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.
Biking is only a healthy alternative to driving a car if your pedal machine is prepared to receive the road. To avoid a discordant collision course, bicycles need a proper tuning that wipes the sleep crust from their eyes. B1 Bicycles' overhaul begins with a thorough frame inspection and cleaning to ensure a structurally sound and shiny ride for the season. Next, the skilled bicycle caretakers at B1 will clean and lubricate the cable and drive-chain to detoxify your bike's insides while wobbly wheels undergo a truing process to increase pedal-pumping efficiency and ease momentum retention. Finally, surgical adjustments are made to the tension of the brakes, ensuring riders can stop on a dime, pick it up, and buy a Chiclet without ever dismounting.
Lifelong dancer Leyla Soleil stumbled upon her first belly-dancing class while living in Miami in 2001, and, as she describes it, “everything just clicked.” The high-impact dances she’d previously enjoyed, such as ballet and jazz, were proving increasingly hard on her joints, and with a new child thrown into the mix, Leyla was searching for a new way to express herself physically. After that first class, she grew passionate about belly dance and its ability to build a bridge between cultures. Later living in Akron, she built a thriving studio and dance company—Dance du Soleil—before moving her family to Columbus. Now, when she's not teaching classes at her new studio, Leyla juggles performing, starting a dance-photography business with her husband, and keeping involved in her Akron endeavors.
In her accessible, beginner belly-dancing classes, Leyla teaches fundamental moves that build a strong abdominal core, enable women to embrace their feminine side, and unravel the mystique around the dance form. Part of her philosophy on dance includes its health benefits, as evidenced by one of her former students—a woman who struggled with beginner moves but lost weight and decreased her health problems as she progressed to an advanced level. Middle Eastern music energizes each movement during Leyla's studio sessions, and she often announces each song’s country of origin to illuminate the cultural beauty inherent in the songs.
Katie Irwin-Henry has been an Irish dancer since she was five. She studied with John Timm, who retired after winning the title of Senior Men's World Champion—the highest level in the world of Irish dancing. Katie went on to compete at regional, national, and world championship levels before landing a gig with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Katie traveled with the cast throughout the U.S., as well as Australia, Canada, and Mexico. Later in her career, Katie toured with the Trinity Irish Dance Company throughout Japan and Costa Rica. Now retired from the stage, this T.C.R.G.-certified instructor shares her knowledge and experience with her students.
The instructors at The Dance help students master fancy footwork for special occasions, festive nights out, and afternoons mopping the floor. The studio's specialties––wedding dances and Argentine tango––inject romance into the very basic act of moving legs and arms. More than half a century of combined experience guides the teachers as they demonstrate and guide students through the basics of the foxtrot, samba, bolero, viennese waltz, and other dances. They also host dance parties where students can practice tango or salsa dancing at nightclubs or BYOB spots.
The Oriental Martial Arts College (OMAC), founded by Sr. Grand Master Joon P. Choi– a 10th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo– has been teaching the Moogong-Ryu system of martial arts since 1963. All of the dojang's instructors must know Korean martial arts in order to make classes accessible to as many people as possible. OMAC's classes range from Little Tigers (ages 3–6) classes for kids and youth (7+), taekwondo, hapkido, gumdo, fitness and healing arts like power tai chi, action yoga and kimoodo healing art, to advanced black belt training with Grandmaster Choi throughout their multiple Central Ohio locations. OMAC has more than 35 branches worldwide.