Led by martial artist Bill Essex, a Shaolin kung fu and tai chi black belt, Shaolin-Do Martial Arts trains children and adults in the time-honored Eastern discipline of combat. At Shaolin-Do, students can prepare to become black belts or train for competitions, but that’s never the main focus. Instead, the instructors hope to instill confidence and skill through a fitness activity they can practice for life. Shaolin-Do blends hard and soft arts to develop internal and external strength simultaneously. Along with kung fu and tai chi classes, students can also participate in month-long boot camps that incorporate martial-arts moves and other exercise techniques for full-body workouts.
An experienced team of soul-stretching yogis guides bodies into soothing formations with a seven-day schedule of various class styles for all skill levels. Newcomers can reach a state of tranquility typically reserved for Walt Whitman's pet dove during the Slow Flow class, which unites controlled breathing, proper alignment, and meditation techniques in a balanced trifecta of peaceful bliss. Ashtanga Blend sessions throw a spiritual curve ball to shake regular students out of their normal yoga routines, exploring different posture groups during a flowing one-hour practice. Advanced students in the Power Vinyasa class submerse themselves in a sultry labyrinth of creative, challenging techniques, for which strenuous exertion and high-energy muscle movements are the keys to survival. From the moment students arrive at the center’s colorful, gated garden, they can immediately hear the soft rippling of fairies holding hoop-dance classes.
The experienced instructors at Empire Ballroom Studio love to teach brand-new students. Driven by their passion for dance, they lead classes in a variety of dances—such as the waltz, tango, and swing—that can be learned in American and international styles. Students learn to dance with passion, romance, and artistry while increasing their physical fitness and expressing themselves through movement. The staff welcome both couples and single students, and they also offer lessons to prepare engaged couples for their wedding dance.
Eduardo Torres’s interest for capoeira began in his teens, but it wasn't until he traveled from Northern California to Florida that he discovered his passion for teaching the Afro-Brazilian sport. After extensive training, Eduardo earned the title of Professor Girino and became a member of Grupo Maculelê. Tucking that experience into his back pocket, Eduardo now leads four Tampa Capoeira studios across the Greater Tampa Bay Area.
At those studios, Professor Girino and his savvy staff teach the ways of capoeira to students of all ages and skill levels, and they have even trained Major League Baseball catcher Russell Martin. During classes, students form a traditional roda, or circle, as they learn everything from the rhythmic chants that keep fighters on beat to the fluid, acrobatic movements that send their bodies spinning across a mat. Professor Girino also points out that capoeira is not about fighting but rather anticipating the opponent's next move, much like playing chess against a short-tempered orangutan.
A certified repair shop serving all makes and models, 58th Street Customs builds and maintains gleaming, two-wheeled roadsters for future sessions of pavement-carving. Low-riding choppers and high-end sport bikes stop in for services such as basic tune-ups, brake service, or a detailing of chrome-plated piping. Mechanics restyle bikes in accordance with stylistic preference or the reading of tea leaves floating in a mug of oil, in addition to adorning cycles with dramatic and custom paint jobs.
The experts at 58th Street Customs can partner with an extensive list of name-brand vendors such as West Coast Choppers and MGS to find a missing part, or use these vast resources to design and piece together a singular, one-off bike design. The gearhead utopia welcomes all vehicles in the motorcycle family, including any scrappy little scooter or Yamaha that thinks it's a piano.
There are plenty of ways to mix up a fitness routine from performing different exercises to working with different trainers. But how about getting fit while suspended in midair? That?s exactly what happens at Circusoul Productions, where students hang above the ground in aerial hammocks. Also known as yoga slings, these hammocks are made from one continuous piece of nylon fabric, which is strategically knotted to coddle the whole human body or a quickly cooling Thanksgiving turkey. Circusoul instructors lead aerial yoga classes both indoors and outdoors (when weather permits). Back on the ground, they provide mat-based yoga workshops, private therapy sessions, and comprehensive training programs for aspiring aerial yoga teachers.