In 1987, indoor climbing was as unpopular in the Seattle area as breeding labradoodles. But Vertical World––a pioneer indoor climbing gym––introduced the city to the up-and-coming sport of rock climbing in a controlled environment. Since its inception, the gym has expanded to three other locations in Everett, Tacoma, and Redmond, the latter hosting eastside climbers for more than 20 years.
A team of experienced route creators challenges climbers with more than 200 bouldering, lead, or top-rope routes in a wide variety of difficulty levels. The gym hosts competitive youth teams that have gone on to national or world tournaments. The gym's staff of climbers and guides also leads outdoor excursions that build confidence and teach novices how to identify a rock wall in the wild.
Northwest Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, provides members with a 30-minute circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed for an efficient cardio and strength training workout. During the training, attendees can burn up to 500 calories and work each major muscle group to work toward individual fitness goals. An experienced coach is always nearby to teach and motivate participants, and a soundtrack of fun, upbeat music cues participants to move on to the next station. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight and fitness level to create resistance. Each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Whether inside the gym hopping on and off plyometric boxes or outside lifting weights when the sun shines, the trainers at Westsound CrossFit keep routines interesting with ever-changing daily workouts. It’s all part of the CrossFit system, which is designed to employ all muscle groups while staving off the boredom of repetition. Intense classes feature functional movements—such as lifting, pushing, and pulling—that prep participants for all sports, work, and daily activities.
In 1984, lifelong ballerina Elizabeth Chayer founded American Dance Institute in Anchorage, before relocating to two nearly-adjacent studios in Seattle. There she began amassing her current staff of talented toe-artists. Recruited from ballet troupes, contemporary dance companies, and flamenco ensembles around the world, the teachers lead open-level classes that balance technical training with expressive kineticism. Each instructs in their specialty, and as a result the twinned studios can offer a wide range of styles including ballroom, break dance, ballet, jazz, and the invisible lasso. Collectively, more than a century of professional experience conglomerates in the staff, and each boasts a solid footing on the basics of anatomy and kinesiology to maximize the effectiveness of training while minimizing the chance of injury. The classes themselves take on a welcoming, noncompetitive format that emphasizes enjoyment without sacrificing technique. Aimed at any dancers of 18 months and older, many classes, including musical theater, Irish step dancing, and ballet, come in a multitude of permutations designed for each age-set. Others are more restricted, such as adults- and teens-only flamenco, ballroom, and jazz sessions, or the grown-up-free Polynesian class. While individual movements and underlying concepts form the heart of these classes rather than choreographed productions, children enrolled in the spring semester get the chance to take part in a seasonal studio performance. American Dance Institute also hosts birthday parties where guests learn a particular style. During one notable jubilee, the attendees of a family reunion mastered an Irish ceili, then used their newfound skills to stomp on a block of icing until it became a cake.
Length, grace, and a healthy body. These are the focuses of barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln. To achieve these results collectively, however, Sadie knew she needed to come up with a completely new routine. Working with yogis, professional dancers, doctors, and athletes, she created the barre3 system. It's a three-step sequence that consists of isometric holds, low-impact movements, and recovery stretching. This combination strengthens cores and aligns postures while sculpting long, lean muscles and burning calories. While upbeat music fills the studio, instructors lead small groups through a heart-racing sequence of yoga-inspired poses and pilates-based exercises. The ballet barre comes into use when striking muscle-building dance poses and stretches.
It's a system that has had proven results, which has spurred the successful growth of barre3 locations throughout the country. Today, fitness enthusiasts can find a barre3 studio in 16 states. An easy-to-follow routine, barre3 can also be performed at home with online workouts. These workouts are designed to fit busy schedules with routines that range from 10?60 minutes. All that's needed for online workouts is a barre3 core ball, weights, an exercise mat, and a sturdy, waist-high surface such as the top of Danny DeVito's head.
Married for nine years and a photography team for five, Brian and Jennifer Hartman bring an artistic touch and approach to their on-location photography. Employing a photojournalistic style and dramatic lighting, they capture solo subjects and groups during posed and candid moments, earning critical acclaim from the Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association and The Knot and placing images in the pages of Elle and Seattle Bride magazines.
Not content to simply point and shoot, the Hartmans light compositions using chiaroscuro or high-exposure natural lighting and often accentuate subjects with extreme angles, forced perspective, or unique natural surroundings. They shoot in vibrant color or black and white, and can edit photos to enhance colors or, by request, replace each subject?s face with Winston Churchill?s. Though the Hartmans use professional tools, they?re glad to help students break into photography via ultra-accessible devices such as the iPhone?following in the footsteps, they note, of Annie Leibovitz, who endorsed the iPhone?s camera on NBC Nightly News in 2011. When not conducting on-location sessions, Brian also leads large-scale workshops in which they pass on their knowledge through graphic slideshows and hands-on training.