After mastering traditional group fitness classes such as cardio kickboxing and Zumba, instructor Sandy Pierani hungered for more rhythm. To fan her passion, she spearheaded her own program, channeling both her years of dance experience and her love of West African music. Her five-part workout engages the entire body, set to the lively beats of a world-dance medley. She produced original music, recording percussive tracks with West African, West Indian, and Latin influences, specifically designed to complement dance moves while discouraging sloth impressions. Today, she leads guests of all backgrounds and builds through her energized maneuvers, fusing strength training, cardio conditioning, and stretching into one-hour bouts of boogying. She modifies the steps according to each student's comfort level, leading them through the dynamic warm-up to the breath-centric cooldown at their preferred pace.
After a decade working in the insurance industry, Heather Kierczak—the owner of The Loft, Massage Therapy—was convinced that there simply had to be a better way to do things. In that career, she had watched people deal with surgery after surgery or struggle with potentially addictive pain medications, and wanted in particular to find a way to help others to manage their pain. Soon, she discovered massage. Kierczak is now certified in massage therapy, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial therapy, and lymphatic-drainage massage. She also uses hot stones to further enhance her massage treatments; in the stone therapy, she helps relieve tension using both hot and cold stones and projector slides of Stonehenge.
After having her first child, Rosa Lee had trouble finding a place that was equal parts play time for kids and chill time for adults. So in 2006, she took matters into her own hands and opened such a place. Rosa called her creation My Urban Toddler, a city-themed play center for kids and a welcoming, knowledgeable community for adults. Here, explorers aged 5 and younger can visit a firehouse, a market, a library, and even a theater for rounds of dress-up, story time, and puppet shows. Parents, meanwhile, enjoy various onsite grownup attractions, including classes and a boutique-style retail shop stocked with apparel, toys, and books.
Owned and operated by veterinarian Alice Liberson, Dogma Catmantoo houses myriad high-quality pet products made for pampering and nourishing four-legged family members. Treats, such as a 6-ounce bag of Zuke's mini naturals ($5.49) and a 4-ounce bag of Yummy Ewes' 100% local lamb lungs ($7.49), reward well-behaved dogs, appease demanding cats, and convince overgrown sea monkeys not to steal your car. Dog toys ($3.50+) can keep canines occupied as felines hunt and bat at cat toys ($1+) or dogs' tails. Pets jealous of their owners' expansive wardrobes can don apparel selections such as T-shirts ($18–$24) and hoodies ($35) to cover furry exteriors or to stay warm and dry when they fall from the clouds during freak showers.
In 2009, a group of University of Michigan students decided to give back to the community in appreciation for the scholarships they had received. They founded Appreciate + Reciprocate (A+R) to raise money for the LSA Emergency Scholarship Fund, which provides aid for undergrads facing an unforeseen financial hardship. Dedicated to the notion that finances shouldn’t pose a barrier to education, A+R raises money through bake sales, postgame cleanups, and benefit concerts to help students pay for textbooks or their rent. The organization also sponsors volunteer activities at a tutoring center, a residential home for the elderly, and local parks to help students make a positive impact on the community.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.