Young artists flock to Glazed Expectations' charming studio to learn a variety of clay-based building techniques, such as the pinch method, coiling, slab work, and cartooning (figurines). After-school classes also impart knowledge about paint application, texturing, and the fire-breathing hamsters that power most traditional kilns. Experienced and friendly instructors soothe novice nerves and show youngsters how to harness their inner Michelangelo. This Groupon covers the class fee, materials, glazes, and kiln firing, and the 1.5-hour sessions take place between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday.
The all-female clientele at Women's Only Workout sweats in solidarity during more than 15 types of fitness classes or individual workouts in the fully equipped gym. Members get 24-hour access to exercise machines, free weights, and gym facilities, as well as personal training, boot camp, or group fitness classes.
Nationally certified instructors push physiques through Pilates maneuvers atop floor mats, building core strength more effectively than a reinforced-concrete jerkin. Pedals whiz as legs strive to crest hills during spin sessions, and Zumba's Latin-infused dance steps shimmy off calories with a sassy cardio workout. In the candlelit yoga class, students arch into limb-lengthening tableaus to ramp up flexibility and cast more complicated shadow animals onto softly glowing walls. Other classes include step, total-body conditioning, and Nia—an adaptable variant of nonimpact aerobics that melds martial arts, dance, and yoga.
It takes a village to build a healthy lifestyle at the Chapel Hill–Carrboro YMCA. Fitness and friendship intertwine as positive staffers infuse the community with values such as generosity and perseverance. Teamwork fuels group sports such as soccer and baseball and more than 40 weekly exercise classes, which range from yoga to cycling to Zumba. Solo exercisers can flutter toward physical fitness in a 25-yard pool or chase it down on a host of cardio machines. In addition to building strong bodies, the facility fortifies spirits with fun-filled programs such as youth summer camps and parent retreats. Memberships come with several complimentary perks, including childcare, fitness orientations, and short-term access to other YMCA branches, and a free iPhone app shares updates about class schedules and flying-saucer landings.
In 2001, dancer Carrie Rezabek Dorr invited exercisers to join her in ballet-based workouts. Held in the basement of an office building without a staff, a sign outside, or even a bathroom, Carrie transformed her small business into a national franchise with locations in 33 states. Her Pure Barre system helps sculpt long, lean muscles. Using a ballet barre and isometric movements, the exercisers drastically shape areas such as the abs, hips, arms, and butt.
At Snap Fitness’ 24-hour gym, guests come and go armed with their access keys and are able to work out at their convenience. Around the gym, rows of cardio machines and stacks of free weights stand by as personal trainers show guests the most efficient ways to pump iron and bench-press their old refrigerators.
At Franklin Street Yoga Center, visitors can expose their federation of limbs to a fitness fest helmed by a skilled staff of muscle menders. Boost blood circulation and sledgehammer stress deposits into milk-shake powder with classes that include the flow- and balance-oriented Chakra Vinyasa (for all levels), the breath-centric Bhakti Vinyasa flow (designed for students with prior experience), and the steady-paced power hour (for all levels). Lay down the meditative concrete for a tranquil foundation with a bevy of poses that strengthen the core, improve flexibility, and provide newfound clear-headedness that obviates the need for Magic 8-Balls.