The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 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.
There are more than 2,000 short tracks in the United States. Among them, fewer than 60 are NASCAR-sanctioned. Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex is one of the few with such distinction. The raceway has guzzled the fumes of that rarified air since 1960, when it was built as a 1/3-mile facility surrounded by just 1,200 seats. In 1964, the course expanded to 3/8 mile, and four years later, asphalt replaced the outdated shag carpeting as the track's surface. Today, Holland packs up to 7,000 spectators into its grandstands. It completes the race-day experience with various amenities, including The Midway, where fans can fuel up on snacks and drinks, and The Village, where fans party under large tents and around picnic tables.
Originally sculpted into the rolling terrain of western New York in 1920, South Shore’s 18-hole course invites golfers of all stripes to conquer its pristine fairways. The grassy monolith stretches across 150 acres of scenic, parkland terrain, where players must shape their shots around babbling creeks, mature trees, and lakes where discontent golf balls live out fantasies of becoming submarines in search of Atlantis, the Utopian land responsible for the Arnold Palmer drink. A pro shop and clubhouse sit on the scenic hillsides, beckoning players with post-round beverages, upgraded golf accessories, and slice-prone spirits yelling “fore” at one another.
The chopper controllers at Western New York Helicopters steer flight instruction that ranges from one-time introductory experiences to complete pilot certification. The resident fleet of R44s and S-300Cs gamely trucks the earthbound on any aeronautic needs, from local tours to power line patrols to diplomatic negotiations with the owl kingdom. Launching from Hamburg Airport just 15 miles south of Buffalo, the happy hoverers direct air traffic from both Canadian and stateside pilots-to-be.
Snap Fitness's easyFIT monitor is a small, clip-on accelerometer that helps keep track of daily exercise. Unlike pedometers that merely measure steps and spy on daydreams, the easyFIT monitor senses the intensity and duration of physical activity, transmogrifying those stats into simple, numerical points that help assess activity levels from sedentary to peak performance. In addition to tracking exercise in real time, easyFIT monitors can connect to the wearer's personal web portal to upload data and create fitness graphs that help show progress, snag exercise suggestions, and stave off the temptation of living next to a hamburger farm. Watch a video about the easyFit here.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.