An accomplished student of the Pennsylvania Ballet School, classical ballerina Beth Brier stumbled upon her daughter Catie’s true passion in life after they witnessed a mystifying performance by Cirque du Soleil. Eager to encourage Catie's circus-career aspirations, Beth began a circus-arts program and drew in a clientele who also wanted to explore the sinuous realm of acrobatics. She enjoys watching her daughter—now an accomplished professional contortionist—perform and loves choreographing her own dance spectacles at Casa Tina's Mexican Restaurant every Saturday and Sunday evening.
Maggie's Crafts' rotating cadre of instructors coach novice artisans in painting and crafting through intimately sized classes fueled by the store's on-hand supplies. Brushes beautify unlikely canvases in classes such as Painted Lampshades or a couples glass-ornament course, in which partners paint hangable pieces depicting a wintertime scene or a summertime beach-volleyball game. A course entitled Snack Attack challenges attendees to replicate a painting of a reindeer feasting on a snowman, with a 30-minute lunch break included for attendees to get to know one another. The staff encourages visitors to bring along their own favorite libations, such as wine, beer, or paint-flavored soda. Some class fees include the cost of supplies, whereas others present the opportunity to purchase fresh materials on site.
As the name indicates, Around The Clock Fitness gives workout enthusiasts 24-hour access to ellipticals, treadmills, and stationary bikes, which are equipped with flat-screen TVs. The fully stocked health club also bulks up muscles with weightlifting equipment, including dumbbells up to 100 pounds. Punching bags, resistance bands, and step equipment also furnish the space, expanding exercise options to suit all fitness goals. After pushing physiques to their limits, members can relax their muscles in the gym’s HydroMassage bed, which eases aches in quick 10-minute sessions.
Prior to opening a yoga studio, Aaron Ledesma had spent over a decade as a professional baseball player—playing for teams including the Mets and the Tampa Bay Rays. This grueling career resulted in a back injury, and it was while recovering from surgery that Aaron first encountered yoga. Impressed with the healing benefits, he made the decision to retire from baseball and take a hot yoga training course instead.
At Yoga 365, Aaron is joined by his wife Karen, who combines her background in psychology with classic yoga techniques to cultivate a deep mind-body connection. The duo—along with a roster of talented instructors—lead 60- to 90-minute classes from the early morning to the late evening inside an airy, modern studio. During classes, the rooms are heated up to 105 degrees to help detoxify the body and loosen muscles for deeper stretches. Should clients like to unwind or untangle, they can step inside a private treatment room for a soothing massage or chakra balancing. The gender-specific locker rooms have showers for post-class primping, along with amenities including shampoo, conditioner, and hair dryers. Yoga 365 also offers nutritional counseling and muscle response testing.
The palm tree-lined campus at Sunstate Academy betrays its function by appearing on the surface to be an upscale salon. Yet, instead of performing the services themselves, the professionals inside are teaching and observing students as they put into practice their knowledge of cosmetology at the school's Salon Solaris. At pristine styling and wash stations, they cut, relax, color, perm, and condition hair. With the diversity of student interest comes diversity of services, and patrons might be pleasantly surprised to find dreadlocks, candy curls, finger waves, and elephant ears on the menu. The apprentices also dabble in nail and spa services, performing mani-pedis, and facials.