Natalie Smith needed some excitement in her life, which at that point merely consisted of performing as a professional ballet and hip-hop dancer, posing as a model, and balancing atop speeding motorcycles as a stuntwoman. After stumbling across a segment about pole dancing on the Oprah Winfrey show, she decided to spice things up a bit and dive headfirst into the fun yet demanding exercise form. She lost 25 pounds in two months, inspiring her to open her own studio—where she draws upon her experience in dancing and cheerleading to lead classes that span the sultry workout spectrum from pole routines to booty boot camp. The studio boasts 30 poles and 5,000 square feet of floor space, evoking the feeling of walking into a chrome forest—which is an experience similar to walking into the Redwoods after governor Schwarzenegger's controversial act to silver plate every tree. In the studio, Natalie and her team of certified instructors—twirling under a hot pink tin ceiling.—lead spins, climbs, and drops during lessons and private parties. They welcome ladies of all ages and builds to the women-only locale, which offers bed tanning to supplement its body-toning programs.
At the new Pole Worx location, classes are held in one of three new classrooms that house over 33 different poles. The new location also has two changing room and two tanning beds.
Yoga students who practice at Bikram Yoga South Kansas City experience a discipline that is as closely related to founder Bikram Choudhury's as possible, as each class is taught by an instructor who studied directly under the yogi and returns to study with him every three years. With that wealth of knowledge, each teacher approaches classes with a deeper understanding of the physiological and mental benefits of practicing yoga in a heated environment. As the studio's heat increases heart rates, practitioners benefit from an added cardiovascular element during their core strengthening and joint stretching, which also helps the body eliminate toxins through sweating. During classes, instructors also encourage students to look inward while forming each pose. By focusing on the internal state of the body, practitioners become more cognizant of the external influences that affect their well-being, such as negativity and the pieces of sky that have started falling.
Pow Wow School of Holistic Fitness' owner and lead instructor, Haley Zuvanich, began her yoga practice at the age of 12, when other kids were busy rescuing their baseballs from neighborhood boa constrictors. Over the next 14 years, her childhood experience with Bikram method expanded into trying a variety of yoga styles and spending 200 hours earning a teacher's certification from KC Fitness Link. Now, at the Unity Temple on the Country Club Plaza, Haley guides students of all experience levels through spiritual and physically challenging stretch sessions. In addition to the traditional Hatha and Vinyasa practices, Haley hosts creative classes where students follow guided relaxation with the artistic medium of their choice, such as journaling, painting, or sketching. Pow Wow School of Holistic Fitness also offers a variety of fitness and dance aerobics courses including Tai Chi and Qi Gong, Kung Fu, Zumba, and Nia.
Founded by a husband-and-wife duo made up of a WBFF Pro Fitness model and a ACE/AFAA/FPI-certified personal trainer, the Hitch Fit training regimen transforms students' physiques and overall well-being. The complete in-studio or online program runs 12–16 weeks and focuses not only on exercise but also helps patrons to draft custom diets and eliminate negative lifestyle influences, such as guzzling milkshakes with a band of rebellious teens at the soda shop.
The workout portion of each private visit involves 60 minutes split into aerobic routines and anaerobic weightlifting. Trainers customize each program to accommodate personal goals such as weight loss, muscle building, or shaping up following a pregnancy. Meal plans are customizable as well and account for dietary concerns such as food allergies and a crippling fear of pineapples.
Bodies turn and twirl in the air, suspended from the rafters with colorful silks. Whether during a performance or class, the staff and students of Voler–Thieves of Flight Aerial Academy inspire awe with aerial dance and acrobatics. The academy’s professional ensemble includes ballet and modern dancers, along with circus artists, all of whom add their skills to lofty choreography on swings, silks, and hoops. The Voler ensemble has also performed at more than 30 notable locations including the Kansas city and Chicago fringe festivals and the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.
The academy’s primary purpose is teaching, of course, and three levels of classes instruct participants on the finer points of contorting on silks and practicing spirals, suspension, and falls.
Led by a board-certified plastic surgeon, Hudson Med Spas' aestheticians and medical professionals aim to restore bodies to a smooth, youthful, and healthy appearance. Four on-staff nurses perform beautifying procedures, which include laser treatments that can shrink fat cells, expunge unwanted hair, and tighten skin to give clients a youthful appearance smooth enough to get the kids' discount at a wind tunnel. In addition to medical treatments such as Botox and Radiesse, clients can opt for traditional spa services such as facials and soothing massages. Hudson Med Spas also schedules appointments after hours for an additional $20 fee, helping accommodate clients who need to work late stoking the sun's coal-burning core.