In 1954, Dr. Rocky Stroud opened his first eyecare practice in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Though he might not have known at the time, decades later, his venture would transform into Eye Care Center—an ocular health system that, today, serves its patients at 50 clinics spread throughout North and South Carolina.
At each location, teams of skilled optometrists and opticians check vision during routine eye exams for children and adults, perform Optomap retinal examinations, and push eyes that have just seen a really great deal on sandals back into place. The doctors also treat ocular diseases ranging from glaucoma and diabetes-related issues to general infections.
Plus, Eye Care Center outfits clients with designer frames from brands such as Burberry, DKNY, and Ray-Ban, soft and gas-permeable contact lenses by Acuvue and FreshLook, and prescription transitional and polarized sunglasses.
Classes at Glow Fitness Bootcamp are never canceled due to the weather. That’s because they’re all held inside the boot camp’s clean, spacious studio. Atop hardwood floors and workout mats, clients engage their cores and limbs through fast-paced 45-minute sessions that use workout tools such as body balls, dumbbells, and trampolines. Trainers guide and motivate clients through each rep and set, keeping them safe from injury by demonstrating proper form and equipment use.
Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
Kidz Play Here offers a variety of activities for children ranging from infants to toddlers to preschoolers. Classes lead little ones in engaging themes such as gymnastics, ballet, yoga, and martial arts. Open-play sessions entreat parents to look after their little ones while they play at a train station, in a tree house, or with puppet shows. In addition to parties and drop-off, Kidz Play Here also offers adult classes such as yoga.
Club Fitness’s 50,000-square-foot facility fills with the low rumble of more than 75 cardio machines and the clanging of tens of thousands of pounds of free weights and strength-training equipment from Hammer Strength and Life Fitness. Youngsters scamper through the KidZone or children's nursery while their parents pump iron or grab a spot in the cardio-cinema room, an area that allows people to work out while enjoying a movie in surround sound. The gym’s trainers lead one-on-one sessions as well as group fitness classes. The soft squeak of feet against floors drifts from yoga sessions, and popular Les Mills classes include BodyPump, which combines high-energy music and repetitive moves like somebody repeatedly pushing the wrong way on a dance-club door. The purr of blenders drifts from the smoothie bar, where patrons refuel and chat after workouts.
CrossFit Peerless looks like an adult playground, packed with giant tractor tires, wooden boxes, and ropes dangling from the ceiling. But people do more than play here. Rather, they break a sweat working out with exercises steeped in in functional fitness movements.
Certified CrossFit coaches oversee workouts, which vary each day and are tailored to ensure each member is equally challenged, no matter their fitness ability. Inside the warehouse-style gym, plenty of free weights slip onto barbells for rounds of Olympic-style weightlifting?a cornerstone of CrossFit and part of a complete breakfast. Members also bring workouts outdoors, where they run while holding weighted medicine balls under the warmth of the sun.