Melissa Flores grew up dancing, but ultimately became fascinated with the focused movements of Pilates. After completing a 700-hour training program under the guidance of one of Joseph Pilates's protégés, she felt ready to fulfill her childhood ambition of teaching and opened Pilates & Yoga for Life in her own home. Three years later, she was able to acquire more space and equipment to accommodate the growing student base, relocating to the studio where she and her team of instructors work today.
To ensure students receive the utmost guidance, Flores requires her team of instructors to complete the same rigorous training program she did. Because she emphasizes personal treatment, her staffers also learn how to adjust their lessons for students of all skill levels. This attention to detail allows them to modify exercises on floor mats or Gratz-manufactured apparatuses according to each client's past injuries and specific goals. Relying on hands-on corrections and in-studio polygraph machines, they see to it that participants are truly taking away the maximum benefit from each core-bolstering move. To further flex physical boundaries, they also helm a variety of yoga courses.
With more than 175 locations nationwide and more than 35 years in the business, Car-X Tire & Auto has earned a prime spot in the parking garage of quality car care and customer service. Started in 1971 by a team of seasoned muffler-shop owners, the service centers have blossomed from their beginnings as specialty exhaust shops to providers of nearly any repair or maintenance service imaginable, from installing performance-enhancing accessories to treating cars to therapeutic trust falls. In addition to promoting safety and long, healthy engine life with brake services and speedy oil changes, Car-X reaches out to the surrounding community with regular philanthropic activities, such as recycling drives and participation in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.
The highly trained stylists at Bounce Salon tame unruly manes with swift, precise snips and extensive training with Moroccanoil and Pravana color products. After a brief consultation to determine the client’s desired look, they shear away split ends, imbue tresses with all-over or partial color and highlights, or fight frizz with straightening blowouts, ultimately helping strands attract positive attention instead of negatively charged balloons. When needed, Bounce's staff plucks blow dryers from where they hang on the ceiling, just as they extract unwanted bristles during various waxing services.
Nylon pants—one of the secrets to gaining more speed while going down an inflatable slide, according to the staff at Jump 4 Fun. Kids aged 2–15 can test this out on the center's two slides, which stand tall at 18 and 16 feet. Other inflatable playthings include jumpers and basketball hoops, perfect for tots to practice their slam-dunk approach. An obstacle course provides friendly competition for older kids, while toddlers can play safely in their own area.
For six decades, Lou Fusz’s savvy mechanicals have revived ailing autos with fresh fluids, tire care, and safety inspections that keep all components running at the same speed. Technicians rehydrate thirsty engines with a full dose of oil and lube (a $30 value). A new filter inoculates cars against oil-borne contaminants and other vehicular viruses, while windshields wipe their brows in relief with newly installed blades (a $34 value). After a team of trusty wheel-wranglers rotates tires to balance tread wear (a $15 value), a thorough safety check scrutinizes two dozen essential elements for signs of trouble, such as cracked casings or failed emissions tests stuffed into the undercarriage.