Top 8 life adventures to embark on in 2013

As New Year’s Day approaches, NewsWorks speaks with experts in the areas of fitness, financial health, habit-breaking and adventure-planning for tips on how to reach for the resolutions you may (or may not) be saying you’ll honor starting Tuesday. This series will run in the remaning days of 2012.

As 2013 gets underway, many will work on tackling any number of personal resolutions. Among them, may be a personal quest to try new things, whether it be rock climbing, horseback riding or salsa dancing.

In an effort to help our readers fulfill that goal, NewsWorks put together a list of eight adventures that you can embark on close to home.

Fox-trotting into the New Year

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If you’re ready to learn a new dance style in the New Year, Society Hill Dance Academy (SHDA), which has locations in Society Hill and Manayunk, offers a variety of lessons and dance styles to try for beginners including tango, swing, ballroom, waltz and samba.

Charissa Prince-Ferdinand, manager and instructor at SHDA, says all new students are offered a complimentary lesson that helps to tailor a dance program for them.

“We cater to anyone who is interested in learning how to dance,” said Prince-Ferdinand. “Dance is an amazing activity – it’s a great way to socialize and burn calories.”

She says students can sign up by themselves, as a pair and/or join a class.

A “Class Card” package for 10 classes starts at $150. These punch cards can be shared with friends and used at both locations. Prices for private lessons vary.

Read, set, get active!

One way to get active in the New Year is to try a new sport or to get active with an old favorite. The Philadelphia Sport and Social Club (PSSC), headquartered at 3800 Manayunk Ave., offers a variety of recreational sports like basketball, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, ping pong and badminton.

Members may sign up as an individual or as a team and play games throughout a designated season.

“We play games all around the Philadelphia area,” said Dan Feeney, co-owner of the club, “We rent out fields in Fairmount, South Philly, Northern Liberties, University City – really all over the area.”

Here’s how it works: A member picks out a sport and receives a game schedule and a team T-shirt. All games are held at a specific field for that season, with no practices held, only games. There are also no coaches, only referees at games.

The group also sets up a “sponsor bar” where players can meet for a favorite pastime – “wings and beer.””People show up, play and have fun, we’re not necessarily super competitive,” said Feeney. “Our perfect participant comes out and doesn’t care if they win or lose.”

The cost to play with PSSC starts at $50 for a season, although when you sign up with a team it can be as low as $40.

Tuning in to your music talents this year

This year may be the year to tune into your musical talents and Maplewood Music Studio, which has locations in both Chestnut Hill and Germantown, and offers lessons for an array of instruments like piano, violin, flute, guitar, drum and saxophone.

Rich Rudin, owner of Maplewood Music Studio, says the group welcomes all skill levels.

Beginners aren’t just children. “We have senior citizens that are beginners and children who are more advanced,” says Rudin.

He says Maplewood’s instructors are experienced in genres from classical to pop to blues.

“For people who love listening to music, learning an instrument is an opportunity to get even closer to music and to go further with it. You can actually make the music yourself,” said Rudin.

If a student brings in an older instrument, Rudin says he will help them to get in touch with an instrument repair business. He also knows a bevy of local wholesalers where students can purchase instruments.

Trial lessons start at as little as $32 for one lesson. Four trial lessons start at $116. Prices vary depending on location and length of lesson.


Top eight life adventures and where to try them in 2013

1. Learn a new dance style

Society Hill Dance – South Street area409 S 2nd St.Philadelphia, PA 19147215-574-3574

Society Hill Dance – Manayunk4401 Cresson St.Philadelphia, PA 19127215-482-1611

Visit to learn more.

2. Get active with a new sport

Philadelphia Sport and Social Club – Roxborough3800 Manayunk Ave.Philadelphia, PA 19128215-483-9340Visit to learn more.

3. Learn a new instrument

Maplewood Music Studio – Germantown47 West Maplewood MallPhiladelphia, PA 19144215-848-8353

Maplewood Music Studio – Chestnut Hill8509 Germantown Ave.Philadelphia, PA 19118215-848-8353

Search “Maplewood Music Studio” on Facebook to learn more.

4. Rock climbing

Go Vertical Indoor Rock Gym – Center City950 Penn St.Philadelphia, PA 19123215-928-1800Visit to learn more.

5. CanoeingPhiladelphia Canoe Club – Roxborough4900 Ridge Ave.Philadelphia, PA 19128(215) 487-9674

Visit to learn more.

6. Horseback riding

Courtesy Stables – Roxborough901 East Cathedral Rd.Philadelphia, PA 19128(215) 482-8108Visit to learn more.

Northwestern Stables – Chestnut Hill120 Northwestern Ave.Philadelphia, PA 19118(215) 242-8892

Visit to learn more.

7. Learn a new language

Mt. Airy Learning Tree – Mt. Airy6601 Greene St.Philadelphia, PA 19119215-843-6333

Visit to learn more.

Pennsylvania School for the Deaf – Germantown100 West School House Ln.Philadelphia, PA 19144215-951-4700

Visit to learn more.

8. Adopt or foster an animal

The Pennsylvania SPCA – Far Northeast Philadelphia350 E. Erie Ave.Philadelphia, PA 19134Visit to learn more.

Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society – Old City100 N. 2nd St.Philadelphia, PA 19106215-238-9901

Visit to learn more.

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