Deborah Reavis, the resident artist at Wine, Paint & Canvas, has nearly two decades of teaching art under her belt, making her an excellent tutor for classrooms full of fledgling painters of all ages. Seated in front of rows of provided easels and surrounded by the works of past classes, students follow their instructors’ directions to produce the evening’s piece. Though everyone works from the same template, each student has the chance to stylistically personalize their work by mixing colors or painting only the coolest facial hair on self-portraits. Before brush touches canvas, guests can mingle over glasses of BYO wine and bottles of beer, with soda available for purchase.
Aspiring art purveyors in the larval stage (ages 5 to 12) can develop their artistic skills at Razzle Dazzle Arts, whose youth-focused program nourishes young imaginations and builds a solid foundation for a lifetime of creativity. With each class, students get 45 minutes of art instruction followed by another 45-minute session exploring the nuances of drama, plus vocal lessons. The Razzle Dazzle instructors Sarah Williams and Susan Coleman—each successful professional artists in separate fields—will bring their passion for the arts into each lesson. The Razzle Dazzle Arts studio boasts a fully operational theater with a full-sized stage, expert lighting, and rich acoustics, the ideal setting for reciting a poetic soliloquy or emotionally singing the instruction manual for an '86 Honda Civic.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, exercisers move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Those opting for the three-pack of classes can experience the Curves Circuit with Zumba fitness, which combines the feisty Latin dance-inspired fitness formula with Curves' standard circuitry to boost heart rates, strengthen abs, and turn sneakers into dancing shoes. For 30 minutes, participants can shake their hips and pinky toes while switching from station to station, burning calories as they torch staid routines.
Inside Serenity Salon and Spa's private treatment rooms, clients relax as experienced aestheticians tend to their faces' skincare needs with an arsenal of intelligent Dermalogica products. The all-organic botanical mud body wrap—a soothing procedure lasting just over an hour—blends lavender, chamomile, and rose to enfold figures in a rejuvenating embrace, which helps to reduce inflammation, release toxins, and hydrate skin more pleasantly than taking Gatorade baths at home. As patrons recline in spa chairs, feet get a refreshing soak, exfoliation, and massage before a set of newly shaped, OPI-polished nails arrive to replace their less attractive predecessors.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.