Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Fit for Life Fitness Center presents visitors with three levels of exercise options. The ground floor is home to free weights and strength equipment, while the second and third floors host Life Fitness cardio machines, including ellipticals, treadmills, steppers, and bikes, which can be used alone or with the help of a personal trainer.
There's also the mirror-walled class studio, where students work off calories with festive Zumba routines and the boxing drills of Punchout. Several classes focus on the core, from Pilates to Awesome Abs, whereas others, such as Total Body Conditioning, incorporate a full-body workout to address all major muscle groups. The class curriculum is diverse enough to accommodate two boot camps, "Rugged" and "Kick Start." Rugged improves functional strength with varied weight exercises, and Kick Start combines those intervals with the fast-paced jabs, kicks, and angry cabaret lines of kickboxing. Other amenities—a protein shake bar and a supervised childcare room—add convenience to workout sessions.
Gamers Baseball Academy busts summer’s monopoly on the game, giving athletes an indoor, year-round destination where they can learn the ins and outs of both baseball and softball from a crack staff of college coaches, professional athletes, and college players. The 10,000-square-foot facility nurtures players with its collection of hitting and pitching tunnels, batting cages, defense areas, and a changing room for molting mascots.
Gamers Baseball Academy can adapt to meet the training needs of each individual boy and girl or an entire squad. Athletes can then put their newfound skills to work on the academy’s own baseball and softball teams to recreate the live games’ speeds and intricacies no matter the month.
When Claudia Avans decided to end a successful public-relations career and open her own business, her family and friends had their reservations—but that didn’t stop Avans. As reported by Jessica Remo of the Clark-Garwood Patch, Avans used to spend her time throwing launch parties for luxury brands throughout the United States and Latin America. But when she started attending kids' parties with her two young daughters, she was disappointed in the events' levels of customer service and knew she had the skills to raise the bar.
The culmination of her experiences in marketing and mothering is Parti-licious: the ultimate personalized party destination for kids. An EntrepreMoms blogger who attended the studio's opening-day festivities found Avans and her team to be "warm, kind, and professional," and felt that the crystal chandeliers, feather boas, and jewelry helped guests "channel their inner princess." But if a princess theme isn't your daughter's cup of tea, not to worry. She can choose from plenty of other options, ranging from runway diva to a literal cup of tea in the Tea-time Delite Parti, which comes complete with hats and gloves, a cupcake tower, and glamorous add-ons such as a chocolate fountain or limo ride.
Avans focuses not only on the guest of honor's every whim, but on convenience for parents. "The years pass by so quickly," she told David Choi of the Cranford Chronicle. "Special moments shouldn’t be spent planning, they should be spent enjoying the party and creating memories." Her girl-power-fueled School of Glam also makes parents' lives easier with manners workshops, where youngsters can learn proper table etiquette, guidelines for online behavior, and the most compassionate way to tell an invisible friend she isn't real.
Under the umbrella of The Bowling Proprietors' Association of North Jersey, an eclectic group of alleys work together to fill the region with the thunder of scattering pins. At most of Bowling Proprietors' bowling centers, bowlers keep track of pummeled pins with automatic scoring, and bumpers, which arrive at the call of a button, keep balls on course without filling the gutters with retired VCRs. Snack bars at some locations bolster ravenous bowlers, and game rooms in select centers keep hand-eye coordination in peak condition. Free WiFi is available in some centers so that winners can exercise bragging rights.