In 1934, the Great Depression was creating a new brand of starving artist. Studios sat over garages filled with the smell of exhaust, and potbelly stoves kept models from having goose bumps. As a member of the Work Progress Administration, artist William Kaeser helped develop a network to solve problems found when trying to share art with the public. From this network, he and other local artists founded the Indianapolis Art Center, which has grown to a current faculty of 150 artists. The center continues Kaeser’s mission of engaging the community by creating opportunities for artists and teaching creative skills through classes and camps. Studios allow artists to design their own works using watercolor, bronze casting, woodworking, and metalsmithing, which they can submit for judgment in annual student shows and Supreme Court briefs. The Art Center building houses open spaces for studio work and exhibitions, along with a library and classrooms dedicated to different crafts. Renowned architect and Indianapolis-native Michael Graves designed both the facility and the attached ArtsPark. A 12-acre landscape dotted with more than 27 interactive sculptures, ArtsPark captivates visitors with its playful designs. ArtsPark also provides a natural setting for concerts, festivals, and the Broad Ripple Art Fair, which collects artwork from more than 225 North American artists.
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.
Strength and conditioning specialist Tony Maslan?who is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as a 1998 Junior American Deadlift Record holder?knows the importance of safe and well-rounded fitness practices. The former Marine Corps Reserves sergeant and overseas infantry squad leader leads a team of more than 15 certified trainers in their mission to help individual fitness-seekers, children, and corporate clients break unhealthy habits. This goal-oriented staff emphasizes accountability and measurable results during one-on-one and group training sessions as they reshape clients? waistlines with kettlebells and deadlifts, as well as intense challenges such as sparring and pulling a truck using only their pinky finger. The on-staff nutrition counselor bolsters these results with comprehensive nutrition guidance, and posts diverse recipes online as well. Of this, Maslan stated that he "knew we needed to help clients go beyond the microwave." To help keep their clients from returning to their previous lifestyles, these trainers also host online, in-home, and sport-specific training.
Maslan trains his students at Bob's Gym, a destination for Evansville-area athletes since 1991. Custom Fit training forms a single facet of the local exercise empire, which stretches across four convenient locations across the city. Each gym is also home to strength and cardio equipment, as well as a weekly schedule of more than 150 total group exercise classes in the areas of boxing, Zumba, yoga, and more. However, each location also courts its own special athletes; swimmers head to the pools at Bob's North and Bob's Newburgh, and basketball seek pick-up games on the courts at Bob's North, Bob's Newburgh, and Bob's West. Bob's East even sports a day spa, where tired exercisers can rid themselves of soreness with a relaxing massage. This dedication to healthy living extends far beyond reps and workouts. The gyms are also home to the Simply Basics weight-management program, which pairs accountability and lifestyle changes with healthy, affordable recipes designed to replaces processed foods with fresh ingredients.
There's more than just strength-training and cardio equipment at Memorial Health and Lifestyle Center. The expansive facility also features a lap and therapy pool, basketball and racquetball courts, and locker rooms with whirlpools and dry saunas for washing and drying your sweaty workout clothes. Moreover, its services include childcare, massage therapy, personal training, and more than 80 weekly fitness classes, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and Les Mills's aquatic-based Water in Motion classes.
A few years back, Trudy Marchetti watched a loved one struggle with a serious heart condition and the difficult recovery that followed. The experience changed Trudy's views on fitness, and led her to reexamine her own exercise habits. In 2008, Trudy became a certified Zumba instructor. Today, she owns e'Studio Z Fitness, where she leads groups through Zumba's exotic dance moves set to Latin and international beats. But Trudy makes sure e'Studio Z Fitness isn't limited to just Zumba. Exercisers can also keep their workout routines fresh by using the facility's TRX suspension training or by teaming up with a personal trainer.
Panache Dance injects a dash of style and technique into dance lessons in a variety of styles. American and international ballroom classes prepare pairs for competitions or special occasions, whereas Latin styles inject the dance floor with some passion. Dance fitness sessions, meanwhile, blend upbeat music—including hip-hop and Bollywood—with moves designed to burn excess fat.