Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Soni Anderson has been a yoga enthusiast since infancy. As a baby in the Fiji islands, she received yoga massage from her grandmother while her grandfather danced and performed stories from ancient Hindu texts. Her village endorsed meditation and an Ayurvedic lifestyle, prompting Soni to practice her asanas alongside extended family and friends as she matured. Today, as the owner and head teacher of SoniYoga, she strives to combine her grandfather's playful mindset with the therapeutic customs of her homeland.
SoniYoga focuses on the Hatha style, though its studio also embraces restorative, Kundalini, and yin and yang postures during certain classes. A serene atmosphere of acceptance welcomes all students to challenge themselves each time they visit, whether they wish to push the boundaries of their flexibility with a more advanced pose or with a more restrictive suit of armor. Soni also channels her holistic upbringing by offering Ayurvedic counseling, products, and massage services which can help customize a wellness plan for clients based on their body types.
After more than 20 years spent in the fitness industry, Joshua Fleming founded Victory Fit Camp. His formula relies on physical and mental training that he learned in the US Marine Corps as well as nutritional advice from licensed experts. Today, each Victory Fit boot-camp session is led by an experienced coach, who walks clients of all fitness levels through indoor workouts or outdoor obstacle courses of ropes, foam pits, and trampolines.
The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
Inside Athletic Evolution, a 30,000-square-foot sports complex, seasoned trainers craft fun, customizable workouts from functional movements designed to build strength, stamina, and flexibility. Filled with running, barbell drills, and bodyweight exercises, each small-group class draws inspiration from Olympic events such as track and field, naval warfare, gymnastics, and weightlifting. Abs and arms ripple as students wield kettlebells and climb 25-foot ropes that dangle from the ceiling, and the facility's 65 yards of indoor turf set the stage for sprints, prowler pushes, and impromptu lawnmower races.
Paint-n-Play conducts its artistic affairs in a manner that receives two thumbs up from students and Mother Nature alike. The bright and inviting studio uses only nontoxic paints and sealers, and takes pride in creating an environment that is accessible and fun for students of all ages. Throughout the week, visitors set up easels across Paint-n-Play's sizeable studios, where they soak up step-by-step direction and encouragement from instructors. Themed classes for both kids and adults keep brushes moving over age-appropriate designs, and all-inclusive birthday packages provide a colorful alternative to throwing parties around a vacationing neighbor's awesome pool.