Kids typically love a chance to play with a set of toys that's new to them. At The Big Playhouse, the staff not only provides toys to play with, but grand playsets, including a cafe, doctor’s office, enchanted loft, construction site, and salon, that spark imagination and develop social skills better than any imaginary tea party or Senate hearing. Kids can play house in a pretend home complete with a washer and dryer or wax entrepreneurial in a bake shop stocked with pretend cupcakes. As they check their shoes at the door, they can choose a toy vehicle or doll to adopt for the day, or they can bring their favorite doll or truck with them. Birthday parties, meanwhile, include catered food and customized games such as freeze dancing, limbo, and simon says. WiFi and coffee are available for parents as they watch their children from the viewing area.
PGA Teaching Professional Tom McGuinness hones in swings and sharpens short games in his campaign to help students better enjoy the game of golf. Tom's private and group lessons at the award-winning Emerson Golf Club welcomes every kind of golfer, whether he or she happens to be a junior or an adult, a beginning golfer or Jack Nicklaus's even-better-at-golf cousin. Lessons use video so that the student can easily see what the instructor sees, and range balls are provided throughout the session.
At Sae Shim Kumdo Academy, the three fourth-degree-black-belt instructors treat each other like family, because they are family. The Parks—father, mother, and son—teach their students the art of kumdo, a Korean-style fencing class, which exercises both, minds and bodies.
The professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio North Jersey, a chain of dance schools that was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherd 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 foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to sashay in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur fire walking.
The player toes the baseline, bounces the tennis ball a few times per ritual, and then tosses it skyward for the first serve. The ball is hit a touch too firmly, and it sails past the service area for a fault. No matter, you get two faults in tennis. The second serve takes some oomph off the stroke while imparting spin, hoping to keep it safely in-bounds. Instead, the ball is lands wide of the sideline for fault number two.
It's common situations like these that certified tennis instructor Peter Ohanyan believes separate an average player from confident players whose skills are refined. Recognizing the need to combat mental obstacles and boost confidence, particularly with beginners, Peter applies all the knowledge learned from playing singles at the NCAA level, coaching a high school team, and earning degrees in psychology and physical education. He takes a positive, reinforcing approach to teaching the game, and employs a wide range of equipment—such as agility ladders, cones, and hurdles—to help his students sharpen technical skills.
Yoga, ballet barre, Pilates, and Zumba aren't one-dimensional workouts. That's why they and other similar classes are offered at Spectrum Wellness Center. There, the team of instructors pushes students toward overall wellness, not just exterior goals like six-pack abs and chiseled thumb muscles. Classes are kept small so students can receive personalized attention, which is ideal for all skill levels. Spectrum Wellness Center's holistic approach also shows during one-on-one injury-prevention sessions, which lets athletes get back in the game without risking performance.