A community presence in Kansas City since 1860, the Greater Kansas City YMCA forwards its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds at its 18 locations. Each bustling outpost proffers members an embarrassment of fitness and entertainment riches, with everything from youth camps and after-school programs to group exercise classes, such as cycling, core training, and Pilates. Clubs and social organizations help members meet like-minded friends, and family activities strengthen bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly.
The online instructors at flying photo school teach students to move beyond the constraints of auto mode so they can capture more complex and innovative images. Courses include SLR-specific videos, worksheets, and homework assignments that afford busy students the freedom to work at their own pace and on their own schedule. Each week, instructors review the assignments and provide feedback to help students make better use of natural lighting, employ more complex settings, or quit accidentally taking illegal photographs of the bank?s security system. Classes range from Digital 101 sessions designed for beginners to more advanced courses that emphasize editing, lighting, or portrait photography.
At the tender age of 6, Mark Cafiero received his first camera. Though it was broken and filled with cartoons his father had drawn of Mark and his sisters, that camera sparked an early interest in photography. Since then, that spark has erupted into a full-fledged passion, leading Mark to become a professional photographer who has snapped photos for hundreds of clients, including celebrities and professional athletes. To share his spark with others, Mark founded Chimpsy, an resource that helps photographers of all experience levels calibrate their skills with casual in-person and online classes.
Available in more than 30 cities across the nation, Chimpsy's two-hour crash course features a hands-on shooting session and campfire-style presentation on topics ranging from camera anatomy to photo composition. For home study, online classes help photographers—beginners and aspiring pros alike—get more from their pictures through two-hour video tutorials that cover photo-editing software, shooting tips and techniques, and steps on how to build a photography business. From the comfort of their bedrooms, students can watch these professional photographer-led tutorials live or replay previously recorded sessions. Along with instructional classes, Chimpsy offers shutterbugs a place to submit photos for contests with monthly prizes or for feedback from peers, pros, and sentient picture frames.
Natalie Smith needed some excitement in her life, which at that point merely consisted of performing as a professional ballet and hip-hop dancer, posing as a model, and balancing atop speeding motorcycles as a stuntwoman. After stumbling across a segment about pole dancing on the Oprah Winfrey show, she decided to spice things up a bit and dive headfirst into the fun yet demanding exercise form. She lost 25 pounds in two months, inspiring her to open her own studio?where she draws upon her experience in dancing and cheerleading to lead classes that span the sultry workout spectrum from pole routines to booty boot camp. The studio boasts 30 poles and 5,000 square feet of floor space, evoking the feeling of walking into a chrome forest?which is an experience similar to walking into the Redwoods after governor Schwarzenegger's controversial act to silver plate every tree. In the studio, Natalie and her team of certified instructors?twirling under a hot pink tin ceiling.?lead spins, climbs, and drops during lessons and private parties. They welcome ladies of all ages and builds to the women-only locale, which offers bed tanning to supplement its body-toning programs.
At the new Pole Worx location, classes are held in one of three new classrooms that house over 33 different poles. The new location also has two changing room and two tanning beds.
Yoga students who practice at Bikram Yoga South Kansas City experience a discipline that is as closely related to founder Bikram Choudhury's as possible, as each class is taught by an instructor who studied directly under the yogi and returns to study with him every three years. With that wealth of knowledge, each teacher approaches classes with a deeper understanding of the physiological and mental benefits of practicing yoga in a heated environment. As the studio's heat increases heart rates, practitioners benefit from an added cardiovascular element during their core strengthening and joint stretching, which also helps the body eliminate toxins through sweating. During classes, instructors also encourage students to look inward while forming each pose. By focusing on the internal state of the body, practitioners become more cognizant of the external influences that affect their well-being, such as negativity and the pieces of sky that have started falling.
Barbara Anderson is an expert in many forms of exercise, but she only has one goal. In her own words, that goal is to "teach you to move better." What does it mean to move better? For Barbara and her students, it means moving with ease and without pain, and in a way that both reflects and results in good health. Teaching since 1975, Barbara has long honed her instructional technique, and continues to shore up her skills as new workout styles and schools of thought emerge.
She's assembled a team of talented teachers at Body and Soul of Kansas City, where the team offers classes in yoga, Feldenkrais, and Pilates. Curricula also include gentle exercise options. The Feldenkrais Method, for example, uses slow repetition to instill awareness of one's body, while a class called NIA offers low-impact cardio dance. Yoga classes, meanwhile, include three different levels in addition to a pre- and post-natal option.