There's a sublime grace in the flight of a raptor. It's a grace that the birders of Ronin Air Falconry Service hold dear. So to spread their feeling of awe, they host falconry shows and raptor demonstrations, teaching both raptor biology and the history of falconry. Not only are these shows tailored to each group's age, but they send birds flying freely overhead to both inspire them and help them learn how to identify bird bellies in the wild. For those whom the falconry bug bites—and it's likely to bite anyone—group and private sessions divulge how to handle and fly a team of hawks, hunting falcons, and eagle owls. And so that team doesn't get bored—and so others don't lace the environment with poison—Ronin Air Falconry Service also uses its raptors to remove bird pests, relying on the environmentally friendly technique of predator versus prey.
Street-style self-defense techniques underpin the martial-arts classes at Corpus Christi Family Martial Arts Academy. Both adults and kids attend junjou ryu jujitsu-karate classes, where they learn methods to avoid physical conflict, ways to defend themselves from attack, and how to take down a Roomba that's suddenly gained sentience. Besides getting students into better physical shape, these courses also impart self-discipline and confidence on the students, all while promoting a safe environment. Sparring rules, for example, dictate the wearing of full protective gear and the presence of a black-belt instructor.
The PASA-certified kiteboarding instructors at 361KITE can harness the wind to propel their boards across waves and catch big-time air above the water. With a strong emphasis on safety, they teach students how to do the same thing using top-notch kiteboarding equipment. During lessons, beginners learn all of the basics on land while more experienced students head to the water with their boards to perfect the exhilarating art of confusing birds. Depending on the conditions, locations of lessons may vary.
Professional instructor and performer Lorrie Pierce bestows her extensive knowledge and passion for Middle Eastern– and American-style belly dance upon women of all ages. During informative classes, students practice the sensual dance’s intricate techniques while suited up in traditional coined garb much like what you'd find in a wishing well’s closet. Beginners’ sessions introduce basic choreography, advanced lessons enlist finger cymbals and more complex drills, and all classes help singe calories and sculpt muscles. Dancers can further hone their nascent skills during organized performance opportunities, including an annual recital. Pastel yellow walls enclose Hourglass Bellydance’s studio, where glossy wood floors lead to a wall of mirrors that helps participants observe moves and check blind spots.
Under the guidance of experienced groove guru Richard Roberts, Strictly Ballroom teaches fledgling foxtroters and seasoned sambaers fundamentals of dance, foot position, rhythm, timing, and leading or following in the dance center's customized, private dance lessons. Wielding a decade's worth of competitive dancing instruction, Richard specializes in several styles—including lively shimmies such as the swing and cha-cha, as well as elegant waltzes, tangos, rumbas, and more. Classes are tailored to each student's individual skill level and stance on spandex, and Richard breaks steps down via four basic elements of ballroom and directional movements.
Founded by fifth-generation stable manager Brennan Wells, Horses on the Beach perpetuates equestrian appreciation by sending eager riders on coastal journeys with hardy, locally bred horses. Sunset rides depart at 4 p.m., sending noble steeds and their human top hats out into the fresh air just as the sun begins to melt into the horizon like a scoop of strawberry gelato on an Olympian's bicep. Riders man the reigns as they travel down a stretch of pristine coastline, tromping along sandy shoals and grassy dunes as crisp, salty waves lash against the beach. Purchase multiple rides as gifts to guide your stepsister, water polo team, or unrequited love through the surf. This Groupon is good from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, and reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance.