Drawing from more than six years of experience as a dance instructor, Vanessa Nussbaum founded Step by Step Dance School to share her love for dance with anyone willing to step onto her studio’s floor. She views dance as a means for people to shed the stress of everyday life by moving with the music and connecting with a dance partner—in addition to being a source of fitness and self-confidence. She and her staff lead ballroom and Latin dance classes that range in style from salsa, international tango, and rumba to the viennese waltz, foxtrot, and the hustle, a frantic jig in which partners see who can shuffle their feet the fastest. Instructors also help couples prepare for their wedding with first-dance lessons, during which they can focus on teaching the pair a certain style or choreograph a routine set to their chosen song.
The husband-and-wife team of Bobbi and Patricia Lusic introduces all levels to the art of the Argentine tango during group, private, and semi-private lessons. They work with each dancer’s capabilities, using progressive lessons to build upon fundamental steps as they cover topics such as musicality and etiquette. The duo also hosts social dances for students to show off newly acquired skills, and puts on performances for corporate and private functions.
Blood & Iron Martial Arts' principal instructor Lee S. Smith and senior instructor Nicole Smith both love a good fight, whether with fist, knife, or sword. Mixing manuals penned by the masters of antiquity with a little modern combat science, the duo resurrects European styles of weapon fighting ranging from the Italian rapier and dagger to the German longsword to Single stick and German messer. They pack their weekly schedule full of two-hour classes, spending the first 90 minutes imparting the basics of balance, footwork, and body alignment needed to add a 3-foot metal extension to one's arm. They leave the last 30 minutes open for sparring sessions for authorized students, since application is the best way to master a skill and the world’s last dragon retired to Florida in 1986.
Inside Paddlewheeler Riverboat Cruises' signature vessel, the MV Native, captains transport passengers 100 years back in time when scores of paddle wheelers churned through the rivers of British Columbia. Before the authentic vessel casts off into the Fraser River, the crew tailors each voyage to a different theme that treat passengers to off land DJ dance parties, views of local wildlife, and journeys to historic locales such as Fort Langley. Their boat also plays host to special occasions including weddings and private parties. Towering mountain ranges act as a backdrop for each tour, and the ship's white and red exterior greets eyes with a classic design that echoes the Canadian flag flown at its bow and the giant candy cane used to anchor its stern.
Fraser River Bike Tours & Rental's Tom Littlewood has been an avid cyclist for nearly 30 years. When the former psychologist first hit the roads of New Westminster, especially the Queensborough Bridge, the most common sight was of big rigs as they rumbled past. Now, with bike-friendly routes such as the Queensborough Loop being built along the Fraser River, Littlewood and other cyclists hear not the roar of traffic but the bark of sea lions as they park themselves on the shores for a front seat at the salmon runs. Eagles, heron, and other wildlife also congregate during runs, forming a rich, natural tapestry that cyclists pedal by on one of Tom's bike rentals, often during guided tours. At first, biking for Tom was not a passion, but a prescription. At 33, his doctor gave him a choice—undergo open-heart surgery or saddle up on a bicycle. Tom soon incorporated his prescription pedalling into both his personal and professional life. He began advising his own patients, who were afflicted with anxiety or sleep disorders, to cycle for the exercise, the fresh air, and the sassy feeling of wearing spandex in public. Later, he worked with disadvantaged children to teach them bicycle mechanics in a program he also helped establish in other places, including Cuba. Today, Tom estimates that he bikes 300–400 kilometres a week. He laps the Queensborough Loop five or six times a week with groups. As an advocate of biking who strongly associates the sport with weight loss, good health, and peace of mind, Tom enjoys sharing his passion with others at Fraser River Bike Tours & Rental. Perhaps even more than relaxed group rides, he likes his power rides. So even on days after he's led tours, he climbs aboard his two-wheeled steed and begins pedalling without a moment's hesitation.
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.