Bikram Yoga Delray Beach's instructors coach students of all skill levels through a sequence of physically demanding yoga poses that can improve stamina and promote healthy organ function. Yogis lead each session from atop a small raised platform at the front of the mirror-lined room, where they motivate students with encouraging words and choreographed cheers. Each 90-minute class, like a fire-eaters' convention, meets in an intensely heated space and consists of two calming breathing exercises and 26 postures. Students transition between standing bends, seated stretches, and reclining naps during each session, methodically working muscle groups across the entire body while flooding cells with torrents of freshly oxygenated blood. While pupils stretch and bend, instructors carefully monitor each student's form while doling out a steady stream of verbal instructions and experimental knock-knock jokes.
Ileana Moreno believes the key to beauty lies hidden in Mother Nature’s pocket. Through her business me2 beauty skincare & wellness, she treats maladies ranging from premature aging to acne with organic skincare products and holistic nutritional counseling. As an aesthetician, she also lends her beauty-conscious eye to more traditional treatments, such as waxing and make-up application.
A veteran of the arts, with more than 15 years of experience, Sarita Ciallella has performed her fair share of gymnastic, dancing, and acting routines. But it wasn't until May 2003 that these passions culminated in Virtuous Productions, a performing-arts community center where she could imbue kids, teens, and adults with her knowledge of the arts. Together with a dedicated staff of instructors, including dancers and acting coaches, Sarita's mission—to teach new artists creative skills in a purposeful and moral way—has never changed. Sarita and her team uphold the center's seven core values: excellence, innovation, teamwork, respect, integrity, social profit, and joy.
The schedule runs six days a week to keep dancers of any age or ability tapping, salsa-ing, and rhythmically stomping their feet across the studio's competition-size floor, which is made of the same material as the floor on Dancing with the Stars. Film and television classes teach aspiring stars how to emote for the camera and how to never lose a staring contest with the camera man, and the company's in-house shooting crew captures special moments with half- and full-day shoots that include editing, DVDs, and makeup applications.
Virtuous Productions also supports the arts through Virtuous Nites, which offer a safe, smoke- and drink-free environment for partiers to let loose and dance.
Even in the midst of a recession, Drew Tucker couldn't ignore his passion for music. By founding The Tucker Academy For The Arts in 2007 and partnering with the Arts Garage to address the dearth of music education in South Florida, Drew built up a flourishing cadre of performers and educators at the Delray Beach music emporium. Programs run the gamut from private lessons to drum circles for kids, while a focus on performing inspires fledgling artists to share their talents with an audience not made up of only stuffed flamingoes.
Not many actors can say they've performed in a production directed by a 12-year-old, but Erin Coley has always had an instinctive sense of how to put on a show. Years later, she and her husband, J.R., founded Standing Ovation Performing Arts, assembling eight other experts in the field to encourage kids to get on the stage as early as possible. Improv comedy, puppetry, and playwriting help students express themselves while giving them the skills to deliver confident class presentations and rousing monologues on the futility of naptime.
Much like the lens of her camera, Laurie Brown can adjust her focus depending on the scope of the project. During family-portrait sessions, she channels the same passion as she does during a grandiose corporate gala. Her resumé speaks to this versatility, with clients ranging from AMD and PepsiCo to glamorous models. Laurie travels to indoor and outdoor locales to capture these snapshots. She has preserved wedding memories against a verdant forest backdrop and family gatherings on the beach. Laurie also works well with children—she has seven of her own—so she can help commemorate infants' birthdays.