American Kempo Karate Academy founder Mark DiNino is an eighth-degree black belt—and a father. In fact, three of his own children train at the academy, meaning the South Shore native shares many of the same hopes and concerns as other parents of AKKA students. But he also understands the benefits children can reap from the academy's program, which since 1995 has improved fitness and increased self-confidence, discipline, and concentration. Of course, kids aren't the only one's who can benefit from a boost in self-esteem, which is why AKKA also offers an adult program, where grownups can achieve similar gains and release stress brought on by their job or lack of homework.
Self-expression, fitness, competition, or just plain old fun. Dance can be for all four of those reasons, or just one. At South Shore Dance Academy, instructors teach ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary, allowing each student to get exactly what they want out of the art form. They maintain the importance of accessibility, too, offering classes to everyone aged 3 and older, including classes for those with special needs. To further ensure that accessibility, they even reach out to under-served populations with scholarships funded by contributions and fundraisers.
Somerville native Joe Armstrong began his culinary career at 13 as a prep cook working for several talented chefs. In the 25 years since, he has served as executive chef at restaurants around the country, including the Flying Fish Café at Walt Disney World’s BoardWalk Inn in Orlando and Goodfellas Trattoria—his own award-winning New England restaurant. Chef Armstrong founded The New Englander Show as a one-stop site for all things culinary, ranging from cooking lessons and classified ads to job openings and frozen-dinner support groups.
Across five locations in Massachusetts and New York, Homebrew Emporium's resident experts educate local brewers in the ancient ways of beer. Inside each store, visitors will find an array of equipment, ingredients, and accessories ranging from complete home-brewing kits to hop pellets in a variety of styles. Classes teach greenhorns the ropes on how to perfect a home-brewed beer, prepare bottles and kegs, and throw an epic party to drink it all.
A guitar player for 32 years and a music retailer for more than two decades, Matt earned his musical chops alongside some of the best in the business. As a member of the band Adam Bomb in the late '80s, he shared the stage with notables including Dio, Stryper, Kings X, and Iron Maiden; today, the lineup of his current band, Machines of Grace, includes members of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The showroom at his Weymouth music store reflects this lifelong dedication, with shelves lined with electric and acoustic guitars, name-brand amps, and all sorts of sheet music. The shop’s soundproofed practice room provides a sanctuary for private lessons from Matt’s handpicked staff of professionally trained guitarists, drummers, pianists, woodwinders, and singers, many of whom graduated from the harmonious halls of the Berklee College of Music.
Owner Richard Lanza began Open Doors as a metaphysical healing center and store in 1992, and he carried that healing spirit into the yoga studio he opened in 2003. At Open Doors Yoga Studios, Richard's goal is to create a space where people feel empowered to explore their personal beliefs on a path toward self-healing. Thus, yoga instructors at the studio's numerous locations help practitioners achieve their personal goals through accessible classes, each designed to build core strength while quieting the mind and increasing body awareness. From slow-flow heated classes to unheated Hatha sessions, students can participate in a variety of yoga styles geared toward beginners, more experienced participants, and those who only feel comfortable in a 98-degree room.