As a rising star in the salsa circuit, Casa Salsa's founder Christian Espinola has danced across stages around the country—including the New York Salsa Congress and Miami Heat halftime shows. He quickly became a sought-after dance instructor, and is currently a representative for the CW Network's Spanish Heritage Month celebration. At his dance studio, he leads a team of experienced, energetic dance instructors who are passionate about the salsa, bachata, and cha-cha moves they teach. They lead students of all ages and abilities through each dance's footwork and partnering techniques during private and group lessons, workshops, and monthly outings. They also offer monthly memberships, which grant guests access to unlimited group classes and an online dance-training program, which helps them further sharpen their hip-swinging moves at home or at a WiFi café.
The sound of little limbs cutting into clear water with increasing confidence fills Quality Swimming's facilities, where instructors keep class sizes small in order to give individual attention and encouragement to each student. All instructors bear Red Cross certifications in CPR, standard first aid, and general lifeguard skills, and some hold additional honors such as degrees in infant teaching from the United States Swim School or certifications in instruction for developmentally disabled students. The trainers also undergo extensive training in Quality Swimming's in-house program, which includes observational sessions, seminars, and shadowing with senior teachers. Despite this intensive program, they continue to hone their skills year-round with local and national workshops, regular in-house refresher training, and international Marco Polo tournaments.
Students of all experience levels slowly grow to revel in the dreamlike effortlessness of movement through water in outdoor pools at three locations. Instructors pass on basic water-safety skills and more advanced swimming techniques, always with the principal aim of teaching students to exist comfortably within water and respect the pool noodle's natural ecosystem.
Sixth-degree black belt Walter Swaney heads the instruction at American TKD Martial Arts, a facility with training programs for kids, teens, and adults. Swaney and his team's teachings include korean martial arts such as tae kwon do, hapkido, and haidong gumdo, which incorporates swordplay. There are also kickboxing classes for students who want to burn calories instead of learn how to defend Earth from the alien invasion.
With state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, the professional instructors at A-Swing Golf Academy develop lesson plans that make swing improvement fun and, most importantly, functional. Their approach to instruction aims to instill fundamentals in all skill areas, including full strokes, chips, slapshots, and putts. During lessons and swing-analysis sessions, the golf gurus employ the technological intricacies of a high-speed video camera to capture a player's unique swing motion and identify unfavorable tendencies.
Golf pros also follow students onto the course for playing lessons, in which they coach the intangibles of course management, risk assessment, and subtle intimidation tactics such as grunting during an opponent's backswing or teeing up with a rusty nail and glass eyeball.
For Grant Clyman, the founder and head instructor of Darsana Martial Arts, studying martial arts is more than learning one set of techniques. Not only does he believe in absorbing a diverse set of skills, but also believes in the constant need for practice to fully integrate one's self in the art. His own training background consists of a long list of martial arts such as tai chi, Wing Chun, Baqyazhang, and Arnis. In order to share his love for martial arts, he and Angel Clyman opened Darsana Martial Arts where they lead a variety of programs for all ages, including kung fu for children and adults, tai chi, and yoga.
Black heavy bags sway from the force of powerful roundhouse kicks and rapid-fire jabs. Next to them, on the padded black-and-red-checkered floor, groups perform squats clenching dumbbells and sit-ups while palming kettlebells. These and similar exercises occur during Round 2 Kickboxing's five fitness classes—45- to 60-minute sessions filled with core blasting moves culled from boot-camp and boxing training regimens.
The gym's philosophy is to get the most out of the least exertion, believing the body needs energy left over to heal, get stronger, and power home generators. Mixing up exercises and routines, the instructors make it easier to continue with their programs and reach goals. For a customized fitness experience, personal trainers work directly with clients. Kids can also relieve stress from long hours at the lemonade stand by pummeling heavy bags in kickboxing classes that fuse tae kwon do, muay thai, and jujitsu.