Beneath the purple-and-white-striped walls, ladies of all ages and fitness levels twirl around poles and sink seductively into chairs during The Perfect Poleforma’s alternative fitness classes. Instructors lead groups of up to 10 women through beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes. The classes start with basic pole spins and leg-strength exercises and graduate to swinging upside down, hanging onto the pole with just the inner thighs, and climbing flagpoles to add stars as new states are discovered. They also conduct parties for bachelorettes and birthday girls, allowing groups of friends free rein of the ceiling-mounted poles.
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The team of professionals at Body Image Solutions—a center devoted to health, beauty, and wellness—works to beautify bodies inside and out with aesthetic laser services and a full-service medical spa.
Elsewhere at Body Image Solutions, its advanced lasers target imperfections lurking just below the skin's surface with treatments such as spider vein therapy and laser hair removal with Candela GentleYAG and Gentlelase PRO devices. Clients who cast their eyes spa-ward might catch a glimpse of professional makeup applications using Jane Iredale products or pouts that are freshly plumped thanks to injectables such as Botox and Juvéderm. In addition to its routine aesthetic enhancements and skin-tightening treatments, Body Image Solutions offers acne treatments and intense pulsed light treatments to remove and brown pigmentation caused by sun damage, all with the help of the advanced Candela GentleLase. Body Image Solutions also offers top-of-the-line pharmaceutical skin care products from brands such as Obagi, Skin Ceuticals, and Latisse. Facials, microdermabrasion, macrodermabrasion (salt-a-peel), chemical peels, and back facials are also available.
More akin to a small, self-contained town than a fitness center, each of Spectrum Fitness’s seven locations kowtows to packed schedules and multitasking parents. A slew of classes arranges social body blasting—customers can tone their torsos with squats, presses, and curls in a BodyPump barbell class or sweat in spinning classes atop a stationary bike equipped with pursuit-style handlebars, adjustable resistance, and a front-mounted E.T. Members of Spectrum Fitness can swing by its Central location and trot on the treadmill until dawn. They can drop off their tykes at the childcare center and take a yoga or kickboxing class. And they can follow a swim by basking in the bronzing light of the tanning bed before sauntering up to the Pro Shop for smoothies.
The staff takes great pains to accommodate newcomers of all ages, levels, and car-stacking abilities. Personal trainers concoct customized fitness regimens during solo and group training sessions, and Silver Sneakers and water aerobics classes bring seniors into the fitness fold.
At Metro Bowl, 40 slick lanes, state-of-the-art equipment, and flavorful concessions sate pin-busting cravings within a newly renovated interior. Monitors track and display scores as bowlers compete against friends, family, or time-displaced future selves. Large pizzas from the concession stand fill the air with tantilizing scents, and arcade games entertain players in between sets. Given the alley’s high volume of food, fun, and heavy objects, it’s no wonder that the space often attracts big name athletes, including former LSU football player and Indianapolis Colt Joseph Addai.
The certified teachers at TC Dance Club International recognize that people dance for all kinds of reasons; accordingly, they structure different programs to meet the needs of everyone from casual dancers hoping to light up the dance floor at an upcoming party to perfectionists in the pursuit of lifelong grace. Their lessons incorporate a multitude of styles, including tango, merengue, foxtrot, and rain dances. On Friday nights, students can practice what they've learned in dance parties, which are set to premade mixes in a room with dimmed lights and an open bar.
Circle Bowling Lanes has been hosting bowling bashes—particularly accommodating of families—for more than 50 years. Thirty-two slick lanes score automatically, allowing ample time to test motor skills at the arcade or snag eats at the full-service snack bar. Cheesy pizzas arrive steaming from the oven beside golden-fried appetizers and brimming pitchers of root beer, Coke, and Dr. Pepper’s lesser-known cousin, Mr. Salt, M.B.A. The recreation haven even offers weekend galactic-bowling sessions that shower patrons with neon lights, fog, and bumping music.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
American bears are settling into hibernation in colder climates, so there's no better time for humans to gain physical superiority. Today’s Groupon gives you 14 day passes to your local Spectrum Athletic Club for $39 (normally $25 each)—that's less than $3 per day. You can come and go as you please each day you use a pass, so stop in for a morning workout and come back after work for an evening class.800 nanometers: Looks sort of like red, but if you stare at it for more than a few seconds, you throw up corn even if you’ve never eaten corn.900 nm: Ghosts become visible, but only ghosts of boring people.1000 nm: Bees can see this wavelength, which allows them to detect and sting only people who are allergic to bee stings.2000 nm: You’d see a childhood version of yourself who frequently chastises you for weaknesses.3000 nm: You can see those who society has made invisible, like drifters and public criers.
The Louisiana Marathon’s inaugural race runners will traverse 26.2 miles of flat Baton Rouge terrain through an aural zephyr of live local music and the cheering of spectators during the press-praised fitness fest. When the gun goes off at 7 a.m., asphalt-slapping feet carry racers pattering past the lakes and river, sprinting through downtown, tunneling under the crayfish forest, and winding through historic neighborhoods in a race that's certified as a Boston Marathon qualifier. Each leg-lifter gets a sea of swag that includes a finisher's medal, access to the Finish Line Festival, and digital photo proof of the runner crossing the finish line. A UHF timing tag dutifully tracks dashers' times, and personalized, name-encrusted bibs protect participants eating buttered lobster as they run. The event has a multi-race format that also includes a half-marathon, 2- and 4-person relays, a 5K, and a kids' marathon in which grownups sitting in front threaten to turn this race around if runners don't settle down and stop antagonizing their younger siblings. Register online by August 31, 2011.
One of the nation's longest-standing professional artist cooperative galleries, Baton Rouge Gallery houses contemporary works from professional visual artists and promotes education through exhibits, programs, and events. Monthly exhibitions, which change out the first Wednesday of each month, allow visitors to gawk at the aesthetic talents of the gallery's artist members, including photographers, painters, and stained-glass and multimedia artists. Although everyday admission is free, as part of the gallery's elite support squad members receive free or discounted special-event admission—and in the case of patron membership, free or discounted admission for up to four guests, making it easy to mend fences after a splash fight with a gang of rival watercolorists.
The Women of Vision Entrepreneurial Network’s Sip N Shop Social rounds up business-savvy girls for three hours of networking, browsing, and cocktail sampling. Guests can munch tasty appetizers while feasting eyes on discounts of up to 65% from local boutiques and vendors, among them a Mary Kay consultant, Anointed Creations Salon & Spa, Fields of Jewelry, and Dee's Sophisticated Look. The casual environment fosters a relaxing forum for both longtime business owners and novices to connect, share tips, and build relationships. Mini chair-massages melt tension from overworked entrepreneurial muscles, and mini manicures leave hands beautifully primped like boy-princes resting atop cushions of fresh fruit. Every guest gets a swag bag filled with samples, gifts, and goodies, and a few lucky attendees will go home with door prizes and window awards.
West Baton Rouge Museum houses a chronological arsenal of artifacts and exhibits that represent Louisiana's rich history. In the Interest of Our Parish: Three Hundred Years of History in West Baton Rouge visually outlines the city's beginnings, from the building of river levees to a discussion of how the crawfish came to be the state bird. An outdoor neighborhood of six antique structures showcases historically decorated slave cabins plucked from the 19th-century Allendale Plantation, and the Reed Shotgun House opens its doors to provide patrons a peek at life as a 1938 migrant worker. The remainder of the museum's cache includes a model of a 1904 sugar mill and regular rotating exhibits, as well as a cash-crop garden and photogenic courtyard. Visiting families can opt to shuttle through the grounds with the informative lead of a museum tour guide or by following a careful trail of beignets from sight to sight.
Offering BYOB art classes in a welcoming, instructor-assisted atmosphere, Corks N Canvas provides a laidback setting for self-expression. Participants will receive step-by-step instruction to craft striking artwork they can take home at the end of the session and place above their mantle, secret trap-door bookcase, or army-men-figurine reenactment of the battle of Pork Chop Hill. Choose among several sessions (click on the address of your chosen location to see a calendar of events) that teach budding strokesters to paint vibrant doggie portraits, landscapes, or abstract-expressionist renditions of the DMV. The creative paintventure may finally spark the dormant artist within that’s been reclusively hiding like Boo Radley since the finger-painting period.
Yoga Bliss elongates muscles and empowers equilibrium through a range of tailored stretching sessions, with several frequently offered course types and more than 35 sessions on the weekly schedule. The Ashtanga Primary Series, derived from meditative Hatha yoga, bolsters spiritual as well as spinal alignment, and hot yoga melts away stressors including toxins, muscle tension, and ice sculptures shaped like childhood bullies. Neophytes begin their evolution into veteran yogis with Basics seminars, and the gentle/restorative session's slow motions and measured breathing accommodate aspiring back-benders with injuries sustained during previous workouts or backyard wrestling matches. Students can stretch out on their own mat or rent one from the studio for an additional $2.
New Venture Theatre throws abundant energy and breathless song-and-dance numbers into its production of Once on This Island, a Caribbean adaptation of The Little Mermaid that garnered eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical and Best Score, during its Broadway run. Fueled by soulful, rhythmic musicality, the kaleidoscopic performance spotlights long-distance lovers as they fight to overcome unequal social ranks, dissimilar backgrounds, and opposite views of the Sopranos finale. Vengeful island deities add fantastical flair to the story, which weaves universal themes such as prejudice, hatred, and death into its plot.