Stephanie Babines had to fight to open her pole-fitness studio. The battle pitted her First Amendment rights against zoning regulations, and was featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today when the ACLU took on the lawsuit to get her permit. Stephanie's passion for self-expression has not faded, and today she and her instructors teach dance- and cardio-workout classes six days a week to help ladies of every age and build express themselves and achieve a sense of empowerment.
It's no surprise that Stephanie is serious about her craft. She has trained under the same choreographers who have coached Beyonce, Rihanna, and Britney Spears, and holds certifications in Advanced Pole and Hoopnotica dance. Her studio boasts amenities such as a spa and a dressing room fully stocked with towels and cosmetics. When they aren't twirling from the studio’s five onsite poles, she and her team might be throwing private bachelorette parties or fantasy photo shoots.
Stop N Sock's owners have transformed their corner of New Brighton into a family-friendly labyrinth of golf-inspired games. Their expansive outdoor facility—with 43 acres of rolling greens—allows adults and kids to putt and ricochet balls around the 18-hole golf course lined with trees, shrubs, and spouting fountains, or toss tiny saucers into metal baskets at disc golf. With short links and wide fairways, their pitch-and-putt course lets kids develop interest in golf, and challenges experienced club swingers to hone their short game. Stop N Sock's driving range, however, gives everyone the opportunity to work on their long game, with 27 stations equipped with grass practice areas and automatic ball dispensers. To mix it up, the golf-centric center's batting cages lets individuals solidify their stance, perfect their focus, and keep the rust and barnacles off their swing.
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.
Adrenaline Barre Fitness's new, upscale fitness boutique hosts dynamic classes designed to shape both mind and body. Using a ballet barre for support, students perform small, isometric, dance-inspired movements to tone the body from head to webbed swan toes. Separate showers and changing areas are available.