The YMCA aims to better Denver-area minds and bodies with fitness classes, sports leagues, and exercise facilities for users of all ages. Membership (an $84 value) grants full access for two adults, their dependent children, and as many imaginary friends they can think up. Members enjoy use of top-notch amenities that vary by location, ranging from free-weight and resistance-machine workout rooms to swimming pools and basketball courts. Outgoing endurance-testers come together during athletic classes to create a calorie-consuming hive mind unattainable to solo toners. New members in need of assistance achieving fitness goals plan out nutritional and exercise routines in their two wellness sessions (a $100 value). Personal-wellness coaches develop a distinct program for each client to help prospective workout warriors evaluate their overall health, identify specific places to improve, and build muscles regardless of superfluous zoning restrictions.
Walking through the front doors and taking in Pilate's Aligned's soaring ceilings, graceful curves, and exposed brick walls, clients feel rejuvenated. The sight of light spilling onto hardwood floors and Pilates Reformer equipment says everything: this is a place to reshape your body. At this traditional Pilates studio, certified instructors lead members of all skill levels through mat and reformer classes, helping them to sculpt long, lean muscles, build core strength, and move with the fluid grace of a roller blading gazelle.
Besides building a fitter body, Pilates classes can play a significant role in injury rehabilitation. No one knows this better than Pilates Aligned founder Cara Resser. The former NYU dance student first came to Pilates while recovering from a broken back. Over the course of two years, Cara practiced Pilates under the guidance of Kathy Standford Grant, a former disciple of Joseph Pilates who was once an injured dancer herself. It was through Kathy's gentle guidance that Cara regained the lost core strength and alignment she needed to continue her dance career, and ultimately inspired her to teach Pilates in addition to her work teaching dance and movement studies at Naropa University.
Inside the booths at Global DJ Academy, one will find instructors such as Walt White, a 15-year veteran DJ who goes by the name Dark Agenda, and Elliot Overson––aka DJ Wushu––demonstrating the art of thrilling crowds armed only with a set of turntables and records. The team collectively accounts for thousands of hours of experience both teaching and performing for live nightclub audiences, unlike amateur DJs who only play for those living above and below them. This level of experience ensures that the academy’s 2,500 square-foot facility is put to good use as they impart their knowledge to students using its two production studios, soundproof recording booth, and six DJ workstations. Students can expect to learn skills ranging from the basics to advanced analog techniques, such as scratching and effects, all on the school’s modern user interfaces as well as production software.
In the sunlight that streams in through the floor-to-ceiling windows at pH7 Pilates, students bend and fold into challenging positions, all for the health of their body. Expert instructors meander through the group, adjusting postures and doling out encouragement as the students feel their core muscles working. These students are practicing a classic form of Pilates, using their body weight, Reformer machines, or giant pet parrots as resistance. The classes offer challenges for all skill levels, and include mat Pilates classes, yoga classes, and jump board cardio classes.
Laura Monahan comes from an artistic family, and spent her youth practicing sculpture, oil painting, pottery, and what turned out to be her ultimate passion: photography. Her ability to preserve candid moments has left an indelible impression—she has a published portfolio on three continents and product lines appearing at national retailers such as Hallmark and JCPenney. Laura’s photo shoots always take place outdoors, capturing newborns, older kids, families, and makeshift popsicle-stick families in soft, natural lighting and poses that never appear unnatural. Her settings span the country from San Diego’s foamy beaches to Denver’s red-rock sunsets and into the Midwest’s autumn leaves.