At Island Tribe Belly Dance, director Sajah Medina has seen women of all builds and backgrounds nurture a new sense of confidence. She has been teaching belly dancing for more than 18 years and welcomes students of all stripes to experience the art's empowering effects. In addition to demonstrating its signature undulations, Sajah covers the dance's history and fashion, providing costume resources and workshops for those hoping to craft their own harem pants, belts, and coin purses for holding backup navels.
During her lineup of classes, she imparts the sultry steps of American tribal-fusion belly dance—a medley of Spanish flamenco, North African tribal, and Romani styles. She and her fellow instructors also captivate audiences at events, donning getups than range from classic belly-dance attire to vaudeville, steampunk, and industrial gothic garb.
Jay Handline created Dance Trance Fitness more than 15 years ago to shape up physiques with an intense exercise regimen disguised as a dance party. The program has since spread to locations in cities as far flung as Saudi Arabia and San Diego, torching calories and causing patrons to dig back up time capsules full of sweatbands. The energetic choreographers and dancers under Jay's employ blend moves from jazz, Latin, reggae, hip-hop, and rock dance to craft heart-pumping choreography that flows seamlessly against lively cascades of drums and bright swells of brass. This marriage of music-video-style dance and traditional cardio exercise tones muscles and melts calories from students of all age and fitness levels during sessions focused specifically on street moves, ballet influences, or efficiently stomping bubblewrap. Dance Trance Fitness works with a variety of causes to host benefits and other events, and the company bolsters students’ drive to get healthy with a range of online support options.
Since 1959, Putt-Putt of Fernandina Beach has hosted friendly rounds of mini golf for families, leagues, and tournaments. Co-owner Aaron Bean was one such player—he began working at the putt-putt location as a teenager and still currently holds the course’s nine-hole record of 10 strokes and most convincing celebratory swan dive into the ocean, which is located just steps away. The course has also tested the putting prowess of players in the 2010 Sonny’s Florida State Putt-Putt Championship and 2011 Southern Putting Tour Championship.
The 27 holes at Fernandina Beach Golf Club sweep through subtropical Florida's misty, palm-filled landscapes, inscribing fond memories of grass sighing and cups clinking. Each set of nine holes extends over more than 3,000 yards of native trees and naturally occurring jelly bunkers, rewarding golfing companions with a nirvana of subtle, rolling greens. Golf carts zip through the links and beat the heat, saving energy for daring dives into the course's water hazards to recover lost balls and misplaced Arthurian swords.
Nestled in the scenic shadows of the Smoky Mountains, Bent Creek Golf Course's 18-hole layout stretches across 6,182 yards of fairways that rise and fall among rolling foothills and pristine valleys. Golf legend and course designer Gary Player made deft use of a babbling mountain stream by running it through the course and seamlessly uniting two distinct nines: a front nine that sprawls across the valley floor and a back nine that roams the hilly mountainside like a forlorn sasquatch. The overall effect is a course that does justice to both the sheer scope of the rising peaks with bottom-up views and the panoramic splendor of Great Smoky Mountains National Park when seen from the cresting hilltops of the back-nine. The inventive layout is perhaps best characterized by the 11th hole, a 362-yard par 4 where a 90-degree dogleg-left plays into a green completely surrounded by the creek's rippling waters. A blend of bent and bermuda grasses grows resiliently for golfers striving to play all year-round, and fragrant wildflowers blossom at every tee to warm the hearts of world-weary nine-irons.
Bent Creek bolsters the pin-hunting prowess of its golfers with a staff of PGA-certified instructors that conducts lessons and presides over the domain of their full-service pro shop. A practice putting green helps players trim their score by reading dicey slopes, and the Creek Side Grill hosts postround revelry and community gatherings to decry the historical hardships of the mashie niblick.:m]]
Course at a Glance:
At the tee box on Cimarrone Golf Club's 12th hole, golfers face a dilemma: play a drive safely out to the right—where, at worst, the ball may stray into the rough—or attempt an aggressive shot over the water on the hole's left side, cutting off much of the dogleg and setting up a closer approach. With multiple bending fairways, deep bunkers, and a water hazard or marsh feature on every hole, the 18-hole, 6,891-yard course presents high-risk, high-reward scenarios at nearly every turn, delighting golfers who like to live dangerously and favoring those whose sand wedge moonlights as an actuary.
Before rounds, golfers can warm up swings at the club's driving range, a much-needed confidence booster before taking to the water-laden course or betting that they can outdrive the staff's resident T-shirt cannon.
Course at a Glance: