While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
CorePower Yoga founder Trevor Tice knows yoga is much more than a tool for increasing physical strength. "We've seen first hand emotional breakthroughs, physical improvements, and most of all, a new found confidence and balance our students carry from the studio into their daily lives," says Trevor. To further their holistic efforts, CorePower provides additional services and programs across various locations. Some outposts house spas where visitors can quiet their minds with a massage or facial, while others host Karma Yoga events wherein teachers lead free classes for cancer survivors, and students share home-cooked food with homeless youths.
But yoga resides at the heart of CorePower's mission to inspire as many people as possible, so each studio boasts a range of classes that accommodates all experience levels. Truly serious students can conjure pensive expressions as they enroll in a yoga-teacher-training program, and all patrons can take comfort in knowing their studio was built from recycled materials and equipped with energy-efficient fixtures.
After immigrating to the United States at age 20, Greece native Dino Adamidis cut his teeth in the restaurant industry as an employee at his sister’s steakhouse. He enjoyed the work, but still aspired to own his own business, a dream he carried with him from Greece. In 1982, he and his wife Vona decided to pursue that dream by opening a small white and blue stand at a local art fair where they sold gyros to spectators, often cinching a sale with free meat samples, saying, “We knew if the people would try it they would love it.” Love it they did, but it wasn’t until 1986—four years and several food stands down the road—that the couple opened the first freestanding Dino’s Gyros with only eight booths and a single particle accelerator.
Today, Dino’s is run by the two oldest children and serves quick Greek and Mediterranean cuisine from six locations. The menu still highlights the classic gyro, often with innovative twists, such as the Greek Philly, a gyro-meat mound sautéed with onions, green peppers, and swiss cheese. Catering services offer the same delicious fare as box lunches, family-style buffets, or busts carved from gyro meat.
Notes of relaxing music float through the air within the warm and welcoming private rooms of Massage Retreat & Spa, mingling sometimes with the rhythmic tapping of fingers across sore muscles or the silence of relaxation. While the spa?s massage therapists melt away aches and pains with smooth Swedish strokes or warm stones, their aesthetician counterparts indulge complexions with cleansing facials, waxing sessions, and treatments for eyebrows and eyelashes.
Though their menu of services can seem overwhelming at first, the spa?s staff takes the time to tailor each treatment to clients? individual needs; a health questionnaire and customer profile?required of first-time visitors?assists their efforts to pinpoint your unique ailments and concerns. Their Healthy Savings Plan similarly typifies their dedication to clients.
The textile-pampering experts of Mulberrys Garment Care tend to dingy clothes with toxin-free cleaning methods and a commitment to quality that earned the shop a nod as Top Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaner by Minnesota Monthly in 2011. Offering 24-hour drop-offs or pickup and delivery service, the Mulberrys crew dry-cleans garments with pressurized CO2 and no heat, keeping clothes from returning with a chemical smell, faded colors, or an unhealthy sauna addiction. Laundry services suds up duds with purified water and environmentally friendly detergents before pressers hand-finish each garment and tailors scour seams for missing or cracked buttons. Tailoring and alteration operations let Mulberrys' skilled needle wielders exercise their 30 years of experience to fit clients with customized duds, and an online account system gives patrons instant access to billing, order status, and their pants' favorite music playlists.
At Steele Fitness, the steady hum of workout machines can hardly be heard under the shouts of instructors leading individuals and small groups of students through custom workouts. Adjacent to a fitness-fashion boutique with high-end apparel from Hard Tail, Bliss, and Lululemon Athletica, the 10,000-square-foot studio comes alive with energy during workouts that draw on a seemingly endless supply of strength-training and cardio equipment. Functional tools such as kettlebells share the workout floor with machines such as the Technogym, whose rotating pulley system facilitates more than 200 sculpting moves. Muscles also test their might and endurance against stair steppers, spinner bikes, and Life Fitness treadmills that bolster aerobic endurance and maximize calorie burn. When they aren’t designing fitness regimens or demonstrating exercises, trainers lead grocery-store tours to help clients craft healthy meals and distinguish eggs packed with protein from empty-calorie bocce balls