Leigh Ann grew up as an actor who was also an athlete: when she was offstage, the SoCal native dove off springboards, jumped hurdles, and fought on the kickboxing mat. Her knack for blending art with athleticism led her to found BeSpun at the age of 25. Leigh Ann competes and receives top honors at national and regional pole-dance competitions, and she has produced and starred in a series of instructional DVDs.
At BeSpun, Leigh Ann and her fellow instructors—also pole-dance champions—teach an extensive array of classes that include single-session and multiweek workshops. Classes’ subject matter ranges from beginners' lessons to master workshops led by special guests. There’s also open-studio time, as well as classes that focus on specialties such as spinning, stretching, and whittling your own pole from a chrome tree trunk. Instructors focus on leading thorough sessions that use time efficiently, and they’re committed to blending fitness with dance training. A lighthearted FAQ page answers potential questions while giving a taste of the studio’s fun-loving atmosphere.
When the Markowitz family took control of Factor's Famous Deli in 1969, the eatery had already been thriving for more than two decades. Today, the second generation of Markowitzes still owns and operates the restaurant at its original location on Pico Boulevard. They man a deli counter where patrons can grab freshly roasted meats by the pound or carat. The menu is enormous, filled with breakfast wraps, omelets, paninis, meat loaf, and short ribs that customers can enjoy along with a booth's warm embrace and the approving gaze of sports and entertainment memorabilia. Three private dining rooms—including a sundrenched back room, a vine-lined garden patio, and a wine room ringed with exposed brick—set the stage for food-focused get-togethers with friends and family.
The Markowitz clan also caters events, delivering deli and fish platters to your home or underground party bunker, and welcoming guests to The Mark for Events. This stylish space, which glows a soft pink when low light flickers across its white walls, tables, and chairs, is managed by one of the Markowitz daughters.
Photographer Stuart Townsley uses a trained eye and high-tech equipment to capture memories into frameworthy prints and digital art, using 10 of LA's most attractive landmarks as backdrops. The famed local sites where he sets up camp—such as the roaring Pacific Ocean under Santa Monica Pier or the 1930s architecture and picturesque fountain of Union Station—elegantly complement subjects' smiling visages. His shutter snaps hundreds of times during each photo shoot, immortalizing the faces, poses, and secret handshakes of families and well-behaved pets. Well-versed in state-of-the-art retouching gear, Stuart unfurls his astutely edited creations onto glossy prints, canvases, and online albums.
Stuart's advice on what to wear and bring to shoots, garnered through 12 years of professional experience, conveniently resides online to aid in the selection of appropriate outfits for every mother, father, child, or hamster.
Born prematurely, Miguel Novo was told as a child that he would encounter physical challenges and limitations his entire life. He was 13 years old when he decided to prove them wrong. With Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson as inspiration, Miguel began to lift weights, eventually becoming a certified personal trainer to help others overcome their mental and physical obstacles.
Today, Miguel leads intense personal-training fitness programs based on his clients' physical-condition evaluations. He teaches as he trains, infusing the ever-adapting sessions with his fitness and nutrition knowledge to equip students with the tools to lead healthy lives. In addition to the one-on-one sessions, he leads outdoor group boot camps that incorporate cardio endurance exercises and strength training into high-intensity workouts.
From garnishing a perfectly poured martini to doling out rounds of drinks quickly and efficiently, the experienced instructors at National Bartender School possess all the tips, tricks, and tools to succeed in the bartending trade. With years of industry experience under their belts, these knowledgeable spirits sages guide pupils through certification courses that cover every aspect of the job. Under their supervision, students learn to craft more than 200 cocktails, handle transactions, and practice the art of the upsell without breaking a sweat or bottle of 50-year-old scotch. Free refresher courses and job-placement assistance keep students on track even after school is through. For more focused pursuits, National Bartender School also hosts classes in specialty fields such as flair bartending and bar management.
Photographers Nati and Eddie want clients to feel as comfortable as possible, so instead of hunting for an old warehouse, the ladies put their studio in a Spanish-style duplex. They named it The Little Room Studio—a place that feels more like a friend's place than a commercial photography space.
Despite its modest size, it packs plenty of gear to reveal subjects at their most photogenic, from colored backdrops to gel lighting to mirrors that reaffirm subjects are indeed the fairest of them all. This equipment transforms the space for each boudoir, pinup, and fashion shoot, allowing Nati and Eddie to stage all kinds of shots, from playful to edgy.
The photographers extend their expertise in composition to graphic design, developing materials such as business logos, postcards, and business cards. They also pair with a team of sound engineers, who offer audio services in an adjacent recording studio.