In 2001, Carrie Rezabek Dorr’s only venue for her Pure Barre workouts—a blend of dance, Pilates, and strengthening stretches—was the basement of an office building. Crowds drawn by Carrie's choreographing expertise and the infectious music of her routines necessitated expansion, however, and Pure Barre soon spread its franchises across the country, spurred by mentions in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Health magazines.
Pure Barre guides students through precise isometric movements that craft lean, not bulky, muscles. By flowing through scalable maneuvers that balance limbs against a ballet barre, participants can lift and tighten traditional problem areas such as the thighs, abs, seat, and arms. The workout is accessible to all fitness levels, and can help new mothers get back in shape. Intimate classes with a limit of 15 attendees ensure personalized adjustments and tips, allowing each guest to get the most from the workout's alternating strength and stretch drills.
Created by former personal trainer and kinesiology degree-holder Jill Dailey McIntosh, The Dailey Method unites elements of muscle strengthening, core conditioning, yoga, and orthopedic exercise to work major muscle groups and improve alignment. Participants perform active stretches and controlled exercises that may enlist such equipment as ballet bars and saltwater taffy. An emphasis on neutral spine positions helps further home in on proper alignment and tone musculature. The Saratoga and Los Gatos locations' founder, experienced fitness guru Macey Kalin, and her team of instructors trained under The Dailey Method for three to four months, refining their understanding of the hybrid technique. Trainers aim to provide one-on-one attention to all students, helping ensure effectiveness and a personalized workout more easily than fingerprinting a pair of gym shorts.
Holy City Art Glass—housed in a ghost town's one-time post office—sets a historic stage for anyone to learn the time-honored art of creating glass art. Over the course of the two-hour session, accomplished owner Tom Stanton and his cadre of savvy, dedicated glass-art gurus steer the class of 8–10 artistes-to-be through a triumvirate of traditional glass-making processes. Students will first learn how to engrave glass surfaces by etching a star onto a beveled piece of glass, utilizing the same processes that expert artisans employ to cut Waterford Crystal and tree-trunk love poems for JJJfilms.
Having shot more than 30,000 subjects throughout his career as a photographer, including many Silicon Valley business figures, Eric Gould understands how to create a good photo in any setting. His adeptness at communicating with subjects carries into his photography workshops, where he conveys difficult concepts clearly and methodically, saving students from such rookie mistakes as shooting with the lens cap on or turning the flash on while taking pictures of your imaginary friend's third grade graduation. In his own photo sessions, he frames professional clients in business portraits and headshots, high-school seniors in youthful poses, athletes in midaction, and a wide spectrum of people and places encountered on international travels.
When he’s not busy hanging out with the cast of Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon, Master Andrew Fanelli leads a slew of martial-arts programs at All-Pro Tae Kwon Do. He and his team of instructors lead classes in disciplines such as tae kwon do, muay thai, boxing, boot camp, kickboxing, and self-defense. Designed for students aged 3 and older, classes focus on fitness and wellness as well as self-defense, discipline, respect, and courage.
YogaSource peoples its 6,000-square-foot studio with patient, world-class instructors that guide yoga classes for every experience level or schedule. The Balinese-inspired facility, made from bamboo, teak and slate, maintains an inspirational setting for 90-minute Bikram sessions, in which students cycle through 26 spine-strengthening poses. More meditational Yin lessons involve long holds, inspirational readings, and a map to frontal-lobe Narnia. The unlimited yoga package allows aspirant Gumby impersonators room to discover which teachers, yoga types, and class times work best for them. Mats and towels are available for rental, and stretch-specific garb is on sale at YogaSource's attached boutique.