Run by three generations of DC locals, Bike and Roll sends pedalers into the nation's modern and historical capitol. Sightseers are outfitted with ETs with maps so they can undertake self-guided tours along the National Mall, which is lousy with landmarks. To break with the hustle—and should one be so inclined, the bustle—cyclists can explore one of the city’s many meandering bike paths including the Capital Crescent Trail and Rock Creek Trail. The company’s line of tandem bikes and Trek comfort hybrids make for smooth rides along the flat terrain of the capital.
For a more itineraried experience, guided tours spirit groups through the historic sights. Local story-tellers regale cyclists with tales about the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and Mount Vernon, the home where George Washington lived after hatching from the egg incubated in the Statue of Liberty's torch.
The founders of Tango Mercurio chose their non-profit's name carefully. Mercury symbolizes connection, which is what they hope to foster both between paired dancers and within their local community. The arts education organization believes that tango dancing transcends boundaries of class, ethnicity, and generation, and therefore can facilitate greater cultural understanding and social cohesion. So in addition to group and private lessons, the studio offers outreach programs and supports the all-volunteer Community Tango Orchestra.
No matter what type of class a student enrolls in, what level they are studying at, or what outreach program they're lucky enough to access, the Tango Mercurio curriculum covers core principles: body awareness, technical proficiency, expressiveness, and, of course, connection. This connection between partners is important because it is both conducive to improvisation and creative expression, and also allows for larger, collaborative expression as a community, something the founders believe is essential to the overall health and stability of societies.
Already an award-winning photographer, Cindi Hobgood also spent 25 years scouting locations for Hollywood studios and TV programs. Her locations were showcased on The Amazing Race, used by Disney, HBO, and Columbia Pictures, and shot by Spike Lee and Sam Shepard. As a location scout, Hobgood recorded her finds with a camera, carefully composing each shot in order to convey each scene’s mood, landscape, and lighting.
Today, she teaches others how to hone a similarly discerning eye during instructive photo expeditions. Magic Hour walking tour send participants snapping shots of the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Potomac just as the sun comes up. Memorials by Moonlight takes walkers on a nocturnal jaunt past sites such as the Lincoln Memorial, and Intro to iPhoneography helps pupils get the most out of their iPhone cameras. There are even a few out-of-town trips for adventurous shutterbugs.
Rania Jaziri has spent her entire career pirouetting on the intersection of performing arts and fitness. Born in Tunisia, her journey as a multitalented performer began with ballet lessons at the age of 6, achieving the poise, energy, and coordination that would later prove valuable in high-school basketball and swimming. After finishing college in Germany, Rania came to Washington, D.C., where her bubbly approach to teaching dance fitness and step-kickboxing attracted a dedicated following of hoofers and clown-punching bags. To meet the growing demand for her sweat-manufacturing expertise, she founded her own fitness center, Jordin's Paradise, which has since been deemed Washington D.C.'s Best Dance Company 2011 by Washington City Paper readers.
Positive energy powers the adventurous curriculum of Jordin's Paradise, where exercisers march toward physical peaks during exhilarating, dance-infused fitness classes, such as Bikini Body Bootcamp, pole dancing, and Flash Mob Workshop. When Rania isn't helping guests get into better shape than a dodecahedron with rock-solid abs, she's focusing her efforts on local charities, such as Becky's Fund, which spreads domestic-violence awareness.
Just a tiny repair shop at its inception, Rollin’ Cycles has since blossomed into a full-service store offering quality bikes and maintenance services. From Fuji road bikes and hybrids to Breezer and SE cycles, their inventory contains fits for all riders. In addition, technicians keep bikes in tiptop shape by providing regular tune-ups, performing cleanings, and playing lullabies with brass bike bells.