Zero Dojo mats have bounced and bent beneath many styles of martial arts, from kickboxing and muay thai to adult and kids' MMA classes. Mike Wright leads the orchestra of stomps and grunts as he teaches students to defend themselves and wield discipline and humility in equal measure. He's aided by a lineup of other skilled martial-arts instructors, including his wife, Karen Wright, a certified personal trainer.
A Love For Dance's instructors teach feet the smooth steps behind salsa, ballroom, country-western, Latin, and swing dancing, also designing custom routines for betrothed couples. During each 50-minute group session, dance instructors provide instruction in proper expression and technique as they box step or earthwalk across the conservatively sized floor. Most group classes span four weeks, meaning that students can continually hone their skills in one style, or learn basic moves in up to four different genres. Although the studio does not provide partners, guests can learn solo steps and etiquette before acquiring a dance mate. Alternatively, instructors can design personalized choreography to a favorite song or yodeling ballad for brides and grooms. After participating in four weeks of private lessons, couples will be ready to make their dance-floor debut, whether it’s to waltz through a first dance or communicate their vows through a Morse-code tap dance.
At Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, experienced instructors strive not only to equip students with water-safety skills but to instill a lifelong passion for swimming. To this end, they limit classes to no more than four swimmers to ensure individual attention, and they divide students into eight swimming levels to keep classes challenging. Once students progress to a more advanced swim level, instructors congratulate them with a ribbon and swim certificate, which students can fold into a paper boat and rescue from sinking. In addition to swim lessons, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools hosts family-friendly events throughout the year, from birthday parties to CPR classes.
It was early one Christmas morning when Mr. and Mrs. Powell presented their son Robert with his present— tae kwon do lessons. Robert took to the sport instantly, studying, practicing, and mastering its powerful kicks and swift punches throughout grade school and all the way up through college. Along the way, he put his skills to use competing in local and international tournaments.
Today, Robert draws upon his impressive history with tae kwon do and heads his own martial-arts studio, where he teaches adults and kids techniques and form. He intersperses tae kwon do lessons with movements from a variety of different martial-arts styles, including jujitsu, haganah, and pekiti tirsia. In addition to combat and self-defense instruction, Robert and his instructors strive to promote life skills such as perseverance, self-control, and integrity, while at the same time discouraging undesirable habits such as bullying or making fun of babies because they can’t fill out their own tax forms.
Going toe-to-toe in a ring with a veteran boxer sounds like a nightmare, but when it happens at TITLE Boxing Club, the veteran is a benevolent personal trainer. In sparring with their clients, trainers help chip away at personal weaknesses as part of custom fitness regimens.
Budding boxers can also train in a group setting, spending their class time pummeling heavy bags to perfect their jabs, crosses, and hooks. Group kickboxing classes, alternatively, combine punching-bag exercises with training on roundhouse kicks, front kicks, and back kicks guaranteed to enhance skittish horse impressions.
Belinda Hockett began dancing in 1983 as a trainee at a Fred Astaire Dance Studio. As she sashayed her way up to the level of instructor and competitor, she began choreographing and producing showcases for charity events. Her work led her to Wylie, where she opened her own studio: Majestic Ballroom & Dance Center.
Today, she leads a team of 10 instructors who train students of all ages in more than 25 styles of dance. They also choreograph dances for grooms and brides, brides and fathers, and toddlers stacked up inside a trench coat. Belinda and her instructors specialize in choreographing first wedding dances for couples-to-be, and can offer their services at clients' homes for an additional fee.