For the instructors and staff members of Rising Starts Equestrian Center, the chance to work with riders and horses is a professional dream come true. The center's founders—all from different horse-riding disciplines and backgrounds—aim to provide care for riders at any level, from those seeking the joys of casual riding to those welcoming the rigors of serious competition. Along the path toward equine excellence, the trainers welcome guests to enjoy the pictaresque scenery of the West Hills farm. With views akin to early-century paintings, the farm and its surroundings are enlivened by large, broad trees, hewn wood fences, and open green fields that smell like acrylic when scratched.
The Erin and John Lopez, the founders of Variations, believe in more than building up successful dancers?they also believe in building healthy bodies and attitudes through dance. Erin is a longtime dancer herself, having performed at Lincoln Center and as a dancer with a wide swath of companies. The instructors here are just as committed to their students as the Lopezes, leading classes as diverse as classical ballet, jazz, and hip hop for students of all ages. The adult curriculum also covers classic and contemporary dance styles, with Pilates and ballet barre fitness lessons as well.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Brands Used: Tanner Tees and L-screens, Diamond Baseballs, Rage Equipt
Pro Tip: Gatoraid, Water, Sweatshirt, and extra bat and mit
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Drills, Video Analysis, Live Pitching
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Most pool halls evoke the smoky, timeworn atmosphere of a friend’s basement. The Big Kahuna decided to go a more upscale route. Stylish sofas flank a stone fireplace, wrought-iron lamps cast a warm glow over every table, and 11 big-screen TVs broadcast seasonal sporting events from spacious ochre walls. Alongside the hall’s billiards and ping-pong tables, a granite and brick bar furnishes icy sips of Budweiser, Corona, and other domestic brews to the pulsing soundtrack of ceramic orbs exploding apart. The hall’s kitchen stays open until the bar closes to balance libations with a menu of buffalo wings, steak-fajita wraps, and plates of chicken parmesan.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.
Though most people consider boxing an intense sport, anyone can benefit from the sport’s cardiovascular workouts and discipline-building routines. That’s why the experienced instructors at Fitness Through Boxing tailor one-on-one training to the goals and needs of each client. Instructors mine their expertise in kickboxing and mixed martial arts to create comprehensive programs that tone physiques while improving self-defense abilities. The trainers also lead circuit-training classes that deliver the cardiovascular and muscle-toning benefits of a boxer's workout. Students spend 60 minutes shadowboxing, working on one of the center’s heavy or speed bags, and practicing combination drills that work all the muscle groups in the body as well as their metaphysical spirits. The facility also features a weight-training room, showers, and an in-house ring for sparring.