Saphira, the matriarch and founder of Saffron Dance, didn?t even exist 20 years ago, much like ?I survived Y2K? bumper stickers. Saphira was known as Rachael Galoob-Ortega, a lawyer who practiced in DC and Florida for a decade. But her high-power career and hefty paycheck couldn?t extinguish her passion for dance. And so she became Saphira, an international belly-dance artist and instructor with numerous accolades, including being featured in American Belly Dancer, a documentary about belly dance in the United States.
Saphira opened Saffron Dance six years ago, and along with 18 fellow instructors, channels her years of expertise into dance courses that get progressively more challenging from week to week. Welcoming all levels, her classes teach both Egyptian-inspired belly dance and community-focused tribal belly dance. Regardless of the class type, Saphira and her teachers encourage pupils to express their unique voices through dance, all while keeping proper alignment, mastering precision, and having fun.
"Our bodies and minds are closely interconnected. Our state of mind is expressed in physical phenomena, and, conversely, physical phenomena reflect our state of mind," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee, "Nothing is impossible. Keep working on it until it's possible. There is no failure, just the gradual process of success." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance. Dahn Yoga is also taught at independently owned and operated franchises called Body & Brain Yoga.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person?s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
Balance Health Center takes a holistic approach to wellness by offering chemical-free body treatments and classes that promote balance within the mind and body. The center's nontraditional healing approaches include acupuncture, Ayurveda, and traditional Chinese medicine, treatments that all aim to heal the body without unnatural substances.
Spa services encompass waxing and seven-step facials, and bodies can acquire a bronze glow with the center's version of sunless tanning that relies on an organic, citrus-scented solution rather than the sun's hand-me-down rays. Relaxation's role in personal balance asserts itself in assorted scalp massages, hot-stone therapy, and aromatherapy as well as in spa massages that integrate essential oils. Helping guests to bring the center's philosophies home, Balance Health Center hosts classes and workshops on herbology, stretching, and yoga.
The doctors and the staff at Apt Dental Associates have dedicated themselves to educating their guests to prevent oral unpleasantries. Under the guidance of Dr. Amisha Shroff, a graduate of Howard University?s dental school in 2002, they lead clients through step-by-step explanations of their dental health, making sure they understand how to take care of their teeth and the baby guppies that no longer fit in their mouths. When problems do arise, a full slate of dental services puts smiles back in shape, with the dentists judiciously laying out the pros and cons of each procedure, from fillings and sealant applications to bonding, dental implants, and bleaching. The office adds comfort to guests? visits by furnishing the waiting room with cushy leather sofas, a flat-screen TV, and bright green plants.
Under the direction of Dr. Farida Khattak, the Dynamic Family Dentistry team maintains high standards in training, safety, and patient education to keep teeth in mint condition. The dentists and hygienists recognize the unease some patients may feel about going on dental visits, which is why they try to create a comforting atmosphere with personalized care and positive demeanors. As the mother of two young girls, Dr. Khattak is particularly skilled in the art of putting children at ease during appointments, as well as synchronized french braiding. She and her staff perform preventive services such as x-rays, cleanings, and periodontal exams, along with more involved procedures such as dental implants and porcelain crowns.