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.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Maya Zahira began studying natural therapeutic arts and belly dance in 1999, eventually creating a studio that she dedicated to alternative healing. Both folkloric and fusion belly-dancing classes welcome women of varying skill and fitness levels, promoting physical and mental well-being with empowering dance moves that teach students how to undulate as smoothly as a snake slithering across a waterbed that’s filled with pudding. Outside of the dance studio, Maya fosters a tension-free environment for visitors by offering aromatherapy, drum-therapy, and reiki sessions, which help encourage natural healing by redirecting roadblocked sources of inner energy.
A community presence in Kansas City since 1860, the Greater Kansas City YMCA forwards its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds at its 18 locations. Each bustling outpost proffers members an embarrassment of fitness and entertainment riches, with everything from youth camps and after-school programs to group exercise classes, such as cycling, core training, and Pilates. Clubs and social organizations help members meet like-minded friends, and family activities strengthen bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly.
Its rapid rise chronicled in in Forbes, Men’s Journal, and a parcel of other press, Hiking Yoga has sent massive waves of invigorated bliss washing up and down the west coast since its 2009 founding. Each of its outdoor excursions melds the cardio workout of hiking with the stretching and measured breaths of yoga. Certified instructors lead pupils through scenic vistas, or, in early-morning sessions, impressionistic dreamscapes, as they alternate between heart-pumping strides and yoga breaks suitable for neophytes and the pretzel-capable alike.
Sunlight spills through Maya Yoga’s glass-block windows, quietly illuminating students as they meditatively make their way through a series of poses amongst tapestries of Hindu deities. Here, teachers shepherd students of all levels through flowing Vinyasa sequences and the ancient poses of the Ashtanga tradition. To help loosen tight muscles and oust toxins, teachers heat up the studio to a limb-limbering 80 degrees. They also play tranquil music to help the group breathe deeply as they commune with their inner selves and train their third eyes to not wink at every attractive stranger who passes by.