BumbleBee Tennis's wide spectrum of tennis programs for juniors and adults nurture players at every step of game development. Skilled instructors helm a variety of lessons from Beginner Group Tennis classes to private one-on-one intensives. All teachers are trained professionals and most have played competitively at the collegiate level. While helping students focus on technique and making solid contact with the ball, instructors also attempt to ensure that everyone from youngsters to veterans enjoys the game and knows how to count all the way to love. Adults interested more specifically in the cardiovascular aspect of the game can enroll in Cardio Tennis, a 60-minute class comprised of high-intensity drills and games that elevate heart rates into the aerobic zone and subsequently evaporate calories.
For almost 40 years, the instructors and staff of Dip 'N Dive have demystified the magic of breathing underwater. They instruct and outfit both scuba divers and snorkelers at their Buffalo location, and the facility's curriculum of PADI and NAUI courses help budding divers stay safe, maintain control of their equipment, and walk like Naomi Campbell while wearing fins. From beginning diving lessons to advanced instructor training, courses include classroom work, pool exercises, and real open-water-diving trips.
You might recognize Chef Okadaman—after all, he’s in an Allman Brothers tribute band and his face is plastered onto the side of the Okadaman food truck that can be seen meandering through Midtown. Like his facility with complicated melodies and rhythms on the bass guitar, Chef Okadaman assembles virtuosic lunch entrees such as fried octopus dumplings drizzled with Japanese mayo and okonomiyaki, a savory pancake densely topped with squid, bacon, and kimchi that inspired a CBS.com food blogger to call it “one of the most beautifully presented lunches [he’s] eaten, truck or not.” The chef either buys each of his dishes’ components locally or flies them in from Japan in tribute to his respect of fine ingredients, tradition, and a 747’s need for a tasty meal. To catch a meal nearby, diners can check the truck’s location online.
After fighting her way back to a size four following the birth of her third child, Debi Condon earned her personal-training-and-nutrition certification and founded Evolution Fitness. Debi and her crew lead mostly female groups of all ages and fitness levels through indoor and outdoor boot camps, TRX-suspension classes and personal-training sessions. Interval routines leverage mats, free weights, and nearby playground equipment to build up endurance against fatigue and cooties. With an emphasis on supportive motivation rather than drill-sergeant tactics or endless scrimmages against fast-food mascots, trainers strive to build accountability among their students through friendships and unlimited email support.
Fully licensed by the New York State Department of Education, Allstar Bartenders Training educates students in the art and science of mixed-drink pouring and presentation. Apprentice mixologists get acquainted with the functions of different bar tools while learning which cocktails should be shaken, stirred, or whisked using a handful of uncooked angel-hair pasta. Allstar's seasoned tenders aid students in memorizing the recipes, garnishes, and matching glassware of the most popular concoctions. The school's classrooms resemble mock cocktail lounges with ample shot glasses and jukeboxes, giving students a realistic setting to practice drink vending. Allstar treats its graduates to complimentary lifetime job-placement assistance and refresher courses.
Pete Lawson's passion for the martial arts is more than 30 years old, reaching all the way back to when he took his first karate lesson in Jamaica when he was 13 years old. His love for the discipline blossomed, eventually earning him five black belts, a spot in world tournaments, and the opportunity to spar against master martial artists. He also studied Brazilian jiujitsu under renowned master Renzo Gracie, one of the sons of Brazil's famed family of martial artists. As a believer in the saying "to whom much is given, much is required," Lawson decided to put his accolades and experience to good use founding and teaching at his own academy, Brooklyn Martial Arts. Today, he offers classes for all levels of Brazilian jiujitsu and mixed martial arts, preparing students for everything from self-defense to competition.
Lawson also imparts lessons of discipline and perseverance to little ones in kids' classes, using martial arts as a platform to improve their schoolwork, teach them nonviolent ways to deal with bullies, and strengthen their listening skills by having them perform pushups with their ears. They even host birthday parties for kids, where the birthday boy or girl cuts the cake with a real sword and competes in fun and friendly martial-arts-based games and activities.