Beginners and athletes of all levels benefit from TRU YOU Fitness’s training programs, which aim to boost fitness by incorporating exercise along with tips on nutrition and lifestyle choices. With a clientele that includes high-school athletes and NBA stars, the staff runs private, semiprivate, and group circuit-training programs along with boxing and Zumba to keep bodies guessing and save them from the monotony of treadmills.
Universal Dance Studio mentors students of all dance abilities and ambitions, whether they want to compete onstage or simply add rhythm to their social lives. With more than 50 years of combined experience, the instructors trot out a repertoire of ballroom, Latin, and country-western steps during private and group lessons. Studio parties give pupils a chance to mingle while practicing their moves in a less competitive forum than a conga-line marathon.
One could say that 1996 was one of the worst years of Sara Alavi’s life. Within the span of months, she lost sight in her left eye, was diagnosed with MS, and developed a heart condition. Any one of those conditions could have debilitated her spirit, but Sara always lived by the mantra of “gratitude toward the gift of life and being grateful for our loved ones' lives.” That devotion to celebrating life led her toward the mind-calming and body-strengthening practice of yoga. After continued dedication to the ancient art, her eyesight returned and her health began to skyrocket.
Now a certified yoga instructor herself, Sara uses her earth-toned studio to host the bodies and minds of her students. Her yoga classes aim to improve bodily health by increasing blood flow and releasing muscle tension while stimulating the mind for sharper concentration and funnier Mad Libs. In the studio’s flower-curtain-lined healing room, Sara performs the raindrop massage: a combination of essential oils and reflexive therapy. She balances disrupted energy flows with reiki healing and assists at-home meditation with a guided relaxation CD.
Pirates Cove Scuba's certified instructors imbue beginning or advanced pupils with the requisite knowledge and techniques for plunging beneath aquatic surfaces and stock a full selection of dive equipment to help them to breathe easier while below. After briefings expound on what participants should expect when underwater, one-hour introductory courses gradually familiarize students with navigating H2O while wearing scuba gear before they explore the unseen depths and sunken pool-noodle wrecks of Pirates Cove Scuba's pool.
Open-water certifications expand on introductory knowledge with further classroom and pool study. Full-certification-seekers conclude schooling during scheduled weekend lake trips, which include four dives in open-water environments that, if properly performed, earn former novices final certification and congratulatory smooches from impressed catfish. To keep divers submerging in style, Pirates Cove Scuba carries equipment from Dive Rite, Henderson, and Seadive, which aquanauts can don on trips to Cozumel and other tropical destinations booked through the dive shop's travel desk.
In 1981, the founders of Mademoiselle Figure and Fitness opened the doors to their gym with a vision for it to become a place where women can get away from everyday life and focus on their fitness. Today, the staffers continue to support their female members’ fitness goals at two locations. Every member is assigned to a trainer who can meet with them for personal training sessions at no extra charge. As an added measure, trainers will give clients a call, e-mail, or smoke signal encouraging them to stay on track if they haven’t shown up at the gym in a while.
Both locations have heated pools where members can take Aqua Zumba and other water-based classes or do laps before relaxing in the whirlpool, steam room, or sauna. The trainers also lead Zumba, step, and other workouts on land. In addition to an indoor track, the gyms stock strength and cardio equipment from Precor, Life Fitness, Nautilus, and Cybex. After working out or stopping in for a session on the vibration platforms or tanning beds, members can pick up their kids from the babysitting area.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.