Strangely enough, it was Maria Prochaska Boudreaux's baby daughter who first spread the word about her art. When her daughter was born, Maria painted a mural in her room. Friends who stopped by to see the newborn became entranced by the piece, and soon they were requesting murals in their homes, too. Maria did them one better: she opened up her own art business, where she sells her work and hosts art classes for all ages.
During these classes, she teaches students how to make textured paintings with layers of color that create 3-D ridges on the canvas. One of her more popular classes is the Women, Wine, & Whatever series, a three-hour session complete with a BYOB policy. Guests paint whatever they desire on an 11"x14" canvas while Maria provides basic instruction on brushstroke techniques and how to keep hungry raccoons away from your still-life portraits. She also hosts children's birthday parties and painting classes with set subjects, which range from stylized fleurs-de-lis to flowers, butterflies, and even crawfish.
Look Studios & Gallery’s team tutors all levels of students in realistic brush strokes and drawing techniques during classes focused on accurately depicting the human form. By discouraging participants from copying each other or hiring an art student intern to paint for them, the staff nurtures creativity and allows it to bloom during intimate BYOB classes. Here, they guide students through the basics to interpret a preselected image using provided materials. In addition to teaching portrait and human figure classes, owner Juliet Lockwood holds summer retreats for artists who paint seascape-inspired pieces during a one- to two-week stay in a Gloucester cottage.
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.
A fitness center with three experienced, certified trainers, BRfit tailors each new member's workout according to individual problems diagnosed during a functional movement screening. The screening roots out irregular movement patterns, then prescribes exercises and stretches to correct any problems caused by having a crab torso or cherub wings. Group training is divided into two phases. The first employs a brigade of exercises to roust degenerate muscles detected in the screening. The second phase is a workout that takes the body on a heart-pumping metabolic thrill ride that lasts 40 minutes and ends with the police chief giving back your badge and gun. Personal training sessions hew exercise even more closely to personal goals and movement screening results. Group sessions must be used within four weeks of your first visit; consult the schedule to find sessions that don't conflict with your visit to the offworld colonies.
Between its well-provisioned weight rooms, fitness classes, and pool, the recently renovated Southern Oaks Athletic Club is a dependable resource for corporeal wellness. The free-weight wonderland hosts both novice and veteran body sculptors, and the resistance and treadmill room harbors toning and heartening equipment in the form of elliptical machines, leg presses, and heartstring tuggers. Fitness pass guests can also participate in one-hour classes such as yoga and Latin-infused Zumba. Aquatic exercisers jettison calories as they log laps or play intense games of water basketball. Lifeguards are always on duty during pool hours, and a baby pool provides the perfect conditions for tots to evolve into adult frogs.
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.