Alabama-born Cynthia Massey Parsons, who will be featured in the 32nd anniversary edition of Who’s Who in American Art, has built her artistic reputation on works in watercolor, acrylic, and graphite. During Paint-A-Long sessions, she leads budding artists through the brushwork of a single painting, helping students pick up sound technique without worrying about inventing a subject or baiting a muse. Her original designs range from modified classics—such as the sky in Van Gogh’s Starry Night transposed over a local skyline—to classic floral still lifes.
Dance—the marriage of melody, mirth, and floorboard massaging—is majestically personified by Alabama Ballet’s dexterous cabal of dancers. Watch them harness heels and tame toes during a gripping rendition of a classic Halloween tale on two available dates. The production features pulchritudinous pirouettes and immaculately produced choreography by Roger Van Fleteren and Wes Chapman and the haunting live organ music of Thomas Helms. Dracula showcases a flurry of deft rollicking and memorable movements that helped put the Alabama Ballet on the footmap—and become one of only six ballet companies in the world to be permitted by the Balanchine Trust to perform Balanchine’s Nutcracker. Marvel at the graceful ballerinas and ballerinos before tossing a flurry of tutus on stage after a beautifully executed grand jeté, soutenu en tormant, or electric slide with today’s spookily refined Groupon.
Spa Moksha's staffers blend the benefits of medical care and spa treatments to create their method of mind-body medicine. They base it on scientific knowledge garnered by a cohort of doctors that includes Dr. Deepak Chopra. On one side of the coin, The Foundation for Mind-Body Medicine specializes in health services provided by experts in modern and integrated medicine. Based on each individual’s body chemistry, the experts design a personal treatment plan that can address maladies ranging from stress and chronic pain to diabetes, allergies, and cardiovascular disease.
On the other side of this coin resides not Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, or the guy who makes more money than anyone—the machinist at the US Mint—but the spa portion of Spa Moksha, which approaches wellness with medical and nonmedical spa treatments. The expert technicians employ practices that range from Ayurvedic therapy and nutrition consultations to facials, skincare, mani-pedis, and hair removal via lasers or waxing. The spa staff can also eschew the typical clinical atmosphere to treat clients with massages on the rooftop gazebo, a private space that allows patients to enjoy a relaxing massage amid the warmth of the sun and the kiss of cool breezes.
Amid the buzz of whirring cardio machines, Next Total Fitness's Roebuck facility bustles with fitness classes and personal training sessions. The cardio room brims with equipment such as TV-equipped elliptical machines, bikes, and treadmills from brands such as Life Fitness, and Star Trac. The facility also boasts an indoor track, indoor and outdoor pools, a boxing room, a half basketball court, and studios where certified instructors helm group fitness, spin, Zumba and yoga classes.
Otherwise, expert coaches lead specialty group training and weight training sessions, and personal trainers build custom workout regimens to accommodate each individual's own unique physical health and fitness abilities. Trainers also advise clients on nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. Meanwhile, childcare professionals keep a careful watch over offspring as parents spend their time in a group fitness class, exercising or secretly flexing in the changing room mirrors.
Birmingham Flight Center’s skilled instructors equip pupils with aeronautical know-how through classroom, flight-simulator, and in-the-air training. Students blast off into the pixeled yonder in Redbird FMX simulators—equipped with 200-degree wraparound views, full-motion capabilities, and digital parachutes in case of lost dogfights—or pilot the center’s top-notch, genuine fleet. Offering levels of instruction from Learn to Fly private pilot-certification courses to FAR Part 141 expedited commercial training, the flight center prepares the pilots of tomorrow while maintaining its founders’ legacy of aeronautical excellence, which stretches back more than 70 years.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.