Pilates is an excellent way to kick-start a fitness routine. The challenging movements and full-body stretching are designed to increase core strength and stamina. For your two private sessions, you’ll receive guidance from FTC-certified instructor Patrick O'Brien, who will help you transition from a stale, store-bought pretzel to a soft, fresh-baked German pretzel. Work out on both the Pilates equipment and floor mat under his supervision. He will help you correct body issues from technique to alignment and tailor the lessons to your specific physical needs. FTC is one of Chicago’s longest-standing Pilates studios, having opened in 1994. Its focus is on the human form and on making sure it operates naturally and healthfully, in line with its proper structure and function. Call to schedule your sessions.
When you walk into Sifu Design Studio & Fine Yarns, you won’t find a quiet room simply housing yarns and fabrics. Instead, you’ll walk into a communal space where crafters of all ilks socialize during themed knitting circles, browse handmade crafts from local designers, or further their skills in instructional classes. Something is going on nearly every day of the week. Weeknight classes allow students to learn how to make shawls, mittens, and socks while sipping on BYOB wine, and during the studio’s sci-fi night, the staff screen a movie while guests work on their latest projects. Crafters also can refurnish their stocks of supplies and yarn from the expansive selection, which features a variety of hard-to-find specialty tools. The shop also has a range of vintage products, garnered through its trade-in program, which offers store credit for clients who trade in unused yarn, old tools, and vintage knitting patterns such as booties for claw-foot tubs.
The instructors at ACM School of Music pass the torch of musical aptitude with piano lessons and music-theory classes that kindle classical-music appreciation in a new generation. With a focus on teaching students to write their own compositions, experienced musicians explain the rudiments of the form, from a piece's first quarter note to its adolescent experimentation with mixed-meter phrases to its emergence as a full-grown adult arrangement. The school's resident ensemble, Palomar, breathes life into contemporary compositions with an annual concert series. As a nonprofit driven by the goal to expand the cohort of composers and audience members, ACM also facilitates educational initiatives in local schools and offers programming to Boys & Girls Clubs.
Urban Athlete's team of trainers–which, combined, boasts more than a half-century's worth of training experience–propels clients toward the peak of physical fitness. They design personal exercise and nutrition programs to match each individual client uniquely, addressing numerous fitness goals including weight loss, strength gains, and more. At the Urban Athlete facility, exercisers may work up a sweat a roster of cardio and functional fitness equipment, or hop into one of several team training and group classes that feature varying levels of difficulty.
Students upload working knowledge of various art forms in digital-arts and photography classes, the newest department at Lillstreet Art Center. During a digital-video class, instructors begin with a translation of camera controls and settings before showing students how to import video to the computer, edit footage, add sound and music, and put completed projects onto DVD, the Internet, or viewer-friendly blimps. The crash course in Adobe Photoshop, a software program used by many photographers and graphics professionals, introduces students to the various tools and menus through a gamut of in-class exercises that practice scanning, painting, cutting, and adjusting imagery. Tote confusing cameras to the digital-photography class, and harness the power of ISO, shutter speeds, apertures, and different shooting modes to take photos that look more professional than a snapshot clad in a business suit. Several hands-on exercises assimilate amateur eyes to the difference between auto and manual focus, as well as depth of field and capturing moving subjects.
Equipment: Hoopnotica Hoops and Hoops created by local designers.
Students should bring: Wear comforatble yoga attire. Bring water to stay hydrated.
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Metered street parking
Pro Tip: Hula hooping is a positive substitute for a cardio workout. Perfect for all ages and body types.