While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Artist Mike Buszuwski wanted to create “an inspirational place for kids to come and explore art.” Thus, Painting Fun Spot was born. He and his artistic staff equip artists of all ages with all the necessary supplies—nontoxic, USA-made plaster pieces, paints, sealants, and paintball guns—to create colorful sculptures in a relaxed, kid-friendly studio complete with booster seats and pint-sized aprons. Vibrant walls and an undersea mural inspire creativity during studio time, summer camps, and parties and help budding artists bestow blank plaster canvases with hand-painted masterpieces.
Painting Fun Spot also hosts painting fun art classes, during which instructor Tonya Warnke Buszuwski, a professional artist with works in collections throughout the U.S., instructs adults in the finer points of pigment placement. She leads students step by step through a selected canvas work, capturing the tranquility of an impressionistic Tuscan countryside, the bold hues of a cross, or a trio of tulips playing poker with a basset hound.
No matter their age or chosen discipline of dance, students can practice and learn their art at K. Monique's Studio of Dance. Instructors lead classes in a variety of styles, including jazz, lyrical and modern dance, hip-hop, ballet, and tap. Instructors also lead a number of fitness and health conscious classes, which range from Zumba to Pilates, Piloxing crossover classes that fuse Pilates and boxing, and boot camps that help burn calories with interval training drills.
At Masters of Cosmetology College, apprentice aestheticians practice their newfound know-how by spiffing up customers with soothing spa services. First, the neophyte pamperers—who are supervised by state-licensed instructors—will deep-condition clients' hair and scalp with a moisturizing lotion, setting them under a steamer until their eyes turn red to show that they're done (a $15 value). A few scissor chop-chops will unleash a brand new 'do as the students test their tonsorial talent on visiting heads of hair (an $8 value). Then, they'll use an exfoliating ultrasonic brush to deal with dry skin during a Clarisonic facial (a $16 value) and back facial (a $14 value) before delivering a full-body massage (a $25 value). A skin-caressing makeup application (a $10 value) and a finger-tickling manicure (a $5 value) are like the icing on a cake made of daydreams about cake. While the seven services can be spread out over two days, lunch from a local restaurant is only provided once (a $10 value).
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, you'll 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. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
The passionate, professional fitness fanatics at Catalyst Fitness harbor a distinct desire to help people take control of their mind, body, and spirit. Inside the private, comfy studio, you'll be matched with a certified trainer, who will ask you about your goals then set you on a challenging path tailored to achieving them. During your 30-minute cardio workouts, the motivational mastermind will use your instinctual distrust of routine to your advantage. New moves, varied music, and outdoor and indoor workouts during each session will keep your muscles guessing so you’ll never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, like regular teeth brushing.