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.
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
The trainers at Art of Strength eschew newfangled machines. Instead, they employ only fitness tools that have stood the test of time: weight balls, ropes, logs, sandbags, and boxes. Ropes use the weight of the human body to build strength, and the relentless swing of kettlebells works the body as a whole and torches calories. Weights clatter beneath hanging rings and inspirational quotes chalked on the walls. Bass thuds and happy grunts fill the studio as patrons flip truck tires or leap onto boxes. The old-school equipment forms the core of classes, which leave patrons as strong as ancient warriors or the guys who had to push ancient warriors’ strollers.
The Pilates Advantage's obsidian-sculpted staff tends to individual physical needs with routines designed to boost strength, flexibility, and endurance. Using props, such as foam rollers and stability balls, as well as gentle guidance from a team of fitness gurus, a schedule of classes tops out at six students per instructor for individualized attention, support, and a forum for demonstrating shirt-ripping muscle flexes. Those looking for a solid core workout can build a mighty midsection and shape lean muscles with Pilates mat classes, and fitness fanatics in the gyrokinesis sessions can focus on spiraling exercises that increase bodily circulation and promote proper spine and joint alignment. Meanwhile barre buffs can join either floor-barre or stretch-and-barre classes to tone their arms, hips, thighs, and back while relieving physical ailments of arthritis and alien-hand syndrome with ballet-inspired stretch moves.
The bistro menu at Pinstripes can be served on the lanes and courts, in the dining room, or on the outdoor patio. Fill the first frame of your meal with a small plate such as the antipasto and cheese platter ($12). Pizzas such as the sweet and savory prosciutto fig flatbread ($12) arrive on wooden planks fresh from the wood-fire brick oven. An extensive wine list taps straight into Pinstripes' cavernous wine cellar. The candy-coated chocolate martini made with real Godiva chocolate ($9) is a perfect chaser for chocolaty house-made s'mores ($6). Pinstripes' Sunday- brunch spread includes a custom Bloody Mary bar and a magical chocolate fountain where strawberries and marshmallows bathe in nummy nectar (adults $22, kids $12).
Midwest Carry Academy's instructors teach at several ranges in the local area.
Available rentals including .22 caliber pistols and 9 millimeter pistols.
Midwest Carry Academy's shooting experts aim to imbue students with the skills needed to responsibly bear arms. The instructors' backgrounds range from the NRA to law enforcement to military, and they draw on these experiences to teach handgun and home defense courses. In these classes, teachers help both entry-level and advanced shooters hone their skills and master efficiency. Additionally, the instructors themselves continuously take new courses to further develop their skills as both teachers and gun handlers.