When asked about their teaching qualifications, the instructors at Finney's HIT Squad?including Jesse Finney himself?all point to their win records. All of them have a competitive fighting history in their chosen disciplines, and several have earned championships or black belts. As full-time employees of the gyms, they school guests on MMA, kickboxing, boxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and wrestling. They also access their inside knowledge of the industry for fighter-development programs, which strive to transform beginners into professional combatants without stuffing them into hollowed-out punching-bag cocoons for 5 years. For amateurs and experts alike, they assert that "you fight how you train," and aim to simulate official rounds inside their onsite cages, boxing rings, and matted arenas. In 2011, their professional chops helped Finney's HIT Squad take the title of Best MMA Gym in the Riverfront Times Best of St Louis feature.
Despite their investment in competitions, however, the staffers view the two gyms as all-inclusive spaces. Whether they are instilling confidence in children through kids' jujitsu, orienting a new member to the fitness equipment, or leading a women-only martial-arts class, they mentor students of all backgrounds.
Before airplanes or helicopters, there were trapeze artists. Defying gravity for a chance at aerial artistry, they quickly became the stars of circuses and traveling shows the world over. At Circus Harmony Flying Trapeze Center ? Union Station, trapeze artists of today carry on this graceful discipline with the next generation of high-flying performers. Seasoned instructors?led by St. Louis native and triple somersault expert Matt Viverito?lead classes designed for all ages and skill levels, from curious adults to kids looking to be the next great circus stars. The only trapeze school in St. Louis recently celebrated the opening of a new facility; there, a state-of-the-art rig complete with brand-new equipment keeps students safe as they pursue jumps 25 feet off the ground.
At one time, St. Charles Flying Service's airport was a training base for World War II pilots during the early 1940s. Today, several vintage WWII aircraft still call the facility home, as does Boeing, which utilizes the grounds to test its own planes for modern-day military operations. Surrounded by aviation benchmarks both past and present, St. Charles Flying Service passes on the gift of flight to students with flight training for single and multiengine aircraft. From light sport to airline transport pilot, the facility's certified instructors help mold the pilots of tomorrow, who may also take advantage of open-enrollment ground courses.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
The well-trained tone teachers at the American School of Music enlighten aspiring musicians with custom private lessons in a variety of instruments. During a 30-minute lesson, music mavens—many of them professional musicians or degree-holding music educators—can teach a 10-year-old his or her first guitar chords, or help an experienced adult drummer hammer out the difficult timpani solo from The Odd Couple’s theme. Before the lesson, administrative staff gathers information about each student’s goals, experience level, and preferred musical style so that instructors can tailor the experience to his or her needs. Beginning singers and instrumentalists will also receive a complimentary lesson book whose sentient pages whisper words of encouragement during at-home practice sessions.
For four decades, Fischer's has delighted both novice and professional sweets savants with instruction and supplies for delectable decorations. Learn the fundamentals of dessert decoration over the course of a two-hour express session. Bakers-to-be will receive all supplies necessary for confectionary creation, aided by savvy instruction from Fischer's dedicated staff. Topics include lessons on cake improvement, such as how to deftly ice and smooth away rough edges, adorn tops with frilly dollops of buttercream, and teach elocution lessons in advance of fancy-dress balls.