Aloha Mind Math, developed by Loh Mun Sung in Malaysia in 1993, harnesses the abacus to help students learn mental arithmetic. Through hands-on classes taught by trained teachers, students learn problem-solving skills with the help of the abacus and their ever-expanding minds. The results: higher test scores, increased confidence, and burgeoning friendships with Count von Count.
Many consider scuba diving a hobby or fun activity to do on vacation, but for Capt. Saam, it has become a lifestyle. He learned to scuba-dive more than 35 years ago and has gone on to not only establish his namesake scuba school but also obtain a US Coast Guard master license, teach scuba diving in Hawaii, and make regular tropical-dive trips. All of his scuba-diving and maritime experiences have pooled into a vast reservoir of knowledge which he passes on to his scuba-school crew?all of whom are NAUI- and PADI-certified instructors and dive masters. Together they immerse students in aquatic classes??both group and private??modeled after those practiced by police and fire-department scuba teams. They keep group lessons small?no more than seven students per session?to ensure personalized instruction and each student's safety.
Students develop their passion and ability to explore subaquatic terrains while also learning survival skills. They learn procedures to calmly handle accidents during first aid and safety courses, train to become lifeguards, or master the art of prying a friend out of a whale?s baleen. Those looking to clock in more hours exploring the ocean can opt for a local dive charter, which ferries 18-25 scuba divers and snorkelers aboard Capt. Saam's boat the Silver Dolphin as it sets sail to a variety of diving locations, from Smith's Reef and Sheffield Island to Gwendolyn Steers Wreck.
Though Capt. Saam's is a scuba school first and foremost, the center also offers equipment rentals and tank fills at its full retail dive shop, tropical-dive trips to the Caribbean, and a ground aviation-training course that teaches students the basics of flight.
If you asked someone what ballerinas and soldiers have in common, it would sound like the setup for a joke. Bad punch lines aside, "Pilates" would be a valid answer. Initially, Joseph Pilates' fitness system was used in army hospitals to rehabilitate soldiers and in dance studios to tone and stretch ballerinas. At Pilates of Stamford, Pam Giambrone applies her expertise just as broadly, strengthening and lengthening the muscles of beginner and veteran athletes alike.
Pam and her team of instructors have all been certified to impart Pilates techniques with a variety of equipment. Their mat classes cover focused stretches and the use of several props, from arm weights to stability balls and magic circles. Alternatively, Reformer classes provide highly personalized resistance-apparatus demonstrations. Whether guests drop in to a group lesson or schedule private training, teachers adjust their exercises to fit each person's pace, fostering an atmosphere of support and continual growth rather than one of competition and slap-fights.
At Kids U, upbeat instructors camouflage learning as playtime. They invite youngsters and parents into a kid-size gym that jump starts imagination with vibrant colors and a multitiered PlayQuad. The 17-foot playground spans 2,000 square feet of indoor space, where children explore tunnels and soar in swings. At classes, teachers inject freestyle play with structure while still allowing for creativity. The small, laid-back sessions cover subjects that range from gymnastics to cooking and building with LEGOs, all while interweaving themes such as teamwork and motor skills. The instructors pioneer similar subjects in three-hour day camps, molded around the Summer Olympics. Kids U's parties combine the fun center's two signature styles of recreation—freestyle fun in the PlayQuad and ordered activities—according to chosen themes, which, like concepts kicked around for the White House Correspondents' dinner, include Rock Star and Pajama Party.
Poland-natives Justyna Masajlo and Radoslaw L. Rogowski, co-owners of Magic Dance Studio, got their start dancing at a very young age and travelled together before opening their own studio. They and their team of instructors lead children and adults through a variety of dancing styles such as bachata, jazz, and salsa. They also offer capoeira and Zumba classes.