sport armored in quality apparel and equipped with sturdy vessels, poised to conquer mountains, rivers, and bike paths. The Stenson family—which founded the sportsman’s haven in 1970—shares the clientele’s passion for outdoor excursions, and staff three facilities with a team of knowledgeable employees boasting more than 225 collective years of industry experience. The friendly staff draws upon outdoor know-how to match customers with pairs of skis, snowboards, kayaks, or bikes that suit their needs and size. Adventure-appropriate apparel from North Face or Under Armour keeps bodies warm while they’re slaloming down slopes or luging to work. To help customers prepare for the sporting seasons, technicians also repair and tune up skis, snowboards, and bicycles, and offer seasonal leasing options for snow equipment.