Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
An award-winning artist, Evelia A. Sanchez passes her knowledge onto others during group classes at her pottery studio. She limits the amount of students—no more than six per class—in order to provide personal, hands-on instruction with pottery wheels and hand sculpting. Evelia also designs private lessons around students' specific goals, be they to learn a new skill or build the world's largest fruit bowl.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
With two locations, long hours, and a bounty of equipment, Emerald City Athletic Club helps its members get in shape, whatever their workout of choice. Gym floors lined with regiments of Precor and Nautilus machines let members work every muscle in their bodies, and the class studios' high-tech sound systems energize Zumba, salsa dancing, and kickboxing sessions and keep stationary cycles from tearing around the room in loneliness each night. Free weights and intricate weight machines hold down the floor of a spacious weight room, where muscle sculptors work up a sweat before winding down in a dry sauna, Turkish steam bath, and hot tub. At the Everett location, an Olympic-style pool, a basketball court, and racquetball and handball courts offer even more variety.
As its name suggests, The Riverside Gallery abuts the rolling Snohomish River, lending the space a natural beauty that is reflected in the artwork that hangs on its walls. Guests can draw on this inspiration to craft their own pieces during weeks-long classes, which use media such as acrylic paint and graphite. For fledgling artists looking for a one-time outlet to practice their hand-eye coordination, the gallery hosts fun workshops, many of which include wine, that produce paintings in the styles of artists such as Van Gogh and Modigliani. Practiced artists roam the gallery’s halls, teaching classes and displaying their own works for sale, which can dress up barren walls and other art-beckoning surfaces.
In the fitness industry, only a select few exercise pioneers enjoy widespread name recognition. Bikram Choudhury is one of them, and the instructors of Bikram Yoga Everett have earned that name by enduring his legendary nine-week training course. The program also keeps yogis on their toes by requiring recertification every three years. In the intense training sessions, aspiring instructors learn to make use of a heated environment to push the mental focus and muscular endurance of students during the 90-minute classes.
The Bikram Yoga Everett Studio welcomes visitors with a lobby bursting in bright primary colors and a spacious workout room swathed in natural sunlight. The computer-controlled temperature remains evenly regulated throughout the space, and a ventilation system provides a constant supply of fresh air, occasionally pumping in helium for cartoon voiceover workshops. Floors are covered in Zebra yoga mats that dramatically reduce joint strain.
An extension of the Tacoma Bar Academy, the Bartending Academy of Mill Creek has educated students in the finer points of bartending and mixology for more than 35 years. Classes include a 40-hour bartending-certification program, which prepares aspiring tenders to take their place in the drink-slinging industry with lessons in bar etiquette, drink-making techniques, and more than 150 cocktail recipes. The professional classroom setup echoes that of an actual bar, allowing students to get a feel for each element’s proper place, from the sliced fruit and soda guns to the emergency manual that outlines exactly what to do should a horse, duck, and pirate walk in.