After a debilitating car accident left Elyissia Wassung’s mother, Barbara, unable to commute to work, she stayed busy in the kitchen, devising her own homemade chocolates. Nine-year-old Elyissia would then load her mother’s sweets into a shopping cart and sell them door-to-door around the neighborhood, learning entrepreneurial skills that would last a lifetime. After leaving a telecom job as an adult, Elyissia returned to selling chocolates by founding 2 Chicks with Chocolate (the other chick being her mom), teaming up with master chocolatier Patrick Coston and lead chocolatier Stephanie Vazquez. The dessert innovators create diverse flavors, such as spiced pear and caramel ganache, s’mores, and hazelnut praline, from scratch with spices and sea salt. Customers can also create their own bars online without venturing into the store, building on a selection of chocolate bases and toppings that range from pistachios to gummy bears. The store also hosts chocolate classes and enlivens parties with chocolate fountains and chocolate tastings.
In the late 1970s career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs, and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
A dancer since age 6, Dasha Sushko founded Ballroom Dream in 2011 after a successful professional dance career in both Russia and the United States. She and her instructors teach fledgling dancers at ballroom, Latin, and swing classes inside Ballroom Dream’s 4,000-square-foot facility, which features a floating hardwood dance floor. Mirrors help students assess their form during group or private lessons, and on every first and third Friday and fourth Saturday of the month, the studio turns up its professional-grade sound system to let students flaunt their newfound form during social dances. Classes are open to adults as well as kids, who discover dance basics during entertaining classes that help expend youthful energy faster than a feverish baseball-card trading session.
Total Core Fitness Boot Camp's four-week sessions eschew full-metal drill sergeantry for a positive, encouraging style. Motivating trainers help campers get into shapes such as buff, lean, and octagon via a comprehensive nutrition plan, tracking of body-mass stats, and 50-minute workouts. At camp, like-minded folk of various abilities engage in a variety of aerobic options, both indoors and out, including group activities, such as swinging mallets at tires until they shed oily tears and lugging weights in relay races. Traditional equipment such as stationary bikes and rowing machines are also on hand and foot. The boot-camp schedule includes classes throughout the day on Mondays–Thursdays, and the next session begins on March 14. Anxious ab disciplinarians can begin sooner and roll over unattended classes to the next session.
At Sword Martial Arts, Grand Master Jin K. Seong oversees devotees training in the ancient martial art of kendo, or kumdo, a form of sword fighting nearly 2,000 years old. A member of the International Kendo Federation with internationally recognized rankings, Sword Martial Arts ensures student safety by wrapping combatants in protective gear before they spar to hone self-discipline, develop confidence, and learn how to defeat the black knight's ghost in their attic. Though it originated as a form of combat, kendo's modern form focuses on respect for others and protection of the weak. Mook-sang meditation sessions bookend each lesson, focusing minds on the kendo philosophy and bringing pupils closer to the purity of heart most often found in baby unicorns. The academy’s schedule of classes invites neophytes and younger students to drill in foundational techniques, whereas students 15 and older grip the hilt of bamboo or metal swords under the watchful guidance of expert instructors.