Twenty-year horse riding veteran Alicia Harper and her staff of equine aficionados work together to create a comfortable environment where students can learn foundational riding skills. Their fleet of horses includes options for all levels and riders who are trained to compete in disciplines including dressage and show jumping. Focusing on safety, the staff offers lessons for casual riders interested in scenic strolls as well as more intensive instruction for those looking to compete. Regular theory workshops delve into the arcane aspects of caring for horses, and enthusiastic students are invited to help out around the barn, where they can learn about feeding, grooming, and losing gracefully to horses at games of canasta to keep their morale high.
When a motorcycle accident blew out his knee, avid swing dancer Jason Warner drew emotional and physical strength from the growing dance community he and his wife, Crystal, had created at Suburban Swing. Warner had danced for three years prior to the injury in 2000, the same year he began hosting lessons, swing dance parties, and fetes-for-hire at pubs and performance halls around town. The Langley Advance reported that a significant part of his 18-month recovery was dance, which his doctor had green lighted as a safe way to ease back into movement. More than a decade later, Warner is the bedrock of a community devoted to East Coast swing, lindy hop, balboa, and blues dancing as an instructor, a DJ, and the founder of Swing Summit, an annual training camp.
The couple keeps their footwork fancy with regular workshops, and both have contributed to television shows such as Smallville and CTV's Robson Arms. Demonstrating their care for the world beyond brass bands and pompadour wrangling, the two increased their class and party fees by a quarter so they could donate all of the additional revenue to sponsor children in need via World Vision Canada.
Open since 2005, West Coast Martial Arts promotes the spread of Mixed Martial Arts through the capable hands and feet of its expert instructors. From 23 locations, they train students of all ages and experience levels in the nuances of an international array of martial arts. Their fundamentals programs introduce tots, youths, and adults to some of the fastest-growing disciplines in North America, arming students with pragmatic self-defence skills that work as well in the heat of the moment as they do in the calm of the dojo. Instructors also lead an array of classes for more advance practitioners. Teaching the grappling and ground-fighting techniques of Brazilian jujitsu, they lead students in battling larger opponents with the holds and submissions of the Gracie street self-defence system. They round out their curriculum with the striking arts of kickboxing and muay thai, which is also called the "science of eight limbs." In this combat style, students unleash flurries of blows using their hands, feet, elbows, and knees, turning into a more fearsome opponent than Bruce Lee before he had his conjoined twin removed.
For more than 20 years, Dynamic Dance's team of highly trained instructors—some of whom have international dance training—have created an engaging and supportive environment for children to learn and thrive during a variety of dance classes. Children three and under can discover movement and music as they play with drums and ribbons during a wee dance session, while older students learn classical ballet form as taught by the Royal Academy of Dance.
Three generations after John Taves bought his first plot of land in the 1930s, grandson Loren Taves and his wife Corinne still keep the family farm running. At Taves Family Farms Applebarn, guests can navigate the expanded Corn Quest Maze, greet lovable critters at the petting barn, or tour the grounds on a hayride. A zipline lets thrill-seekers soar above the farm, and down below, edible ammo flies at non-ziplining targets from the corn gun and pumpkin cannon.
Project Climbing Centre satisfies grabby appendages with more than 9,000 square feet of climbing surface. The one-day bouldering pass ($13) outfits upwardly mobile bipeds with shoes ($5) and climbing chalk ($2) to surmount 13' boulder courses and fight territorial mountain trolls (no harness, ropes, or belays required). Upon reaching the summit, climbers jump or fall onto big, soft, cushiony mats. To the delight of visitors who buy five-pass packages ($60, does not include gear) and the dismay of those who fear change and its adverse effect on the coolness of their parachute pants, routes change monthly. Bouldering is known for its social camaraderie, so much so that Project Climbing Centre has dedicated Wednesdays as Ladies Night.