As a child in Argentina, Nancy Gerardi soaked up the Spanish and Italian songs of her grandmother—many of them filtered through her father’s spirited accordion playing. Naturally, this musical upbringing led her to discover her talent for dance at a young age. It wasn’t until she arrived in the United States, however, that she decided to combine this talent with her skills as a businesswoman to open her own dance studio.
Today, at My Passion Dance Studio & Entertainment, Nancy translates the music of her youth into fun and fluid dance steps. Whether in private classes or small groups, her students strut and stomp on helpless piñatas as they learn spirited Latin dance styles such as merengue, bachata, tango, and flamenco. Nancy’s studio doesn’t limit its offerings to the styles she grew up with, though. Students can also learn the graceful moves of ballet, jazz, or hip-hop, or take lessons in piano and guitar.
Argentina?born soccer enthusiast Gustavo Szulansky opened Super Soccer Stars to provide the boroughs with a program that championed the personal development of youngsters rather than solely a skill-based focus. Since its debut in 2000, it's grown throughout the city, helping countless youngsters learn teamwork, boost confidence, and decrease arguments during home games played on the dining-room table. This rapid growth is due in part to the positive values Gustavo instilled from the first class. His coaches are carefully selected for their ability to cultivate a noncompetitive, sensitive approach to learning the game, and they dole out their knowledge in both classes and camps.
Super Soccer Star's Kick & Play program features family-friendly classes that help tots 12?24 months old develop pre-soccer skills and physical skill sets simultaneously. During classes, a team of talented and enthusiastic instructors and an athletic duo of puppet friends named Mimi and Pepe buoy budding soccer players with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and the merry clickety-clack of cleated tap dances. Designed with the help of early-childhood specialists, each age-specific class helps players build skills at their own pace with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and engaging original music.
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.
It’s safe to say Catherine Fox knows her way around a pool. She won an Olympic gold medal for her ability to find her way from end to end. Partnering with Swim Jim owner Jim Spiers, a trainer for 2012 Olympics Bronze medalist Lia Neal, the pair transformed their expertise into a curriculum that helps others learn to love the water as they do. The resulting program, titled the Underwater Schoolhouse, forms the cornerstone of every class held at Swim Jim.
Teachers take on students of all ages, focusing first on helping to cure land dwellers’ inherent nervousness around water. To do this, they use a combination of encouragement and humor, never pushing a student further than they’re willing to go. Once students take the plunge, the coaches focus on teaching the mechanics of a variety of strokes, such as how to kick during breaststroke or how to emerge gracefully from the chrysalis before butterfly stroke.
CKO?s trainers boil their philosophy down to three words: Be, Do, Have. Those trainers all found their passion for pounding the stuffing out of heavy bags at the gym itself before rising through its ranks to teach there. The approach they fell in love with favors fitness training over combat, and pits students against the weightiest bags around to simulate a boxing match with a rhino.
Krav Maga may be a battle-tested art developed for the Israeli Defense Force, but its practical self-defense tactics benefit soldier and civilian alike. This broad appeal is reflected in the teaching staff at the International Krav Maga Federation?certified Krav Maga Institute NYC, which includes an amateur-boxing champion, an active US Marine, and a PhD in genetics. As profiled in the New York Times, they introduce the martial art in beginner-friendly classes, demonstrating how it takes advantage of an individual's natural instincts to create devastating counterattacks meant to incapacitate an opponent as quickly as possible. Techniques include many responses to modern attacks, such as assaults involving guns, knives, or Tumblr pages filled with really gross pictures. Women's only classes are on their way; in the meantime, instructors recommend that ladies consider coed classes to practice their moves against beefier opponents. In addition to normal classes, instructors also host special workshops that supplement their curriculum, such as a bar-fighting seminar in which students learn how to fend off unexpected attacks from flagpoles.