With an arsenal of workout regimens and classes, Willie Blanks—brother of Tae-Bo creator Billy Blanks—carries on the family tradition as he and his team of trainers lead healthy hopefuls to their goals. Students of the Wil-li-netics program are instructed in positive thinking and self-motivation as well as physical strength, giving them the mental wherewithal to pursue their fitness ambitions and telekinetically deflect cannon-propelled hot dogs. Individual attention comes in the form of a series of personalized routines, which may feature step aerobics, kickboxing, dance, or hand-weight workouts. An approximately one-hour massage (a $50 value) softens tight tendons, and a series of 15-minute life-coaching sessions (a $12.50 value per session) tones thought patterns into sleeker, more positive outlooks. Each gym membership entitles trainees to as many classes as their de-jellified limbs desire (up to a $60 value).
Claytopia's spacious studio gives children and adults a place to test their creative chops through the medium of clay painting. A wide variety of blank, premade clay bisques offer myriad canvasses upon which the fevered imaginations of patrons may be projected. Bisque prices range from $1 to $50 per piece, and an hourly fee applies ($6 per hour for adults, $4 per hour for children under 13) to cover unlimited use of all paints, glazes, stencils, stamps, and other instruments of artistic creation, including philosophical advice and painting tips from the talented staff. Possible paintable forms include coffee mugs, plates, picture frames, and Disney figurines. All bisques and paints are food, microwave, and dishwasher safe. After painting and glazing their piece of choice, art makers should allow a week for the bisque to be fired in the kiln and laid off from its part-time job before picking up the newly hardened artistic creation.
Erie’s first and only power-yoga studio, yogaErie was voted Best Yoga Studio in 2010 by Erie Times-News readers. Taught by registered or certified instructors in a room heated to a gentle 85 degrees, most of the classes on the schedule are fit for all levels of experience, from the twistable-as-taffy to the first timer. The studio’s basic class focuses on building a strong yoga foundation, so yoga architects can develop a solid base of skyscraping poses. Throughout the class, students focus on their breath, alignment, and the mental and physical strength needed to box up unnecessary burdens and heave them out a window. In the all-levels classes, an instructor leads a power flow that offers both modifications and challenges so practitioners can pull back, push forward, or slide sideways as needed. Gentle directional lighting throughout the space fosters a warm glow on the walls that mysteriously attaches to the faces of students and continues to glow long after class has concluded.
Helmed by sculptor, teacher, and all-around pottery guru Vickie Allen Shea, Allen Stoneware Gallery unites budding artists with clay canvases and shoppers with elegant, kiln-fired creations. During eight-person introduction to pottery classes, students craft two pieces fit for everyday use, from cooking casseroles and displaying flowers to hiding stashes of embarrassing baby photos. Skilled instructors will share tips on clay construction and glazing over the course of two hours before putting the finishing touches on each piece and arranging times for students to pick up their brand-new coffee mugs, plant pots, and gladiator helmets. Home delivery is available for an additional cost.