With more than 10 years of experience teaching Pilates to dancers and athletes, Maggie Manning oversees a team of instructors who personalize each class with hands-on instruction. Small class sizes and NASA-engineered equipment allow the studio space to host a diverse assortment of muscle-sculpting and blood-pumping sessions for students of all skill levels and fitness goals. To ensure pupils tone up effectively and safely, a complimentary assessment by one of Pilates by Maggie's muscle mavens helps students pick classes and nicknames that suit their physical abilities.
Members of Freedom Boat Club enjoy the luxury of captaining their own aquatic excursions without the maintenance and storage hassles of owning a boat. Outings begin with a boat-orientation course, during which an experienced captain teaches students key nautical skills such as tying knots, docking in the wind, and navigating by the position of a half-eaten sandwich that kind of looks like the Big Dipper. Once skippers feel comfortable commanding a water chariot, they take to the seas for a day of sailing along with up to six additional guests. With the trial membership, boaters can choose any available Hurricane deck boat, inshore fishing boat, or pontoon. Hop aboard Orange Beach's 21-foot Hurricane 2100 to cut through the water on the strength of a 150-hp engine or commandeer Perdido Key's Sweetwater 2486 pontoon boat to benefit from a deck-top canopy in the event that a witch's curse makes it rain salamanders.
Art of the Catwalk, an AFAA-certified pole-dance and fitness studio, is a venue for all women to tap into their wild sides regardless of age or build. The team of experienced dancers and coaches lead a diverse lineup of classes designed to stretch, tone, and choreograph. The team compliments pole-dancing classes with Zumba, yoga, belly-dance, and boot-camp courses for every fitness level. They cap class attendance at 40 participants (or around 10 for pole-dancing classes) to ensure personalized attention and enough space for clients to wear razor-edged tutus if they wish.
Art of the Catwalk can also gussy up physiques outside of the fitness studio with an onsite nail salon and products for purchase. It also employs Catwalk Kittens from Pretty Kitty Productions, a promotion company bent on spicing up most any event, to infuse personal parties with gravity-defying dance moves and infectious DJ beats.
A former marine, Jason Knowles has spent a decade on SWAT teams and executed fugitive apprehensions and high-risk property searches. Today he helps soldiers, law-enforcement officials, and civilians expand their firearm and self-defense skill sets at Hard Target Security Group. In classes, Knowles and his team demonstrate how to safely wield weapons from basic handguns to shotguns and cover topics such as home defense and the proper use of pepper spray. They also teach their students how to capitalize on the startle-flinch reflex in their the S.P.E.A.R. self-defense system, a strategy for close-quarters combat. Outside their facilities, the team assesses the security of valuable assets—such as homes and yachts—or furnishes its clients with security cameras and thermal-imaging technology.
The annual Camp Kesem - 5K 4 CK fuses the splash-centric fun of a water park with the competitive spirit of a 5K race to raise money for a charitable cause. Armed with water balloons and water guns, racers dodge their way through a pre-set track, soaking, being soaked, and replenishing parched flowerbeds on their way to the finish line. Filling stations throughout the race ensure racers never run out of H2O to chuck at one another. In addition to cooling off participants, the race also gives back to the community; all proceeds go to Camp Kesem, a free weeklong summer camp of fun activities for children who have a parent affected by cancer.
Lead by Master Chad Wilbur, a sixth-degree black belt, Martial Arts Fitness Academy offers comprehensive martial-arts classes for students of all ages and ability levels. Wilbur realized that students enter into martial arts for a variety of reasons, so he's designed his programs to focus on more than just learning basic skills—they teach self-defense, self-esteem, and building life skills as well. Programs include tae kwon do, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and Israeli self-defense classes.