Built around Dr. Sankofa’s Life Path Development Model, Zen Academy helps children excel both academically and physically. Instead of hosting study hall sessions, their after-school tutoring programs introduce children to their future passions, such as aviation, martial arts, or tennis. Educators with real career experience lead students through basic and intermediate lessons that not only cover the subject at hand, but also strengthen math, self-discipline, and reading comprehension skills along the way. Learning about air currents flowing over wings enriches students’ understanding of science, and fine-tuning their back swing inspires increased activity, reducing parents’ fears that kids will wind up in a fast food joint working as a box of french fries.
No matter how old you are or how much you know, you never stop learning—that's the philosophy behind the martial arts teaching at Kaizen Karate, where the instructors focus on "continuous improvement." Even the youngest students learn to develop self-discipline and self-motivation during karate classes, which they can start at the tender age of four. And whether they've taken a previous karate class or simply broken a board with their minds, adults can also benefit from the studio's classes, which are led by black-belt instructors under the supervision of a coach who's been training for 25 years.
It's a charity race with a back story like none other: bloodthirsty demons have been working in your community's offices, living in its homes, attending its schools. And now they're on the hunt and people are running for their lives. Citizens might be booking it across a field, seemingly far from the chaos, when shapes emerge on the horizon dressed head-to-toe in vampires' telltale black clothes. If you're a citizen, be prepared to run. If you're a vampire—lock in your target.
That's just part of what you might experience on the Vampire 5K, a twilight fun run where participants can register as "citizens" or "vampires" and take off from two separate starting lines. Both camps eventually converge in a chase that finds vamps trying to convert their mortal counterparts to the dark side. Citizens, dressed in white, sport two garlic flags; if the flags are taken before runners cross their finish line, they switch to a black tee and chase citizens. After the race, a moonlit party finds both camps sipping bloody marys during a dance party and award presentation. The race benefits the Mission to Hear Foundation, which provides hearing aids to underprivileged children, adults, and whatever they're calling the age group that comes in between these days.
High-energy beats from artists such as Flo Rida, B.o.B., and the Black Eyed Peas bounce forth from the spinning studio at Rock Creek Sports Club, where nationally certified trainers lead stationary cyclists through challenging routes. In addition to these pop-powered workouts, the studio hosts more than 50 other fitness classes, an array of options that prompted the editors of Bethesda Magazine to name the studio 2012’s Best Neighborhood Gym. Zumba classes encourage students to boogie away calories to latin beats, and boxing clinics incorporate one-on-one attention from Golden Glove winner Russell Davis. The team of trainers can also coach visitors through the weight-loss process, or helm small group workout sessions capped at eight participants. The gym also welcomes independent workouts, with equipment such as treadmills, benches, and weights awaiting a few breathless reps of their own.
At DC Fencers Club (DCFC), head coach Janusz Smolenski leads a team of athletes that molds young fencers into champions. Thanks to his formidable pedagogy, he has trained U.S. national champions. Working with Coach Smolenski, a trio of coaches brings unique backgrounds and styles to the classes. Robert Suchorski was a Polish National Junior Champion and has trained under top Polish and Russian fencing masters, and Ilya Lobanenkov to his credit owns multiple top-eight finishes in Veteran Women's U.S. Nationals, multiple "A" ratings, and a top-16 finish in a U.S. Junior Men's epee circuit event.
The DCFC facility, which has produced two full-scholarship Notre Dame fencers, boasts 10 full-size electric strips on a sprung-wood floor where fencers can lunge, parry, and riposte for hours on end without incurring injury.
A panel of certified instructors is ready and waiting to instruct students in the ways of balance and coordinated rhythmic motion. Bring a partner to your duo of private lessons, or fly solo and dance with your instructor and a knowing smirk. In either case, you'll leave with a greater understanding of the dance style of your choosing. These lessons are ideal for a range of potential students, from the disgruntled pedestrian looking to never get served again to the fledgling fitness-seeker looking for a fun new way to get shipshape. Stick to a stately waltz, spicy up life with a rumba, or feel vibrant and playful with a few new swing steps for your personal repertoire. Whether you're an experienced dancer hoping to brush up on certain techniques or you have two left feet for feet and two right feet for hands, the lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio offer bountiful, dance-based benefits.