Readers of the Greenville News cast their votes and named The Spa at West End the "Best Day Spa" in both 2012 and 2013. In addition to eight-hour pampering packages, the spa also offers facials, full-service hair and nail services, and makeup services. For an additional fee clients can clean up afterwards with a Vichy shower, which allows patrons to recline on a cushioned table while warm water pours over their bodies. Finally, complimentary steam-room visits and custom-blended aromatherapy oils ensure that the spa remains a relaxing retreat.
Best known as a fun, energetic Zumba studio, Fitness Shakers helps shimmiers expand their exercise horizons by spreading yoga mats across its hardwood dance floor for weekly morning classes that guide students through a series of stretching and strengthening moves. Lissome guru Rachel cultivates correct alignments and precise actions as her students advance through basic yoga poses designed to align chakrahs of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels. Classes scheduled on Mondays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. wake up somnolent joints and muscles, imbuing students with the agility and calm necessary to dodge speeding taxicabs and sneak past long DMV lines undetected. Aside from their physical benefits, yoga’s therapeutic contortions can also help reduce the high levels of stress accrued during long days spent hunched over office desks as well as long nights spent sleeping in the boss's filing cabinet.
Zanti Power Yoga's instructors turn up the heat as they lead students through more than 20 different yoga classes each week. They work off the simple principle that yoga can strengthen the body, calm the mind, and transform the spirit. These teachers will happily take nervous first-timers under their wing during an Introduction to Power Yoga class as well as guide longtime practitioners as they develop new skills and attain new achievements. As an added element, instructors teach most classes in Zanti Power Yoga's heated studio. Higher temperatures intensify the sessions, helping participants to expel toxins, improve flexibility, prevent injuries, and avoid prowling polar bears.
At Swamp Rabbit CrossFit, members practice and master the CrossFit method in a 16,000-square-foot gym replete with a warm-up and workout room. There, they perform high-intensity functional movements using gear such as Rogue Fitness weightlifting bars, 15-foot vertical climbing ropes, and Black Concept 2 rowing machines. When the sun’s inviting, instructors take class onto the 12,000-square-foot outdoor training field to execute workouts that change for each session. Changing routines daily is key in avoiding the boredom of repetition. The Swamp Rabbit Trail, which is 17.5 miles long, is behind the facility and ideal for warm-up runs and sprints. Back inside, a premier audio system keeps music flowing and advanced filtration systems keep water clean for showers and water fountains.
“Dark in content, light in spirit, and always weird.” That’s the way cofounders Brandy White (a dancer) and Robert Gowan (a musician) describe their quirky dynamic on the Discordia Arts website. Their distinct style lends itself naturally to theater, particularly the theatrical Middle Eastern dance that Brandy now teaches at Discordia Arts. She and fellow dancer Jaidra not only instruct beginner and intermediate belly dancers but also perform American tribal-style and fusion dance professionally.
Since 1976, American Dance Club's instructors—some of whom spent time stomping the boards in Broadway spectaculars—have transformed students into fancy footworkers. During 30- or 60-minute private and group lessons, teachers two-step pupils through the fundamentals of social dances such as ballroom, Argentine tango, country western, and shag, a style of swing that generally ends with dancers hiding their dropped partners in rolled-up carpets. After perfecting their moves in the encouraging one-on-one sessions, guests can strut their stuff during dance parties every Friday night from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Shawn Kephart, the founder of K180 Fitness, uses his own experience struggling with body image and weight loss to lead his students towards their fitness goals. His comprehensive regimen approaches fitness from eight core areas, using a 20,000 square foot gym ergonomically designed for motivation. Certified trainers—many of whom have overcome body image issues, disabilities, or chronic illness—lead classes and personal training sessions, and the gym is also equipped with a full-service kitchen and private lockers and showers.