Sticks and stones may break some bones, but not if they?re directed toward one of Capital MMA & Elite Fitness?s students. In a team-oriented environment, the studio?s instructors teach key mixed-martial-arts moves such as grappling, striking, and wrestling and supplement the training with classes in specific fighting styles, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay thai. Guests looking for a practical crash course in self-defense learn snippets from each technique in self-defense classes, learning methods for staying aware of surroundings, fending off attackers, and freeing themselves from the grip of King Kongs. Some women-only classes are also available.
The studio's CrossFit program, alternatively, boosts athleticism without combat, through a multi-faceted regimen of Olympic weightlifting, cardio exercise, and custom diets. Beyond group classes, the center offers private lessons and seminars, which allow its students?both children to adults?to learn with focused guidance.
The dance floor at Roda Movements sizzles with the dance and martial-arts forms of Brazil and Latin America. In capoeira classes, students gather in a circle playing drums, the single-stringed berimbau, and the tambourine, taking turns moving to the center to perform acrobatic movements that blend sparring techniques with graceful sweeping motions of the native dance style. Brazilian jiujitsu teaches grappling techniques for fighting on the ground, and Zumba sets a calorie-blasting aerobic-dance routine to Latin rhythms. The ballroom styles of salsa teach quick-paced steps to guests dancing solo, in pairs, or with a musically inclined mop. In addition to Latin dance and martial-arts classes, patrons can build muscles while whittling their waistlines in yoga and African-dance classes. Also catering to the wee ones, kids-only versions of specific classes helped Roda Movements earn a Best of the Best award from the Takoma Voice.
When Debra Sternberg first caught sight of Tom Koerner at the Doc Scantlin dance in 1987, she was smitten by his enthusiastic jitterbug. Though the duo's subsequent amorous relationship lasted only a year, their swing-dance partnership has lasted for decades. Together, they have jitterbugged and lindy hopped into the top spots in contests that include the 1994 UK Lindy Hop Championships, the 1998 Virginia State Open, and the 2010 National Living Legends of Swing Award.
Today, Tom and Debra pass on their expertise and passion at Gottaswing, their dance school that has expanded into eight locations throughout the United States. Each week, more than 500 students lay the six- and eight-count foundations for the jitterbug and lindy hop. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes meet six nights a week at various studios and dance clubs throughout the DC area, each equipped with a dance floor where students and a woman who looks suspiciously like Amelia Earhart can let loose . Four nights a week, the school invites students to join fellow classmates at events to dance along with DJ-curated tunes and live music.
The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring's 13 courses are color-coded by difficulty level, from yellow for beginners to double black diamonds for experts. They aren't ski trails, though?they're climbing challenges. More than 150 platforms adorn 5 acres of trees, which participants trek among by way of cable, wood, and rope bridges, as well as ziplines. A short safety briefing precedes all excursions, covering how to use the included gear and harnesses.
The park's main courses aren't the only place to test climbing skills. Over in the Monkey Grove, visitors can scale 10 trees fastened with the footholds and grips of a classic rock wall. Younger climbers, meanwhile, can explore The Labyrinth, a small, contained structure featuring more than 40 junior-sized versions of the park's other challenges. The courses illuminate on select Glow-in-the-Park evenings, when food, live music, and hoot-owl choruses await climbers upon their return to terra firma.
Since 1984, the crew of trained instructors at Reddemeade Equestrian Center have taken time out of their own competitive schedules to teach students horseback riding. Each instructor boasts certification from the Reddemeade Instructor Training School, which allows them to conduct horseback lessons in the English style of riding in accordance with the standards of the British Horse Society. Students receive their instruction atop trained and patient school horses inside a large indoor ring or one of several outdoor rings that grace the center’s 44 acres of rolling Maryland farmland.
Movement is medicine for Sunyatta Amen, proprietor and head instructor at MamaSita Movement & Wellness Studio. She expresses this philosophy through an eclectic menu of group classes such as Urban Fusion Belly Dance, Zumba, and Brazilian Samba Workout. During classes, students gain confidence as they shimmy hips and undulate bellies through each 60- to 90-minute workout.