GO-FAME Youth Theatre Company started as a means of transporting children to another world. Its first production, Alice in Wonderland, taught 60 students at Minnie Gant Elementary School how to travel down the rabbit hole while providing them with an expressive outlet. With their newfound skills, that cast of first through fifth graders performed for full audiences at the University Theater at CSULB in October 2005.
Since then, GO-FAME has expanded into a theatre program for all youth in the community, but its mission remains the same: to encourage youth to explore the arts and expand their skills. When they walk out on stage, students leave behind their old selves and step into the role of performers, and GO-FAME teaches them how. Several weeks of acting lessons and rehearsals preempt annual productions for friends and family. Past performances have included Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Dear Edwina, and The Paper Bag Bandit.
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Leah Marsh discovered Pilates in college, but she never though it's where her career path would end up. After working at a luxury magazine and then for an eco-fashion designer, however, she found her way back to Pilates and opened a studio in her hometown of Long Beach. Marsh now operates two Pilates X studios, each of which hosts a diverse array of Pilates, yoga, and cardio classes. For all of their differences, these classes share an emphasis on toning muscles with Pilates techniques. Marsh has even put to use her background in eco-conscious fashion, stocking her studios with boutique sportswear and encouraging her students to only deadlift renewable trees.
Gabriel Hall, owner of Yoga World Studios, discovered yoga at the age of 19 while pursuing his degree in philosophy. Dr. Allen Arnette—already the clinical director of the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Department—began studying yoga as a way of researching the role mental well-being plays in healing physical ailments. Katherine Ostrout studied dance science at Cal State Long Beach and turned to Pilates after a ballet injury laid her low. These three weave their diverse backgrounds into the rich tapestry of talent made up by Yoga World’s team of yogis.
Having studied extensively in particular schools of yoga, instructors bring their individual training into the studio, focusing on disciplines that range from the physically challenging to mentally reflective, and include Iyengar, Ashtanga, Viniyoga, and Anusara. In addition to their regular yoga lessons, the Yoga World team also leads mat-Pilates classes, workshops, and private instruction. They use the art of yoga for healing in one-on-one sessions of Thai yoga therapy, which blends shiatsu massage with acupressure, or they coordinate beachside retreats full of yoga, surfing, and yoga-surfing.
The friendly, certified trainers at South Bay Fit Camp use a wide variety of games, activities, and exercises during their upbeat fitness classes. These group workouts are infinitely more fun than childhood recesses spent running from feral tire-swings. Classes meet outdoors regardless of the weather, so dress limbs in easy to peel layers, slather on sunscreen, and bring water-friendly clothing. Each workout challenges exercisers of all fitness levels, and South Bay Fit Camp's smaller classes make sure no one is left behind in the woods and eaten by bears dressed as Richard Simmons. In addition to basic boot-camp classes, South Bay also offers bridal fit camp for brides and grooms as well as mommy fit camp for new and soon-to-be mothers.
Co-owners Tyler Valencia and Tony Nunez have spent years ensuring that they could help others be healthy. They’ve received certifications as personal trainers and have earned degrees in kinesiology with emphasis on fitness. Together, they lead students of all fitness levels through rigorous outdoor boot camp sessions. They customize the program to suit all students, designing
routines of interval training that make use of battling ropes, TRX suspension equipment, and resistance bands.
The couple behind Project FitFam understand the juggling act of life; keeping up with their careers, marriage, and two toddlers can be a handful before you take into account the need to exercise. They share this story with many of their clients, and they also share the strategies they've developed for making a little extra time to take care of yourself. They run an array of fitness boot camps that incorporate kickboxing, kettlebells, and plyometrics and are held outdoors at local parks. They even set aside specific dates for playdate fitness camps, where parents work out as their kids frolic on a nearby playground.