Within an intimate studio characterized by exposed-brick, Tiffany-box-blue, and burnt-orange walls, Allegro Coaching stirs with a bustling schedule of more than 20 different group fitness classes per week. During warm months, coaches lead outdoor boot camp classes at parks around Grand Rapids. Certified instructors, many of whom hold degrees in exercise science and have trained MMA fighters, shepherd both exercise-uninitiated and seasoned athletes through the cardio and strength-training exercises of boot-camp sessions or muscle- and definition-building TRX-suspension-training, Pilates, or boxing classes. The studio's personal trainers also travel to local businesses, where they enlighten employees with wellness counseling and onsite coaching and offer practical tips for staying active in the office that move beyond typical exercises such as crab-walking in circles around cubicles or shadow-boxing the water cooler.
At the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse, yogis of all levels practice within a space maintained at a balmy 95 degrees, a temperature ideal for releasing toxins, warming leftover lasagna, and boosting flexibility. Seventy-five-minute cardio-heavy classes tone muscles and keep hearts steadily pumping blood through the body. Senior instructors lead Absolute Beginners classes, teaching the fundamental poses and terminology of Vinyasa sequences so pupils can eventually move on to more advanced Power Vinyasa courses.
Lego bricks are the building blocks of most kid-friendly, collaborative projects at Bricks4Kidz—but they may also represent the foundation of tykes' minds. In step-by-step projects, kids work together to engineer prescribed structures and gizmos, learning to work together as teachers introduce concepts such as friction, gravity, torque, scale, and gears. The classes are tailored to certain age ranges, ensuring that children take on projects that are appropriate for their developmental skill set.
Grand River Music selects its instructors not only for their musical prowess, but also for their demonstrable teaching abilities. Students of all experience levels can strum the taut veins of guitars, bass guitars, banjos, or mandolins or study music theory to gain a deeper understanding of chords, harmonies, and the saxophone solos of Plato and Aristotle. Singing classes strengthen vocal cords, and song-writing classes encourage self-expression with reliable formulas. The school’s JamCamp gives blossoming musicians exposure to a collaborative group setting where they can learn to harmonize with other musicians and argue about which incarnation of Fleetwood Mac was the most authentic.
Grand River Music also stocks an inventory of instruments available for purchase, ranging from mandolins, banjos, and amps to acoustic guitars, bass guitars, and electric guitars. Students can also buy preowned vocal cords with their last words still intact. :m
At Centre Pointe, the staff members take a holistic approach toward health. That much is evident from the center's meditative yoga classes. Sessions help increase flexibility as well as give students time to unwind and reflect on all of the websites they've visited that day. At the end of each session, instructors hope students will feel not just relaxed, but that their spirits, relationships, and energy have been renewed.
At The Local Epicurean, owner Ryan Raredon, who has been profiled in the Grand Rapids Press, began pasta making as a hobby, before success at selling his noodles and seasonings in farmers’ markets inspired him to open his own store, where a panoply of handmade herb-infused sundries now resides. From pasta-making, Ryan has now expanded his store to include a Chocolate Lounge filled with delectable selections of cocoa-based confections. The store's newest space boasts a full chocolate menu with a wide selection of organic coffee and tea. Guests can opt for the Lounge's signature "Cha-Co-Lot" drink, delicately crafted and served in an antique silver coffee pot, a slice of triple chocolate cheesecake, or head to the paring stand to sample hand-made chocolates, dipped berries, cheeses, and breads. Patrons can satisfy their sweet-tooth cravings at The Chocolate Lounge seven days a week.