Carrie Rezabek Dorr dedicated the first years of her life to professionally dancing and choreographing at events across the country. To keep her long, lean dancer's muscles in peak condition, she devoted her spare time to learning more about fitness in general and Pilates in particular. Carrie had the inspired notion to integrate these practices into her deeply ingrained training regimen, and she founded her first studio in 2001.
Her signature barre workouts allow students to steady themselves on a ballet barre while performing invigorating sequences of isometric exercises, which tone muscles throughout the legs, core, and arms. These sequences alternate between strength-building exercises and deep, restorative stretches, taking care to avoid unnecessary joint stress by eschewing any bouncing, jumping, or belly flopping. Although instructors may play uplifting music throughout each class, the workouts typically require a yoga-like focus as students constantly monitor and adjust their form and technique.
For Sarah Wilde, therapy is both a passion and a pursuit. Her journey of healing began when she was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago and found her paintings to be a form of personal therapy. She splashed acrylics onto canvas and mixed them with bits of sand and leaves, creating swirling gases in the cosmos as a way of connecting her inner life with the outside world.
Once Sarah’s studies came to an end, she directed her passion into massage therapy to help people to achieve the same wellness she felt while painting. She explored a variety of Eastern medicine techniques, including acupuncture, reiki, and energy medicine treatments, and she founded Dancing Phoenix, named for a mythical bird that, according to a Chinese proverb, ushers in peace and tranquility when it dances and does the Worm.
The wellness center's walls, washed in a light teal hue, couple with Hindu and Buddhist statues to help to evoke that peace. Patrons sip complimentary tea and wine while they wait for treatments in a room bathed in the soft glow of tea lights and filled with the scent of eucalyptus and lavender aromatherapy oils.
The consortium of professional 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 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 fox-trot 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.
Pilates on 3rd's owner Neely Hufnagel set out to make her studio differ from other Pilates centers. Though she credits Pilates' body-sculpting techniques for transforming her body into figure-competition shape, she also fills her studio with high-energy cross-training classes and healing yoga sessions to provide her customers with some variety. Along with Neely, the certified staff leads patrons of all ages and abilities in myriad muscle-building and limb-stretching classes, including Pilates on the reformer, Pilates on the Chair, Pilates on the Tower, Pilates and TRX Fusion Classes and Yoga. The TRX and Reformer machines utilize a system of ropes and pulleys to help patrons sculpt lean limbs with the help of their own bodyweight. Upon entering the upscale boutique studio, guests are greeted with a spa-like atmosphere decked in gleaming wood floors, tropical plants, and delicate orchids, who graciously curtsey to the best-performing athletes on their way out.
Feet, knees, sinuses, wrists—Doctors of Chiropractic Sean Smith and Suzy McGuffin tend not just to spines, but extremities as well. They provide adjustments to joints throughout the body and help active people improve their physical performance. Extremity adjustments fill just one slot on McGuffin Smith Chiropractic's lengthy roster of techniques, which also includes adjustments performed by hand, with an instrument, or on a drop table.
In the four and a half years Beaches Boxing Bunnies has been open, owner and sole trainer Ann Marie Route—a boxer with over six years of experience and certification as a USA Boxing coach—has never turned a client away due to a disability. In fact, Ann Marie believes so much in supporting healthy lifestyles for all that she personalizes her women-only boxing classes to suit each of her clients’ abilities, fitness levels, and needs. Ann Marie strives to create camaraderie among her students as she challenges them with constantly changing routines filled with real boxing drills. To ensure her students are up to the test, Ann Marie holds optional weekly sparring sessions.
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