At the Virginia Academy of Fencing, students learn the centuries-old art of fencing in a decidedly modern-day setting. The facility’s 13,000-square-foot space features amenities such as a padded warm-up area, a bouting video-replay system, and 18 full-time electric strips with overhead reel systems, as well as a decorated area for spectators or maidens in distress.
Seven days a week, expert instructors teach both Olympic Sport Fencing and Historical Swordsmanship to classes of students. Olympic Sport Fencing includes foil, épée, and sabre instruction, while Historical Swordsmanship teaches the use of either a rapier or a two-handed sword. Along with providing students with an opportunity to learn a new and unique sport, the academy’s classes help students improve their strength, balance, coordination, and cardio fitness.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio’s panel of experienced instructors trains students in the ways of balance and coordinated rhythmic motion. Groupon holders can bring a partner to the private or group lessons for no additional fee, or fly solo and dance with an instructor or an extraordinarily graceful coat rack. In either case, dancers leave with a greater understanding of the dance style of their choosing, such as a stately waltz, a spicy rumba, or the vibrantly playful swing. Practice parties encourage students to step back from formal instruction and give newly learned techniques a test drive. Feel free to mingle with other students under the protective cover of dimmed lighting, which camouflages missed steps or the discouraged use of dance-enhancing flash cards.
Since its founding by some of the most distinguished jujitsu experts in the past 50 years, the nonprofit organization USA Jiu Jitsu has helped establish jujitsu as a professional sport, teaching the ancient practice to students across the country. At its Springfield location, students of all ages build strength and endurance as they tumble and kick during Brazilian jujitsu, combat fitness, and kickboxing classes.
Hilltop Golf Club’s 9-hole, par 31 course lets clubbers hack their way through 2,268 yards of elevated Virginia countryside. Architect Lindsay Bruce Ervin modeled aspects of the executive course after traditional Scottish links, populating the course with berms, pot bunkers, and thick fescue grass that whisper Gaelic folk songs into the wind. The course climbs from an elevation of 80 feet to 240 feet, with crests giving way to sweeping vistas of the Potomac River and the Maryland shoreline. Five par 3s make each round a worthy investment for clubbers still seeking their first hole-in-one, while four par 4s allow players to unsheathe their drivers. The Club’s practice facilities include two practice greens—one for chipping and one for putting—and a multi-tiered driving range with 68 hitting bays, many of which are covered and heated to protect swingers from inclement weather or pelicans eating sunflowers overhead.
Course at a Glance: