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.
Along with rows of free weights, weight machines, and cardio machines, the gym at Blue Springs Fitness features an indoor track for running laps and saunas for sweating out toxins. During personal-training sessions, certified trainers create customized workout plans based on individuals' specific health and fitness goals. The gym also hosts a full schedule of group-fitness classes and boasts plenty of amenities, including daycare, tanning, and lessons on how to deadlift a horse.
Signature service: Mona Lisa Fine Arts Studio
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Q&A with Suzanne Hern, Studio Director
Describe a time your services really changed a client's life for the better.
The Mona Lisa Fine Arts Studio is a place where individuals can transcend through art.
Many participants realize a feeling of relaxation through painting and fellowship,
meeting new friends, and actually surprising themselves with the "masterpieces" they create in class.
How is your approach different than that of other professionals in your field?
The Mona Lisa Painting Party is just that, a party.
The paintings are whimsical and easy for anyone to accomplish.
One does not need to be artistically talented to be successful in the class.
We make it fun and comfortable to create.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
While attending our painting parties, you can also enjoy the other art and happenings going on a the studio.
Shopping [and] other entertainment is close by while at the studio.
When Ruthann Zentner began studying yoga, she soon realized that its focused breathing, emphasis on enhancing flexibility, and core-strengthening poses could help people of any age achieve mental and physical wellness. Throughout her yoga journey, she spent time working with Shakta Khalsa, a renowned children's yoga instructor, which inspired her to educate children through engaging stories and kid-friendly yoga classes as a certified yoga storyteller. Within the teal-green walls and dark wood floors of the studio, kids limber up while having fun during yoga-centered games, working off the stresses of filing lemonade-stand taxes. Adult students learn the basics in beginner-level yoga classes, or strengthen their cores and improve their balance in PiYo, which merges elements of Pilates and yoga into high-intensity routines. For her older students and those unable to do floor work, she partners poses with four-legged props in chair yoga.
Ruthann also trained under Sadie Nardini, an empowerment speaker, yoga and anatomy expert, and Healthy Hedonism lifestyle leader, and received training in ZenBarre, which combines strength, flexibility and cardio. At The Zen Zone she strives to share the latest trends and practices in yoga and Pilates with her students.
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.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.