Though skydiving is often billed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for the staff at Jump Florida Skydiving, it's a job. As they climb above the scenic landscape of Lake Country in a turbine aircraft, they stay calm as excitement radiates off customers—as young as 18 and as old as 79—about to make their first leap. At the ideal altitude, the plane levels off, and jumpers get into position. The sky is amazingly clear around the plane, which takes off from a private airport, so there are no commercial jets or flocks of migrating geese obstructing the airspace. Tandem or solo divers step to the edge, take a deep breath, and experience the thrill of accelerating at 9.81 meters per second per second.
While participants revel in their adrenaline-fueled thrills, the staff keeps them safe by adhering to the strict standards of the United States Parachute Association. These protocols enforce rigorous regulations, safety guidelines, and eminently cool member handshakes. On the ground, the team prioritizes hospitality, offering guest rooms, a restaurant, spectator fields, and a nerve-diffusing bar.
Nicole Almeida has been dancing since she was two years old and competing since she was nine. As owner of the newly inaugurated Studio 6 Academy of Dance, Almeida seamlessly blends her competitive dance background with her fitness training experience and education in exercise science and nutrition to offer students a place to fuel their passions for dance and fitness. Almeida strives to instill self-confidence and discipline in students of all ages as she, along with her team of instructors, leads a variety of dance classes including hip-hop, jazz, and ballet. Fitness courses include Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and P.U.S.H. boot camp, which combines group-exercise classes with personal training.
Mature trees, water hazards, bunkers, and doglegs define Willowbrook Golf Course's natural setting, but that isn't the property's only allure: alligators, herons, foxes, and many other Central Florida residents make frequent appearances during rounds, too. Located in Polk County, the course boasts a challenging, yet forgiving layout, making it a test for seasoned golfers and a good learning experience for beginners. In addition to rounds of golf, Willowbrook also offers FootGolf—a hybrid of soccer and golf—and practice areas, complete with a driving range, putting greens, and chipping zones. Inside the clubhouse, a pro shop stocks the sport's latest gear and a bar and grill invites golfers to kick back and have a beer.
Just as soccer is a global sport, Coach Joe Mata started Legacy Soccer Academy to reach as many different people as possible. Home-schooled and traditional-schooled children travel from class to the field and learn how to properly kick a soccer ball and how use their shin guards as a baseball bat in a pinch. Joe and the rest of the coaches steep each practice with lessons on respect, communication, and encouragement. They also offer small-group and personal-training sessions that focus on reaching each kid’s goal, from passing the ball to defending the net to ending the soccer vs. football name debate.
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