The hale and hearty team of instructors at Eco Expedition Educators boast an array of titles and certifications, including wilderness EMT, combat veteran, firefighter, master scuba diver trainer, sail boat captain, and U.S. Coast Guard medic—and there are only four of them on staff.
When participants take classes at Eco Expedition Educators, they gain an in-depth understanding of how to get themselves out of Mother Nature's toughest scrapes. Each guided expedition introduces novices to sticky situations they might encounter when outdoors, then equips them with the knowledge needed to escape unscathed or at least survive long enough to whittle a cellphone out of tree bark.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in?Parents Magazine.
At Salsa by Todd, veteran instructor Todd the Salsa Guy leads patrons through sultry steps as they build their fitness abilities and hone their Latin-dance techniques. During weekly group salsa classes, students pair up to master beginner- and intermediate-level routines replete with hip swiveling, partnered twirls, and choreographed piggyback rides. Todd's private lessons reveal the secrets of salsa and Latin styles such as bachata and merengue, accelerating the learning process with personalized attention. Neither class style requires previous dance experience, and the studio welcomes students who arrive solo, in dancing duos, or backed up by a posse of imaginary friends.
At Handy Bikes, sunlight pours through floor-to-ceiling windows, ricocheting between the glistening spokes, frames, and handlebars that hang suspended in neatly aligned rows. For the past 30 years, the privately owned bicycle shop has helped bikers keep on bikin’, filling its racks and display cases with everything from new parts to hard-to-find accessories. Brands such as Raleigh, Haro, and Torker stand out from the store's extensive inventory, which cycles through a variety of interests with kids' bikes, tandems, unicycles, and more. While riders graze the healthy harvest of wheeled products, Handy Bikes' friendly, knowledge-packed staff chomps at the bit to answer questions and demonstrate the proper technique for feeding oats to baby mountain bikes.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Chuck Mayhew, PGA member for more than 30 years, teaches the basics of golf swing mechanics before moving on to more complicated tweaks to his students' swings. Though certain golf tenets are universal, Chuck knows that any single teaching method won't work for every player, which is why he tailors his approach to fit each individual student. Private lessons begin with an assessment of each player's current ball positioning, alignment, and swing posture?key components that must be corrected before beginning any backswing. Once students have an understanding of these fundamentals, Chuck teaches how they relate to one another, helping students improve their golf game by making these basic elements work for them.