Ma'Keba K. Spicer is doing what she loves. By leading pole-dancing classes, the owner of Vertical Venus Pole Fitness has combined her penchant for nonconformist self-expression with a liberating and alluring fitness form. In her recently opened, lounge-like studio, Spicer teaches spins, shimmies, and twirls around the pole to the beats of radio hits. Her sessions include both choreographed and freestyle moves, inspiring creativity and confidence in her students while simultaneously encouraging them to express themselves or their fireman persona as they slide down the pole.
"We give kids the confidence to protect themselves." These eight words sum up the motto for MartialArtsProgramsforkids.com as well as the mission of their curriculum. At a wealth of locations along the East Coast, youngsters learn confidence, discipline, and respect as they boost skills in a variety of disciplines, including jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts. The skills learned in these lessons can also help them defend themselves in the face of bullies and family cats that won't share the remote control.
Equipment: Free weights, Smith machines, tires, battle ropes, Jacobs ladder, etc.
Students should bring: Bottle of water, towel, ENERGY.
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Nobody will judge you. Clean and a friendly staff.
For Claire Diab, director of The American Yoga Academy & Studio, yoga isn’t just a matter of stretching, balancing, and breathing. It’s a way of being that promotes peace and transforms lives. In addition to teaching backbends and sun salutations, Claire and her team of instructors show students how to extend their practice beyond the mat. In her more than 25 years as an instructor, she has led yoga and meditation classes with Deepak Chopra and the popular Zen and Yoga course at Seton Hall University, where she’s a professor of Asian Studies. Hatha poses and Eastern philosophies guide the studio's teaching during classes such as yoga basics and power flow, which help yogis build enough strength, balance, and focus to rescue a bobcat from a sky-high redwood tree. Known as Modern Day Yoga, this system also informs her teacher trainings, in which students of all levels can become Yoga Alliance–certified yoga teachers or convincing Sting impersonators. Between classes at her studio in the Wilshire Grand Hotel, pupils can pose with Claire via several instructional DVDs and mp3s.