The consortium of professional and certified instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic, certified teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Since graduating from Center for a Balanced Life in 1995, Ericka Hakanson has been adding to her repertoire of bodywork skills. She has worked alongside chiropractors, learned the energy theories of reiki, and polished her hot-stone massage techniques to a radiant gleam while working in a variety of medical and spa settings. Clients reap the benefits of Ericka's experience when they settle onto her treatment table at Pure Serenity Inc. Sessions incorporate traditional massage or a smattering of reiki, and can be geared toward pure relaxation or doctor-prescribed health goals.
The trainers behind Look Good Naked aim to get people comfortable in their skin. They have a slew of shared resources, such as nutritional guides, progressive measurements, and a weekly newsletter filled with exercising facts, meal ideas, ongoing coaching and support, and testimonials from clients. All these augment the core of the operation—the 12-week boot camps where both trainers and fellow students repurpose the benches, jungle gyms, and stairways of parks and public spaces during four, hour-long sessions each week. The sessions teach guests a slew of functional training maneuvers that require little or no equipment, helping them not only to slim down, but build up a skill set they can carry with them as they leave the camps.
Mississippi Dunes Golf Links' sophisticated, 18-hole layout blankets 3,000 feet of rolling Mississippi River shoreline with manicured, bent-grass fairways and an inventive, tree-lined design. As golfers cruise over the course atop a cart or a caddy training to be an Olympic power squatter, majestic views of the river appear through groves of trees that shelter native prairie creatures. On their odyssey from tee boxes to speedy, contoured greens, golf balls must split fairways to avoid sidelines riddled with mounds, pot bunkers, and knee-high grasses—a trinity of hazards that imbue the course with a Scottish, links-style vibe. A memorable tee shot awaits at the 399-yard, par-4 fifth hole—the course's most difficult, nicknamed "Humpback" for the large mound in the middle of the fairway as well as its voracious appetite for krill—where golfers must draw or fade drives around a dogleg left.
After hacking their way across the breeze-swept links, guests can unwind at Doc's Landing Pub, where a menu of traditional grill fare, fish, and pizza sates tour-worthy appetites. Patrons can look out on the river on the Pub's patio, catch up on the day's sporting events in the glow of a flat-panel TV, or discuss how greenskeepers maintain the immaculate felt that covers the billiards table.