In 1998, School of Rock's first location was built in Philadelphia to strengthen students' self-confidence, develop their musicianship, and most importantly, spark an insatiable enthusiasm to learn. Today, the School of Rock franchise has branched out to more than 130 locations throughout the United States and Mexico. During the school's music lessons, encouraging instructors well versed in methods of rocking and rolling?such as strumming guitars, tickling keyboards, and causing avalanches with yodels?demystify music theory for mini Mick Jaggers of all skill levels.
School of Rock's Rock 101 program acquaints beginners with the instrument of their choice using a curriculum of weekly private lessons and group band rehearsals. Virtuosos ready to hit the stage can participate in the performance program, which prepares students for live performances that pay homage to beloved rock icons such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Mount Rushmore.
CrossFit Counter Culture's coaches preside over a 5,000-square-foot facility that's nearly always abuzz with the clinks of barbell plates, the grunts of dead-lifters, and the encouraging shouts of classmates. Each class at the gym, from the flagship CrossFit group classes to gymnastics and parent-child classes, is designed with one goal in mind: help students get in shape. Of course, like any exercise routine, the classes vary by degrees of difficulty. As a boot camp-oriented offering, the CrossFit Light class might appeal more to exercisers wary of lifting barbells over their heads, and the mobility, olympic lifting, and yoga classes concentrate on their own particular fitness domains. At the close of any class, exercisers are free to use the gym showers before they jet off to the office, back home, or to the department store to re-check their jean size.
The staff of Ambition Athletics finds that most gyms lead their members to failure. It may seem like a harsh stance, but it inspires them to push themselves to give their members hands-on education and coaching rather than turning them loose in a sea of machines. Indeed, the key piece of equipment the fitness studio uses has no moving parts at all: it's the simple kettlebell, whose use in strength training dates back about as far as you'd expect by looking at what's essentially a lump of iron with a handle. Focusing on fitness for performance, trainers help members to take control of their own wellness during personal training and small-group classes, where they teach everyone to safely swing kettlebells, use suspension equipment, and charm ropes to climb themselves.
As proprietor of Sew Inspired, Laura spreads her love for clothing design and assembly through creative sewing programs for children, teenagers, and adults. She starts kids out at the foundational level, encouraging them in the creation of simple projects such as crafting felt flowers or stitching smiley faces onto moms' best business suits. Teenage sewers take their learning into their own hands with self-directed sessions while tackling the more advanced concepts of sketching, patternmaking, and draping. Adults may opt to work on personal projects during unstructured open-sew studio times or hone their skills in three-week classes, during which they acquaint themselves with the sewing machine and set to work crafting A-line skirts.
Trainers Johnny and Jana were tired of working out in cookie-cutter, warehouse-style gyms?so they opened Cycology Fitness as an alternative to those impersonal fitness centers. At the sleekly contemporary studio, exercisers enjoy plenty of natural light, high ceilings, and modern gear during their personal-training sessions and group fitness classes. The gym's specialty is its indoor cycling classes, which use stationary bikes and upbeat music to get pedals and pulses pumping. The cycling classes are immersive experiences, with blue lights piercing a darkened studio for a cool, outside-of-everyday feel.
For Rachel Robertson, five is a magic number. It's the number of movements that the spine is capable of—flexion, extension, lateral flexion, rotation, and neutral—and it's the maximum number of students she'll allow in one of her classes (which are 55 minutes long). Because the classes are kept small, her guidance is precise and personalized. She makes small modifications to each student's form as they segue from one exercise to the next, helping them not only to perfect their technique, but to become increasingly aware of the way their body functions.
Rachel's lessons incorporate mats as well as Stott Pilates equipment, from Reformers to stability chairs. Though all of her routines help to build core strength, balance, and flexibility, she tailors them to address the needs of each client, whether they're an athlete hoping to hone performance or someone looking to lose weight. Rehabilitative and specialty classes even focus on conditions such as scoliosis or pelvic-floor problems. Alongside her fellow instructor and former student Shyra, Rachel coaches clients of all ages and fitness levels to higher levels of wellness.