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.
Kaizen Mixed Martial Art borrows its name from a Japanese term that describes a type of activity that, when performed regularly, yields momentous results over time. This concept forms the core of Kaizen Mixed Martial Art's training philosophy—any action, no matter how slight, brings great results with continuous effort. Under the tutelage of skilled instructors, students steadily develop self-defense skills, tone muscles, and learn what it takes to be a professional fighter in a variety of disciplines. In Muay Thai classes, K-1 tournament finalists teach students "the art of eight limbs" through striking techniques that rely on the hands, feet, elbows, and knees. Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA cover a wide array of grappling techniques from a faculty that includes former WEC and UFC fighter Kamal Shalorus, and old-fashioned boxing lessons come straight from coaches with Golden Gloves championships in their trophy cases.