When Drita D'Avanzo, a cast member of VH1’s Mob Wives, enlisted for one-on-one training at Evolution Boxing, she was fresh off a rooftop brawl. Hoping to unleash her simmering anger, she teamed up with Anthony, a boxing instructor. "I've got to turn over a new leaf," she explained on the show, "I'm taking it from the rooftop to the ring." As she threw punches, she began to experience release—and control. Upon leaving, she concluded, "Now I don't have to hit anybody."
D'Avanzo successfully channeled her aggression into an appropriate outlet. In doing so, she proved Evolution Boxing's commitment to serving individual needs, whether through group or personal instruction. Instructors classify boxers according to experience and tailor all subsequent instruction to drive toward goals. They equip children for playground brawls with anti-bullying classes, help women defend against attackers with self-defense classes, and help everyday working professionals knock out lunch thieves with the Blue Collar program.
Vel, a certified Climb & Spin pole-dance instructor, spent time shimmying across Japan, Europe, and Africa in order to expand her repertoire. To put her versatile expertise to good work, Vel founded Brooklyn's Finest Pole Dancing Studio as a women-only dance studio where she could help women to shake themselves free of inhibitions. Newbie, intermediate, and advanced pole-dancing classes give students of skill levels the ability to shimmy away their insecurities and find enjoyment onstage as they study under expert dancers. In addition to dance, the studio’s schedule also includes fitness classes and specialty sessions where students can learn the secrets to lap dancing and creating sultry dance routines around props such as chairs or airport-terminal seats. Vel's dedication to empowering women carries over to the studio's Women's Wellness Workshops, which bring industry professionals and eager students together to share and discuss issues of women's health and sexuality.:m]]
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s’ cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classesthat cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Winner of more than 100 mixed-martial-arts competitions, Tiger Schulmann shares his pride and love for fighting and self-defense with both adults and children in gyms across five states. From first-time grapplers to expert muay thai fighters, students of all fitness and experience levels are welcome to dive into a class at Schulmann’s. At more than 47 locations, adults can take classes in kickboxing, MMA, and jujitsu—the last of which instills students with the skill and confidence to take down opponents of any size, strength, or telekinetic ability. Kids, meanwhile, can learn martial arts for fun, or gain useful experience in bully prevention; the kids’ classes help victims immediately identify and safely diffuse situations when pitted against an aggressor.
A team of friendly gurus runs each club. Fitness buffs of all buffness levels feel welcome in the fun and accommodating atmosphere at Washington Sports Clubs. During your two weeks, you get access to all the professional equipment, group exercise classes, locker rooms, and facility amenities offered (some group exercise classes require a reservation). Different clubs have on-site features such as pools, Pilates and yoga, babysitting services for a tag-along papoose, electricity, and more. Search for the club that suits your checklist here.
At New York Fencing Academy, expert instructors tutor sword swingers of all levels, aiming to help them develop both technical skill and physical fitness. Head coach Misha Mokretsov even helms a staff that has already launched several students to national fencing ranks. Prodding protégés can take a stab at a variety of classes that range from beginner sessions all the way up to a competition class, which prepares seasoned duelers for national events and experimental bouts on the floor of the Hudson River. Additionally, the academy fosters future jousters with its renowned youth and cadet epée programs. Free parking and a spectator area complete with WiFi, a TV, and murals by Ian King make the facility accessible for both cars and family members alike.