Seasoned stage and screen actor Antoine McKay founded McKay Arts to give fresh faces the courage to step into the limelight and provide established artists with a place to cultivate and hone their craft. Antoine, an alumnus of The Second City's theaters in Detroit and Chicago, trains and manages actors and artists and also provides them with creative outlets in the form of regular performances at the Athenaeum Theatre, Pressure Comedy Café, and other local venues. He instructs students of all ages and skill levels in classes of approximately 12 students or in private coaching sessions, which give patrons ample attention and endless attempts to guess who is knocking at hypothetical doors.
Founder Malik Turley funnels her passion for family into Hip Circle Studio, a center privy to the needs and hobbies of both parents and little ones. Each dance-based Zumba session aims to foster fettle in exercisers of all ages and levels of familiarity with the hokey pokey. Classic Zumba choreographs Latin-inspired steps to the beat of international tunes, igniting 45–60 minutes of calorie burn. With less impact, Zumba Gold's simple moves are tailored to those recovering from injuries as well as anyone returning to exercise after courageously breaking up with an overbearing recliner. Malik also leads domestic dance troupes through Family Zumba!, where the floor calls parents and kids to shake for fun. Children under 18 and robots convincingly sucking their thumbs can attend Family Zumba! at no extra charge. Baby-Wearing Zumba welcomes wee ones in slings or carriers and their guardians to work out together, and each class page lists a continually updated schedule.
The School of Rock provides contemporary musical instruction to pint-sized rockers of all ages and abilities. There is no experience required to enroll in Rock 101. Wannabe Jaggers and Springsteens can select their weapon of choice from a finely tuned arsenal of guitars, bass guitars, drums, keyboards, saxophones, or voice boxes and immediately commence beat-based training. Students receive one-on-one tutelage in the art of rocking out during a weekly 45-minute private lesson and deploy ensemble rhythms during a 90-minute group rehearsal. Real musicians provide performance-based instruction in a low-stress atmosphere, conducive to the cultivation of confidence, skill, and pigeon-free signature stage moves.
Stephanie King-Myers and Nancy Bigley founded Bottle & Bottega as a fun, artistic space where guests could, as King-Myers phrases it on their website, “feel like they’re having a party in their living room.” Established in 2009, the guided painting emporium has already expanded to seven main locations in three states that offer private and corporate events alike.
Lynette Martin helms the Evanston branch, which extends from Rogers Park to Northbook. After years of dabbling in styles of art that ranged from pottery to ballet, she swan-dived fully into her creative leanings and left the corporate world to launch a Bottle & Bottega franchise. Lynette, along with a slate of local artists, encourages participants of any artistic level to unleash their creativity onto the canvas, creating their own versions of famous paintings that they can hang in their living rooms or over their bathroom mirrors in an attempt to be famous themselves.
Wine and Canvas sends local artists to restaurants and comfortable bars to guide students through featured paintings from the studio's monthly calendar. As instructors offer step-by-step instructions, pupils mimic the motions of their brush to re-create scenes inspired by nature, Impressionist masters, and alcoholic libations themselves. After the night has ended, students carry their finished masterpieces home to hang proudly on their walls or avant-gardely on their fish tanks.
USA Karate Federation Hall of Fame honoree and four-time Panamerican Karate champion John Fonseca teams up with three-time world karate champion Elisa Au Fonseca and a cadre of talented instructors to lead their charges through martial-arts and fitness classes that strengthen minds and bodies. Though the martial-arts program mainly focuses on shotokan and shito-ryu karate, the sensei also offers aikido, judo, Gracie jujitsu, muay thai kickboxing, and wing tsun classes. Bushy-tailed neophytes start at the beginning, learning the basics of their chosen form, whereas advanced students delve into such mind-focused arenas as chi energy training and personally apologizing to every punching bag they have ever hurt.
Instructors also lead fitness-centered sessions that build muscle and burn calories. Cardio-kick classes merge elements of martial-arts, boxing, and aerobics to form an ever-changing cardiovascular workout infused with heart-pumping kicks and punches. Boot-camps delve athletes even deeper into whole-body fitness by challenging them to nonstop military-style drills for a full 45 minutes, or approximately the time it takes to jump rope through an entire episode of Magnum, P.I..