Houston Flight Training’s fleet of nine aircraft includes Cessna propeller planes and Piper small aircraft, but the most impressive part of their lineup remains their six instructors. As individuals, they boast thousands of hours of flight instruction, with even more spent in their own training with and enjoyment of airplanes. They open the sky to new students, taking their charges on Discovery Flights and giving each passenger a turn at the controls. Their thrilling sample only begins the training, as they conduct full classroom and flight certification courses for private pilots.
Alfonso Ayala, who's been snapping photos for more than a decade and has professional graphic-design experience, loves to capture life's happiest moments, which is why he specializes in wedding and family photography. He also loves the technical aspect of photography and spends his free time experimenting with lights, equipment, and accessories, such as lens toupees, to figure out what steps he needs to take to capture the best image. Artful close-ups, classic portraits, and candid kisses pepper his portfolio, which represents a range of wedding vignettes.
Since its inaugural meeting more than 60 years ago, the League City Lions Club has upheld its mission of promoting peace and understanding with volunteer community services. Special events such as carnivals, music festivals, and cook-offs allow the Lions to raise money and resources for local charities such as Leader Dogs for the Blind, Perry YMCA, and the Butler Longhorn Museum. Like the superathlete who singlehandedly powers America's electrical generators, the Lions happily accept volunteers, ever increasing their group of supporters who desire to better their community.
Fred Astaire Dance Studio's retinue of step-savvy instructors transforms clunky feet into sashaying instruments through a quartet of private and group dance classes. During the 45-minute private lessons, students and their optional partners learn basic footwork while building the confidence necessary to take a spin on the dance floor or backflip into a corporate rival's cubicle. Covering the basics of Latin, ballroom, swing, and country-western dancing, individual lessons cater to a student’s specific needs before letting them loose during the 45-minute group classes. Accompanied by 8–30 other amateur rug cutters, these communal dance lessons bolster partnership, timing, and rhythm, and keep feet agile enough to maneuver the punch-bowl stampedes of modern dance floors.
Creative team TJ and Merlina Porter, both Clear Lake natives, joined forces with JeMarr Rivers to open a bar and lounge that offered an upscale, sophisticated nightlife scene. As of December 2011, JeMarr has trekked on as the sole owner while still maintaining the luxe atmosphere that draws crowds for nightly dancing and partying. An expansive interior paves the way for individuals or large parties, with a full reservation and VIP area for nights on the town or special occasions. The full bar slings beer, liquor, frequent specials, and 13 flavors of daiquiris, many of which are made with Everclear so that they can be used as a torch in the event of a power outage. During the week, live entertainment including jazz bands, standup comedy, and poetry readings fill the soundscape, and DJs spin tunes almost every night. Cultivating a truly carefree yet mature atmosphere, Daiqui-Ritas often hands out complimentary door prizes, which patrons can enjoy as they watch any of the lounge's five big screen TVs.
Referencing his 20 years of experience, skilled shutterbug Richard Maglievaz oversees digital-photography classes for artists of all experience levels. He ensures that whether they teach general classes for beginners or more specialized sessions covering lighting, aperture, or night photography, all instructors are field-tested and capable of being caught on film. Some classes venture out on field trips to such spots as the Houston Zoo, while others stay in the studio for technical lessons.
The boating experts at Carefree Boat Club empower their members to explore the region’s waterways at the helm of like-new, professionally maintained water vessels. Safety is paramount, so before club members can take the helm, they must attend a classroom training session and two on-the-water training sessions with Carefree Boat Club’s dock master. During these sessions, they learn navigation, docking, and boat safety. After receiving their safety certificates, members gain access to the fleet of deck boats, fishing boats, sailboats, pontoons, cruisers, and watersports boats.
The club’s dock staff also holds the water vessels themselves to high safety standards. They inspect boats weekly using a 50-point safety checklist, and outfit boats with safety equipment such as flares, horns, flotation devices, and earplugs for blocking out siren songs.