At HART, Hidden Acres Rescue for Thoroughbreds, instructor Shannon Norris calls upon 30 years of riding expertise to guide students on instructional trots. In groups of six or fewer, they glean essential techniques for balance and safety and learn about steering methods to prevent horses from running off at the first sound of the ice-cream man’s bell. Norris also ensures that students practice barn safety, grooming, and general equestrian care. Lessons take place on the center’s open arenas and grass paddocks, which border a wildlife preserve that allows pupils to bond with the natural environment.
Owner Mary Myers believes in sharing the gift of movement with everyone. She offers dance and music instruction to students of all abilities and helms sessions specifically catered to autistic and hearing-impaired students. At her family-run studio, students sample different flavors of the diverse class offerings, from the peppy steps of merengue to the honky-tonk struts of line dancing. She also leads a variety of dance-fitness classes to help students carve off calories with sessions such as belly dance and Flamenco Fit. Further fostering patrons' passion for beats, the instructors teach introductory violin lessons and music theory to help students unravel the complexities of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
Every instructor at Calema Windsurfing and Watersports knows his or her stuff, and not just because they all hold U.S. Sailing certifications. Each one has personally trained with Calema's owner Tinho Dornellas, a master instructor who also designed the first surf ski with John Byde, whose father later patented it. Dornellas knows water sports like the back of his hands?which he probably used to make whatever surfboard he's currently riding.
Dornellas started using fiberglass composites to shape his own kayaks, surfboards, and windsurfing boards in the 1970s, and he and his wife Susie (a former windsurfing student) have kept up with advances in the field. Today, for instance, the shop also rents standup paddleboards, riding a resurgence in the Hawaiian sport.
Calema is ideally located for just about any aquatic activity, except maybe kraken-fishing. The Atlantic Ocean stretches to the east, and the Banana River flows right by the store, letting kayaks and standup paddle boards float straight into waters shard by dolphins and manatees. Beyond gear rentals and instruction, Calema also hosts windsurfing races and the annual Calema Midwinters Windsurfing Festival.
A year after Mike Warobick, PGA opened U.S. 1 Golf Center in 1988, he married his wife, Ruth, right there on the range. U.S. 1 Golf Center has been a family business since its inception, so it's only fitting that much of its patronage consists of families, too. Throughout the year, golfers young and old wallop shots from 18 lighted tee stations and a large natural-grass tee line, and develop their short game on the natural-grass chipping area and putting green. Mike and his staff, meanwhile, conduct lessons, including junior golf clinics every Saturday. They also provide custom club fitting so customers don't have to build a shrink ray to have clubs that fit their unique golf swing.
Whether you're aged 3 or 83, the instructors at Alicea's Martial Arts Studio impart the tenets of martial arts to each of their charges. Kids classes work to develop basic skills and improve confidence and focus, while adult classes offer a tae kwon do–based curriculum that also includes self-defense training, sparring, and weapons work.
At Skydive Space Center, instructors and their clients soar up to 18,000 feet above the ocean. And yet they don't just take in views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River: every skydiving flight also passes over the Kennedy Space Center. As their Beechcraft Turbo King Air 200 plane soars to the drop zone, instructors point out sights such as the center's shuttle launch pads, main assembly building, shuttle Atlantis, and the shuttle landing runway.
Once they've reached the required altitude, instructor-student pairs launch from the plane and into thin air for a pulse-pounding free-fall. In addition to tandem jumps, the center offers an accelerated free-fall program, which includes one-on-one instruction and multiple jumps. Professional-quality photography and videography are available on all jumps upon request.