Recognizing that the desire to dance knows neither the bounds of age nor ability, the instructors at NorthSide tailor their class selection to both adults and children of all levels of experience. They teach various dance styles that run the gamut from classical ballet to jazz and modern dance to hip-hop. Zumba classes supply their sultry rhythms to burn calories, and social partner-dancing classes instruct their attendees in nightclub-worthy moves. The studio space welcomes dancers with vast empty hardwood floors and walls full of mirrored panels, which help dancers hone techniques and foster a healthy sense of competition with the bizarro versions of everyone that live behind the glass.
Manchu soldiers set out to destroy the Siu Lam Monastery more than 250 years ago, but luckily for martial-arts practitioners, the Buddhist elders inside escaped. One of them was Ng Mui, who, while in hiding, created the self-defense style known today as wing tsun. Instructors at Wing Tsun Kwoon, which is a branch of the Carson Wing Tsun Academy, teach students to reduce their victimization by exuding confidence. They also teach pupils how to defend themselves if they come under attack by someone trying to steal the jewels set in their bellybuttons. Wing tsun practice boasts more than the benefit of self-defense; it can also tone muscles, torch calories, boost flexibility, and improve balance. In the spirt of the Carson Wing Tsun Academy, it focuses on helping its students on their own personal growth, development, and actualization.
After spending a few years in the fitness industry at a large health club, Tony Barbanente realized he wanted more. His vision was to lose the retail-store vibe that plagued big gyms, and to instead curate a comfortable atmosphere to encourage members and trainers to focus on just one thing—fitness.
His family-owned fitness facility offers members 8,000 square feet of pristinely maintained equipment. Rows of ellipticals, stationary bikes, and treadmills help guests ramp up their endurance in preparation for competitive races or chasing cars, and strength machines and free weights, including kettlebells, bolster muscles.
In addition to the choose-your-own-workout route, V-Tone's class schedule includes indoor cycling and 20-minute Buns 'n' Gunz workouts to sculpt glutes and upper bodies. For those seeking individualized attention, trainers customize personal-training sessions to each trainee, seeking to improve their lives through better health and fitness.
Certified personal trainer Randy "Fit Fury" V'Estres isn't bashful about his strength. On his website he demonstrates an array of fitness feats, including one where he assumes a pushup position, propels himself onto two table ledges, and returns gracefully back to the ground. Equally impressive is the confidence needed to attempt these feats in the first place without fear of being grounded. That same "I can do this" mentality is what he strives to instill in each client at his training studio, Vbody Power Fitness, where he motivates exercisers through personal-training sessions, couples training sessions, and his signature Circuit of Fury boot camps.
Boasting more than 1,000 square feet of hardwood floor space, Imagine opens its studio doors to all levels of yoga practitioners. Within a cleanly styled sanctuary, a team of seven instructors focuses on teaching Vinyasa-flow yoga, incorporating essential breath-synchronized movement into each 60- or 90-minute class. The schedule features 20-plus sessions per week, each welcoming all participants regardless of previous yoga training. Gain flexibility and strengthen cores during a 7:30 a.m. session, and roll your body into a donut instead of eating one, or bask in natural light flooding into the westward windows at a 6:30 p.m. stretching retreat. Bring your calming clothes straight from work and use Imagine's changing-room area or store belongings in the studio's cubbyholes, which have plenty of room for shoes and less for actual bears.
"Life takes life out of you. Yoga puts it back." Amy Treciokas, founder of Yoga Now, lives by these words. In high school, Treciokas—already a fledgling yoga practitioner—was drawn to the savasana relaxation pose because it "was a great time for a nap." After being reintroduced to yoga as an adult, she truly fell in love. A consuming passion for the energizing and stress-relieving practice of yoga led her to spend three years in India to learn at the feet of yogis in Mysore, an intensive period of study that helped her to obtain authorization to teach Ashtanga yoga. Not long after she was authorized, Treciokas founded Yoga Now.
Yoga Now's studio evidences a commitment to sustainable-living practices, including bamboo flooring, eco-friendly insulation, and energy-efficient lighting powered by giant hamster wheels. Students practice yoga on rubber mats and sustainable cork blocks, or they relax their muscles by lounging in the complimentary sauna and steam room or indulging in one of nine massage modalities that are available seven days a week. An extensive team of teachers and healers helps to fill out a class schedule that spans from early morning to night.