A nonprofit cooperative, imaginese Free Productions is a conglomerate of artists and dreamers working together to achieve goals, complete projects, and help others do the same. They work in a variety of media and art forms, including acting, directing, painting, and music. Through shared resources and equipment, as well as weekly workshops and courses, they hope to create a positive creative working environment in which to nurture and accomplish all manner of artistic endeavors.
At the Aerobics Room, exercisers of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels gather to work out in a variety of ways. Trainer Dawn Strozier leads classes in Zumba, a Latin-inspired "fitness party;" body pump, Crossfit, abs, buns, and thighs classes unfold elements of various martial arts into each routine, and kickboxing, which folds elements of various martial arts into each routine. Additionally, the class schedule includes specialty classes such as Kids Zumba and Senior Fitness, plus classic fitness options including boot camp and yoga. There's at least one class?usually three or four?six days a week, except for Sunday when the earth closes its single giant eyelid to rest up for the workweek.
Feeling as though her life lacked direction, Kar Lee Young took up yoga some years ago. Quickly finding new meaning in the practice, she decided to bring yoga to her community, opening Crenshaw Yoga and Dance in 2004. In its three studios, students follow the center's experienced teachers in all-level classes that cater to neophytes and veteran yogis alike. The weekly schedule also includes dance fitness classes and kids' classes that help young'uns express themselves through movement, stay active, and overcome deep-seated fears of wall-to-wall mirrors.
Sri Dharma Mittra has been honing his yoga practice for more than 50 years. It's safe to say that he enjoys it, but that isn't quite the point. His philosophy is based around altruism and acceptance, the pillars of a style called karma yoga. His devotion to tutoring others has earned him the nickname of "Teacher's Teacher," and his signature style aims to awaken the benevolent spirit within the practitioner.
Sonya Enchill Kendall takes this selfless method to heart at Dharma Yoga L.A. She and her certified staff have all studied with Sri Dharma Mittra, and they now lead classes that encompass his poses, flowing sequences, and inversions. The lessons are grouped according to skill level, with gentle classes for beginners and advanced levels for those who can balance on a beginner's head without them noticing. Enchill Kendall's overarching goal is to impart the benefits of yoga to anyone who seeks them, especially those in underserved communities. Accordingly, several classes and open-meditation sessions are donation-based.
Regardless of dress size or dance background, each woman who enters one of The Secret Pole Dance Studios becomes a part of a supportive community. At both the original Culver City studio and the brand new Hawthorne location, instructors dish out compliments as they guide women through choreographed fitness routines, empowering dancers to overcome inhibitions and let loose along the way. During the Pole Diva and Sensual Movement classes, instructors also encourage camaraderie, occasionally breaking participants into groups and have them perform for one another. Though it may seem intimidating, this opportunity to show off in front of a nurturing audience provides students with the opportunity to build self-esteem.
In addition to boosting mental fortitude, the studio's sensual fitness routines also build physical strength; pole-dancing classes sculpt arms and cores, and chair-dancing classes firm up glutes, quads, and newly emerged dorsal fins. Classes unfold in the studios or on location, but the fun doesn't necessarily end once the imaginary bell rings; groups of gals can even reserve the spaces for private dance parties.
Today’s Groupon offers big-top skills for aspiring circusonians of the non-clown lineage. For $25, you’ll get two hour-long circus arts classes at Kinetic Theory, a $40–$60 value. It's perfect for anyone who has dreamt of taking a contortion class to become a human animal balloon at his or her cousin’s birthday party. If you want to share the rigors of circusry with a friend, you can split your Groupon and each take one class.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.