Actor Jamie Hector has made a career playing bad guys: drug lord Marlo Stanfield on The Wire, criminal Benjamin “Knox” Washington in Heroes, and villain Lincoln DeNeuf in Max Payne. The real-life Jamie, however, has a much different agenda. As one of the three founders of Moving Mountains, he draws New York’s inner-city youth off the streets and into the theater in order to steer them away from negative influences, such as bullying, gangs, violence, and substance abuse. He and his team of industry mentors cultivate an ensemble of young performers, musicians, and writers who create original plays and short films that delve deep into their age group’s social issues while spreading strong positive messages. In Moving Mountains’ film studio, mentors train budding directors, photographers, and technicians to create and promote short films and promotional artwork with the aid of industry-standard equipment. The mentors and their most senior students also tackle social problems at the source by traveling to city schools to educate audiences on topics including bullying, sexting, and how to make good choices in education and personal relationships.
A colorful creature soars high above Rocky Point's coastline. Its rainbow sail lifts, dips, and turns over sandy beaches and a blue ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see. The gliders in question belong to GMI Paragliding School, which makes its home along Rocky Point, a site insured by the United States Hang Gliding Paragliding Association. The school’s skilled instructor introduces beginners to the basics of paragliding, which include ground control, monitoring the weather, theory, and techniques to avoid attracting amorous vultures. After mastering beginner skills, new flyers can join Long Island Paragliding Club to pursue dreams of someday touching the sky’s ceiling.
A new graduate of Martin van Breems' Basic Keelboat course out on his first sail was pounded by driving rain and battered by winds raging at almost 35 miles per hour, but he kept his cool. When his fellow sailors found him, his jib was rolled, his main was reefed, and Breems recalls that it, "felt pretty darn good to see him doing exactly what he should have done in difficult conditions, instead of panicking."
Founded in 1986, Sound Sailing Center’s expert sailors introduce students to the Sound during their professional-quality classes. Their instruction philosophy ensures the proper learning environment for each student with classes that span several days with fewer students per class and a fleet equipped for single-handed sailing. The center also offers a variety of membership options.
Argentina–born soccer enthusiast Gustavo Szulansky opened Super Soccer Stars to provide the boroughs with a program that championed the personal development of youngsters rather than solely a skill-based focus. Since its debut in 2000, it's grown throughout the city, helping countless youngsters learn teamwork, boost confidence, and decrease arguments during home games played on the dining-room table. This rapid growth is due in part to the positive values Gustavo instilled from the first class. His coaches are carefully selected for their ability to cultivate a noncompetitive, sensitive approach to learning the game, and they dole out their knowledge in both classes and camps.
Super Soccer Star's Kick & Play program features family-friendly classes that help tots 12–24 months old develop pre-soccer skills and physical skill sets simultaneously. During classes, a team of talented and enthusiastic instructors and an athletic duo of puppet friends named Mimi and Pepe buoy budding soccer players with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and the merry clickety-clack of cleated tap dances. Designed with the help of early-childhood specialists, each age-specific class helps players build skills at their own pace with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and engaging original music.
With two rinks—an official NHL-sized rink and a training rink—SoNo Ice House is accessible to skaters and hockey players of all ages and skill levels. Casual skaters can shoot across the ice between trips to the café and take a break on the observation area, and hockey players can suit up for league play or practice their shots on the facility’s RapidShot training system. An educational facility as well as an entertainment venue, SoNo staffs instructors who lead students of varying ages through skating and hockey lessons. In addition to its two rinks, SoNo Ice House is also home to the Athletic Edge Training Center.
Bright-yellow spheres hurtle through the air like comets in space or butter pats in a food fight. Unlike comets or butter, however, these objects can be whacked with a racket on Intensity's seven indoor tennis courts. Here, adults and kids learn to volley with precision during clinics, camps, and team programs. Accomplished tennis pros lead one-on-one lessons for students of all levels and a high-performance academy for elite young players. During Turbo Tennis sessions, instructors pair forehands and backhands with endurance exercises to help players sculpt their physiques and up their game.
Dance, yoga, and biking tone muscles and melt calories during many of Intensity's other fitness classes. Latin-inspired Zumba workouts boost energy levels in a 3,000-square-foot studio whose booming beats and intelligent lighting system simulate a thriving nightclub or a disco aboard a flying saucer. Octane elliptical machines, True treadmills, and Life Fitness strength-training equipment fuel solo workouts in the studio's gym, and a four-lane 100-foot track helps athletes sprint their way toward optimal speed and agility.
After workouts, exercisers may unwind with Thai massages, respites in the onsite saunas, and trips to the juice bar. Childcare staff can supervise kids 12 weeks and older while parents exercise, work, or run errands.
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