Inflated structures and games fill the climate-controlled environs of the numerous BounceU locations that speckle the nation. At each site, staff members closely monitor all activities as little ones traverse obstacle courses and slides. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids or make sweeping edicts from atop a bouncy-castle throne. In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for the Preschool Playdate program, where instructors lead games and activities. Special events include family-bounce night, which lets parents join in the bouncing or relax in the party room and do grownup things, such as eat marshmallows with a knife and fork.
Urmi Batavia began teaching private piano and violin lessons out of her home in 2002. As demand for her classes grew, so did her need for room, and two years later she opened her own space dedicated to music instruction: Batavia Studios. There, she shares her teaching responsibilities with a team of instructors well versed in percussion, strings, woodwinds, and voice. Though they still provide private lessons for adults and children, they also helm weeklong children’s summer camps and oversee a store filled with musical instruments, song books, and music accessories, such as jars filled with Al Green’s voice.
Cheri Herold, owner of Fountain of Youth Aveda Salon Spa, wields a lifetime of beauty-industry experience to motivate her multitalented staff to exceed client expectations. Plant-based products fuel facials, massages, and hair treatments with the anti-aging properties of lavender, sandalwood, and other pure, sustainably sourced herbs and flowers. Fountain of Youth also operates a salon apprenticeship program, which provides 2,000 hours of on-the-job training to promising young cosmetologists or ambitious mannequins.
Mars Beads’ artisan instructors fill students with the craftiness required to make their own beaded jewelry and accessories. Skilled beadmasters walk classes through the intricacies of basic design skills—fashioning silvery hoops, stringing beads in eye-catching combinations, and savoring the nuanced flavors of candy necklaces. The studio's generous supply of beads, wires, and jeweler's instruments keeps each class well provisioned, ensuring that nobody goes home without a handcrafted pair of wrapped wire earrings dangling jauntily from their previously unadorned earlobes. Call ahead to schedule a class time.
“No makeup, no men, and no mirrors.” That was the unofficial motto of Curves’ original Texas location in 1992, and it’s no less true today: at nearly 10,000 clubs worldwide, women attack a 30-minute training circuit designed to burn calories and build strength through cardio and resistance workouts. After each minute on a piece of strength-training equipment—each built for feminine frames and designed to work opposing muscle groups with a single movement—exercisers move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to keep their heart from getting bored and falling asleep.
IM=X Pilates' signature workout, IM=X, which is short for Integrated Movement Xercize, combines strength-training and cardio exercises for a high-energy session profiled in Fitness Magazine, Mademoiselle, and the New York Times. The IM=X schedule of classes includes Pilates floor sessions, which walk students through traditional, body-weight-based Pilates exercises that rely on balance and precise muscle control to build strength and improve three-legged-race times. True to the IM=X formula, instructors amp up the effectiveness of Pilates moves by integrating special equipment such as the IM=X ring and Body Bar. During yoga classes, students follow along with instructors, stabilizing their core and limbs through a series of challenging poses and balance-fortifying transitions to hone focus and muscle tone. Indoor-cycling students swing a leg over spoked steeds for a structured, instructor-led workout where cyclists can forge rock-solid cardiovascular health while tailoring intensity to accommodate their own fitness and cycling experience levels.