The Huntington’s Disease Society of America has its sights set on obsolescence in the form of a cure. While that would mean shuttering the doors of its 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer organization, it would also mean relief for sufferers of the fatal illness, which may affect up to 250,000 people across the country. Until that day comes, its work continues. The organization oversees the Coalition for the Cure, which pools the resources and knowledge of 16 researchers across the world. While those researchers work, the organization also raises funds through a network of nationwide events—5Ks, bowling outings, dinners, cocktail parties—and directs the proceeds toward advocacy, education, and more research. A portion also goes to supporting medical, psychological, and social services at major medical facilities throughout the US.
When she dances, Sarah Murray doesn't just use a pole—she incorporates more than 15 years of ballet and modern dance training. And as the owner of Impulse Pole Dance & Exotic Fitness, she doesn't just dance. She also teaches her sultry, graceful routines in the studio's pole dance sequence. It starts with basic spins and transitions in the mandatory Pole Foundations class, then progresses to more complex inversions and tricks such as The Phoenix, in which the dancer burns down her pole and builds a new one. FlyGym classes complement the pole sessions, with workouts conducted on an aerial system of swings to help tone physiques and enhance flexibility.
Having seen an upswing in interest in one of the world’s oldest dance styles, Johanna and Karen started a belly-dancing collective in 2004 as a way to create a community for both professionals and students and an audience for monthly showcases. They gave these enthusiasts a brick-and-mortar hangout in 2008 when they opened their first center for classes and events, which has since blossomed and moved into a new space nearly four times the size of the old studio.
Today, Hip Expressions offers drop-in and ongoing classes led by seasoned instructors. Classes focus on introducing newcomers to the art form’s fundamental isolation techniques that keep hips and waists from arguing over the remote. In addition to belly dancing, classes include a variety of other dances and fitness crazes such as Zumba, yoga for dancers, or active isolated stretching.
Equipment: Movestrong FTS, Schwinn Evolution Indoor Bikes, functional training
Students should bring: Bring a towel and a water bottle to class
Average class length: 30–60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Sweetwater Kayak’s self-guided kayak tours give seafarers a quiet look at the ecosystems of Weedon Island without the clamor and commotion of a motorboat or secret-service motorcade. Paddling patrons can wind along the 4-mile marked trail, across crystalline lagoons and under mangrove tunnels in hopes of seeing a resident bird, dolphin, or manatee. Each floating foray lasts up to four hours and provides a panorama of pristine environments and a glimpse into the life of Blackbeard. Sweetwater Kayaks will provide the necessary vessels, paddles, life vests, and trail maps, and Groupon holders can check here for a list of other supplies they need to bring (which can be purchased at Sweetwater Kayaks if they forget).
Both by land and by sea, Doo’s Amazing Tours, LLC reveals St. Petersburg's historic charm and natural beauty via a diverse array of guided sightseeing jaunts. Louisa—also known as "Doo"—oversees the operation from the company's headquarters in the Historic Downtown District. Here, tour-goers can hop on a Segway and zip past the beach town's most notable landmarks. Narrated by an experienced guide, the trip mines much of the city's illustrious past, including the work of prominent citizens and several old hotels.
When guests are ready to leave dry land behind, they can swap their Segway for a kayak or stand-up paddleboards at one of four launch points: North Shore Beach, Coffee Pot Bayou, Weedon Island, or Saint Pete Beach. For example, on the Spring River trip, paddlers float over subterranean caverns covered by a layer of sparkling clear water, which in turn is surrounded by white sand beaches and tropical vegetation.