Whether coaching students as individuals or in a group setting, the certified instructors at the Westfield School of Dance draw from years of teaching and performance experience in their chosen styles. All are specialized in one to three disciplines of dance, and pass on their knowledge through a progressive syllabus in a range of classes. They organize students by skill level, coaching them in tap, jazz, modern dance, Russian ballet, and musical-theatre performance. For more experienced dancers and aspiring professionals, they also conduct work-study programs and student-teacher training. These experiences allow students to work alongside their teachers as well as guest artists to learn new choreography, develop teaching techniques, and uncover the mystery of what really happened that fateful night at Swan Lake.
Throughout the year, students are given the chance to showcase what they've learned in two venues. In the more minimalistic setting of the Black Box, beginner-level students perform original choreographed dance concerts. The annual spring Main Stage show folds novice through advanced dancers into a full-scale production, complete with live musicians, costumes, scenery, and props.
At Cranford Taekwondo Center, martial arts aren’t just about self-defense; they’re about self-esteem, self-discipline, and building character—though there’s a lot of kicking and punching too. The spacious facility employs experienced black-belt instructors to train children and adults in techniques ranging from footwork and forms to balance and hand-eye coordination. The school is also home to Cranford’s Combat Fitness boot camp, wherein certified instructors use heavy bags, kicking shields, and free weights to tone the body and build endurance.
The Ballpark's 15,000-square-foot indoor baseball facility has been the training ground for regional all-star youth league players and state championship teams since 1999. A team of experienced coaches, led by three-time Star-Ledger Coach of the Year Tony Picaro, teaches fundamentals such as bunting, fielding, and signing autographs while wearing an oversize novelty foam finger. Private and group lessons hone skills after school, and multiday clinics immerse rookies and pros alike in the sport's finer points. Outside class hours, players practice at six public batting cages, a timed home-to-first track, and a pitching mound monitored by radar and off-duty traffic cops. The Ballpark is also a great place to host a birthday party, which include pizza or hot dogs, popcorn, drinks, papers goods, and a free batting cage token.
Hyatt Hills Golf Complex aims to make the game of golf less complicated. The facility exceeds the call of a typical golf venue, incorporating an 18-hole mini golf course, a driving range, and even a restaurant in addition to its nine-hole course. Measuring 3,350 yards from the back tees, the par 36 layout forces players to contend with several shots over water, healthy doses of greenside bunkering, and a pair of long doglegs in holes 2 and 5—both par 5s. Players can also work with Hyatt Hills' roster of PGA professionals for help getting over a scoring hump—a solution that's easier on the conscience than just conveniently forgetting every third stroke.
At Rhythmatic Martial Arts Academy, the staff strives to make self-defense and fitness accessible to all ages. The shining example of that desire is the studio's tae kwon do and Brazilian jujitsu programs, which feature time slots for kids, teens, and adults. Customers who want to burn calories can sign up for capoeira or cardio-kickboxing classes.
Winner of more than 100 mixed-martial-arts competitions, Tiger Schulmann shares his pride and love for fighting and self-defense with both adults and children in gyms across five states. From first-time grapplers to expert muay thai fighters, students of all fitness and experience levels are welcome to dive into a class at Schulmann’s. At more than 47 locations, adults can take classes in kickboxing, MMA, and jujitsu—the last of which instills students with the skill and confidence to take down opponents of any size, strength, or telekinetic ability. Kids, meanwhile, can learn martial arts for fun, or gain useful experience in bully prevention; the kids’ classes help victims immediately identify and safely diffuse situations when pitted against an aggressor.
Fifteen thousand square feet of colorful training equipment beckons to be tumbled upon. That's where the dedicated staff comes in, working with students of all skill levels to build confidence and coordination through gymnastics programs. With classes designed for students between 18 months and 18 years old, gymnastics programs provide a well-rounded curriculum that helps motivate students while honing concentration and basic motor movements.
Classes for tots and kindergarten-age students include practice on obstacle courses, trampolines, balance beams, and tumble tracks. Girls and boys older than 5 1/2 years learn fun and challenging exercises while climbing rock walls, swinging on uneven bars, and attempting to bridle wild pommel horses. Sunburst Gymnastics also offers competitive programs, in which students train for state, regional, and national events.