In 1947, on New York City's Park Avenue, the first Fred Astaire Dance Studio—cofounded by the eponymous toe tapper himself—opened its doors to the public. More than six decades later, now boasting schools across North America, the dancing institution still adheres to the legendary Mr. Astaire's curriculum and instruction techniques.
Specializing in social ballroom and competitive dances, the schools' current consortium of professional instructors shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through dance lessons that span from classic ballroom and foxtrot romps to the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. In addition to classes, the studio hosts social practice parties where up to 40 students hone newly acquired rug-cutting capabilities. As foot-charming music blares from the speakers, instructors work to cultivate a lively social setting where each guest can dance, mingle, and surgically correct their second left foot without fear of embarrassment.
Snap Fitness, bustling with cardio and strength-training gear, throws open the doors to its facilities 24/7. Before exercisers put sneakers to treadmills or lift their first weights, staff meet with them to talk about their fitness goals before suggesting personalized fitness plans based on clients' strength, cardio condition, and bionic-limb manufacturers. The gym keeps members motivated with regular check-in calls and demystifies healthful eating with custom online meal plans designed by nutritionists. Staff also forestall exercise-routine boredom by working individually with clients on a routine basis.
Brimming with Matrix fitness equipment, free weights, and muscle-toning cable machines, Nova Gyms inspires guests to build well-rounded workouts that incorporate strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. Friendly staffers welcome exercisers of all levels with gratis equipment orientations, teaching them how to board stair-steppers safely and reason with surly dumbbells. Fitness seekers customize presses and lifts at the functional trainer, which lets them add or subtract weights at their convenience. A half-dozen elliptical machines help members trace low-impact circles with their feet, and three recumbent bikes simulate rickshaw-based limbo contests. Guests can also gallop on treadmills equipped with 15-inch personal TVs to keep their minds occupied while their bodies get sweaty.