If you have a bucket list—you’ve always wanted to dance, sing, learn photography, cook like a gourmet, or anything else you dream of doing—quit putting it off! Style has compiled a list of places where you can learn how to drive, how to fly, how to sail, how to become a master gardener, and how to do a variety of other activities. Stop waiting for tomorrow and start learning today.
Compiled by: Leigh Neely, James Combs, Theresa Campbell, and Chris Gerbasi // Photos: Anthony Rao // Model: Megan Moeder
Martial Arts of Leesburg, 1333 S. 14th St., Leesburg. 352.217.1953. martialartsleesburg.com. Taekwondo is touted as ideal for physical fitness, stress relief, and to improve balance and flexibility. Classes are available for adults, families, and children as young as 6.
Master Wayne’s Family Martial Arts Center, 3755 Lake Center Drive, Mount Dora. 352.383.0898. mtdorakarate.com. The center features martial arts for adults and youths 5 and older, along with after-school classes and summer camp.
2. Driving lessons
West Central Florida Driver Improvement Inc., 343 W. Alfred St., Tavares. 352.343.4008. local.dmv.org/florida. Classes are offered to people who are seeking first-time driver’s licenses, as well as driver improvement training and traffic schools.
3. Sign language
Lake-Sumter State College, 9501 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg. 352.365.3556. lssc.smartcatalogiq.com. Beginning and continuing American sign language classes are available as non-credit courses. Participants learn the alphabet, numbers, basic communication, linguistic structure, and about the deaf culture.
Deaf and Hearing Services of Lake and Sumter Counties, 220 S. 9th St., Leesburg. 352.323.0757. deafandhearing.org. This agency provides American sign language classes and other services to benefit deaf and hard-of-hearing residents in Lake and Sumter counties.
Leesburg Music, 1609 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg. 352.323.8889. leesburgmusicfl.com. Participants can learn to play several musical instruments from experienced instructors—everything from guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, steel guitar, drums, keyboards, trumpet, and low brass, just to name a few.
Family Music of Clermont, 240 Citrus Tower, Clermont. 352.989.4963. familymusicclermont.com. Piano, guitar, bass, violin, drums, and voice lessons are provided in one location, with a focus on guiding beginning students to be performers.
Lake-Sumter State College, 9501 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg. 352.365.3556. ed2go.com. The college offers a variety of short-term photography classes, including learning how to master a digital SLR camera, introduction to Adobe Photoshop, the secrets of better photography, travel photography, and more.
W.T. Bland Public Library, 1995 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, 352.735.7180. mylakelibrary.evanced.info/signup/calendar. The library offers a hands-on workshop for beginners, who learn how to operate a digital camera and practice taking shots in class.
Primo’s Boxing of Leesburg, 102 S. Kaolin St., Leesburg. 352.321.6527. facebook.com/primosboxing. The gym provides boxing lessons, physical training, body conditioning, and personal training from a hands-on coach.
Teknique Boxing Gym, 317 E. Washington St., Unit D, Minneola. 407.715.3648. tekniqueboxing.com. A non-contact class focuses on footwork, hand-eye coordination, boxing combinations, foot placement, angles, bobbing and weaving, slips and rolls, timing, and conditioning to test newcomers to the sport.
Title Boxing Club, 4391 S. Highway 27, Clermont. 352.394.5227. titleboxingclub.com. The club’s programs bring the intensity of boxing training, minus the impact. Students of all levels are welcome, and instructors will show rookies all the basics of the sport.
Not the Norm CrossFit, 411 N. 14th St., Leesburg, Suite 150. 352.408.2546. notthenormcrossfit.com. Workouts are available for all levels of athletes, who can participate in gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing, and more.
CrossFit Unmatched—Dirty South Gyms, 2800 W. Old U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora. 321.765.9595. crossfitunmatched.com. This gym aims to help participants reach their fitness and performance goals.
8. Arts and crafts
Lake Eustis Museum of Art, 1 W. Orange Ave., Eustis. 352.483.2900. lakeeustisartmuseum.org. Classes and workshops focus on watercolors and jewelry, among other mediums.
Leesburg Center for the Arts, 429 W. Magnolia St., Leesburg. 352.365.0232. leesburgarts.com. Fabrics, acrylics, and pastels are among the class subjects, and the center also provides open studio time for artists.
Mount Dora Center for the Arts, 138 E. Fifth Ave. 352.449.3799. mountdoracenterforthearts.org. Classes and workshops are conducted for mediums including ceramics, drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, and printmaking.
Painting with a Twist, 16844 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora. 352.383.7928. 2411 S. Highway 27, Clermont. 407.505.5526. paintingwithatwist.com
No experience is needed for students who want a new twist on lessons in a casual social environment. These “paint and sip” studios provide two- or three-hour classes and family fun classes, plus all the paint supplies and artist instructions. But it’s BYOB for the adults.
Two B’s Studio, 129 N. Grove St., Unit B, Eustis. 352.638.0001. two-bs.com. The studio offers silversmith, silver fabrication, and jewelry-making classes for beginners, plus open studio time to work on projects.
Wine & Design, 10889 N. U.S. Highway 301, Oxford. 352.461.0799. wineanddesign.com. Another “paint and sip” venture, this studio enables students to paint their own pottery, ceramics, or canvases during social get-togethers.
Anastassia Ballroom & Dance, 32624 Blossom Lane, Leesburg. 352-533-7400. anastassiaballroom.com. Group and individual classes for ballroom and Latin dancing are available for all ages. The first lesson is free for new students.
Dance Dance Dance, 307 N. Main St., Wildwood. 352.658.1001. dancedancedance.biz. Group lessons are offered for ballroom dances, including the Argentine tango, West Coast Swing, salsa, the foxtrot, and the Bolero.
Dancin’ Ballroom & Stage Arts Center, 10700 U.S. Highway 441, Suite 104, Leesburg. 352.319.6767. dancinleesburg.com. This center offers private and group lessons for ballroom and Latin dancing, as well as wedding dance classes, to residents of Leesburg.
Leesburg Center for the Arts, 429 W. Magnolia St., Leesburg. 352.365.0232. leesburgarts.com. Weekly adult programs include hip-hop-style dance fitness, belly dancing, and Afro urban rhythm dance.
Local business owners can obtain valuable knowledge by attending free or low-cost classes offered by the Lake County Business Opportunity Center. The classes will resume in January 2019, and as of this writing, coordinators have not released a class schedule. In the past, courses have covered topics such as marketing, web and social media basics, business plan writing, cybersecurity, and market research. Visit businessinlakefl.com to see what classes are offered in January 2019.
Lake County Extension Office, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Services, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares. 352.343.4101. sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lake. The extension service educates the public about plants and horticulture, crops and livestock, but many of its classes also involve cooking, such as farm-to-table cooking, healthy recipes, and even incorporating protein from insects into your diet in the Creature Cuisine class—it’s true.
Lake Technical College, 2001 Kurt St., Eustis. 352.589.2250. laketech.org. If you want to go back to school, Lake Tech offers a highly regarded professional culinary arts and hospitality program. After approximately 40 weeks, students are prepared for employment in the food service industry.
The Roaming Gourmet Ze’ Carter, 352.455.4915. getcookingwithze.com. This mobile cooking school brings the cooking fun to you. Ze’ offers classes for adults as well as demonstrations and team-building exercises. She also conducts occasional classes at local restaurants, and the Leesburg and Lady Lake public libraries.
Eustis Yoga, 1300 E. Orange Ave., Eustis. 352.978.8356. eustisyoga.com. Beginners are welcome at this center, which teaches energy, Sivananda, gentle, and chair yoga styles, as well as meditation and a low-impact workout for sculpting the body.
SamaCore Yoga & Barre, 481 W. Ardice Ave., Eustis. 352.409.3646. samacoreyoga.com. This center offers a variety of yoga classes, such as yin, prenatal, vinyasa flow, chair, and therapeutics, along with barre classes, specialized workshops, events, summer camps, and retreats for new and experienced students.
Still Lake Yoga, 365 Citrus Tower Blvd., Clermont. 352.978.8356. stilllakeyoga.com. Classes are inspired by the Sivananda yoga tradition. Students can expect breathing exercises, asanas (yoga postures), flowing exercise sequences, and a period of deep relaxation.
Total Body Flow Yoga Studio, 322 W. Burleigh Blvd. (U.S. Highway 441), Tavares. 352.658.1565 or 352.343.7707. The studio provides classes that are strengthening and playful, explorative and restorative. Instructors specialize in yin yoga, hatha yoga, vinyasa flow, restorative healing yoga, and mindful meditation.
Hickory Point Beach Sand Volleyball Complex. 27341 State Road 19, Tavares. 352.742.0080. lcwa.org/hickory-point. Florida’s largest permanent sand volleyball complex offers three courts that are available for public play.
Premier Volleyball League, 15010 Old U.S. Highway 441, Eustis. 352.702.3515. usapvl.com. This is one of 40 regional volleyball associations throughout the country. Featuring both men’s and women’s teams, this USA Volleyball-sanctioned organization offers tournament play and a league championship event each year.
Florida Region of USA Volleyball, 15010 U.S. Highway 441, Eustis. 352.742.0080. floridavolleyball.org. Since 1982, this organization has offered indoor and sand volleyball for adults, teens, and children, as well as educational opportunities for coaches and officials. Florida Region of USA Volleyball hosts prestigious indoor and sand volleyball tournaments throughout the year.
Engage Pickleball Pro Team Academy, 4095 County Road 106, Oxford. 888.615.2242. engagepickleball.com. Pickleball players have an opportunity to learn under national champions and Professional Pickleball Federation players. One- and three-day clinics that focus on mechanics and game strategies are offered.
Grand Oaks Resort Indoor Pickleball, 3000 Marion County Road, Weirsdale. 352.750.5500. home.thegrandoaks.com/pickleball. Learn from gold medalist and certified pickleball instructors. Three-day pickleball camps and two-hour drill sessions are among the programs offered.
Mount Dora Yacht Club, 351 W. 4th Ave. Mount Dora. 352.383.3188. mountdorayachtclub.com. Members of this organization, billed as “Florida’s oldest inland yacht club,” gather for social events, promote water activities, and cultivate community relations, according to its website. The club hosts several regattas throughout the year, including the 66th annual Sailing Regatta, which will be held March 30-31, 2019.
Lake Eustis Sailing Club, 1310 County Road 452, Eustis. 352.589.5417. lescfl.com. The organization hosts club races two weekends per month, as well as five regional sailing events. Upcoming 2019 events include the George Washington’s Birthday Regatta Feb. 16-17 and the MCSA Mid-Winters Championship March 14-16.
National Training Center Aquatics, 1935 Don Wickham Drive, Clermont. 352.241.7144. teamunify.com. This privately owned program offers competitive swimming opportunities for entry-level swimmers, seniors, and Olympic hopefuls. The coaching staff is certified through USA Swimming and the American Swimming Coaches Association.
Golden Triangle YMCA, 1465 David Walker Road, Tavares, 352.343.1144. ymcacentralflorida.com. Adult group swimming lessons are offered to participants of all skill levels to help learn proper breathing control, improve swimming strokes, and increase confidence in the water. In addition, adults can enroll in aqua fitness classes so they can enjoy an active lifestyle through non-impact exercise.
Leadership of Lake County, P.O. Box 1501, Tavares. 352.434.5025. leadershiplakefl.com. Leadership of Lake County is a nine-session program where participants engage in day-long learning experiences in numerous industries, including education, media, health care, agriculture, government, and criminal justice.
Lake County Volunteer Program, 1300 S. Duncan Drive, Tavares. 352.742.6590. Lake County residents can utilize their talent and knowledge by volunteering, an activity that helps them achieve personal growth and fulfillment.
Wine and Design, 10889 N. U.S. Highway 301, Oxford. 352.461.0799. wineanddesign.com. Sip on a glass of wine, beer, or soda while painting your own pottery or ceramics.
Kimberly Miller Studios, Leesburg. 352.728.3933. kimberlymillerstudios.com. This company offers classes for novice and experienced potters alike. Private lessons are also available.
Computer Institute at Lake-Sumter State College, 9501 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg. 352.365.3556. lssc.edu. The institute provides one-on-one training to individuals with specific training needs.
Lake County Library System offers a wide range of classes on Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, iPad, digital video, and computer basics at libraries throughout the county. Information can be obtained by emailing email@example.com.
Cosmetologists and makeup artists have become popular occupations that offer you the freedom of being self-employed and setting your own hours if desired. Lake Technical College, 2001 Kurt St. in Eustis, offers a 1,200-hour program that provides you with the opportunity to make as much as $27,000 as a starting salary. See laketech.org for more information. TENAJ Salon Institute, 11915 County Road 103 in The Villages, has a nine-month cosmetology training program that involves hair care, cutting, coloring, skin care, anatomy/chemistry, makeup, and much more. Find out more at tenajsaloninstitute.edu or call 352.259.6717.
Becoming a master gardener is something you can do easily in this area. In Sumter County, just complete the Sumter County Master Gardener application, then go to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences from 9am-3:30pm Fridays at the Sumter County Extension Office, 760 State Road 471, Suite Z, Bushnell. At the Lake County UF/IFAS Extension office, 1951 Woodlea Road in Tavares, you’ll find programs and advice from trained master gardeners. There are plant clinics weekdays from 9am-4pm, and some pH testing services are provided. Call 352.569.6862 or visit sfy.ifas.ufl.edu/lake/.
22. Dog Training
Florida Dog Trainer, based in Montverde, offers a school for dog trainers. The school has been teaching trainers and dog owners for more than 35 years, providing knowledge and practical training tips for newcomers and experienced dog trainers alike. See floridadogtrainer.com, call 407.469.5583, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on available courses.
Hearts of Lake Co, 352.255.5668. heartsoflakeco.com. This is an American Heart Association training center offering public CPR classes at various locations, such as the Tavares Civic Center and Lake Technical Center, and arranging private classes at your place of business.
Lake Emergency Medical Services, 352.383.4554. lakeems.org. Free CPR classes are offered at sites throughout the county on a periodic basis.
South Lake Hospital, National Training Center, 1935 Don Wickham Drive, Clermont. 352.394.4071. southlakehospital.com. CPR is among the many subjects of the hospital’s ongoing Community Education Classes.
Sumter County Fire & EMS, 7375 Powell Road, Wildwood. 352.689.4400. sumtercountyfl.gov. The department offers periodic training opportunities throughout the county for people who either want to learn CPR or need a refresher course.
Biking is a great way to stay fit and an amazing hobby you can enjoy around the world. Discoversumterfl.com has a complete list of biking trails in Sumter County as well as motorcycle areas and campgrounds. There are also a number of scenic trails in the wildlife management areas of the county. In Lake County, there are many scenic and challenging bike trails throughout the area. Check visitlakefl.com to see a map of biking trails available.
Golfing is extremely popular in Lake and Sumter counties. If you’ve never learned how to play golf, now’s the time to learn. The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy at Mission Inn & Resort Club, 10400 State Road 48 in Howey-in-the-Hills, provides mental, technical, fitness, and on-course training. Call 352.484.0787 or visit ggga.com. If you’re not close to that area, there’s The Villages Golf Academy, which offers group and private lessons. 1625 Palmer Way, 352.259.8121, golfthevillages.com.
Flying in Florida is amazing. If it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, there are many places where you can learn to fly and get your private pilot’s license. Take lessons at Sunair Aviation, 8806 Airport Blvd., Leesburg, 352.787.2211, airnav.com.
Writing is as easy as picking up a pen and paper or sitting down at your computer. If you want some help or advice, check out the creative writing or Write Your Life courses in Lake-Sumter State College Continuing Education, 9900 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg, 352.365.3556. Check local libraries—many writers’ groups meet regularly in their community to encourage each other and learn more about the art of writing.