Though many people consider playing an instrument to be a lovely skill or hobby, the team at Dean Music Institute looks at it a bit differently. That’s because after a quarter century spent creating and teaching music, they have seen how learning to play an instrument improves both the player’s creativity and brain function, resulting in better test scores, memory, and decision-making skills. They also understand that students will reap the most benefits if they enjoy their courses of study. And so, when instructors lead group sessions in guitar or private lessons in piano, bass, or guitar, they set realistic goals in short assignments and dive into popular songs that students actually want to learn how to play. For those too busy to make it into the studio, they also offer lessons over Skype, and flash classes see instructors and students holding impromptu jam sessions at cafés, bars, shopping centers, and parking-ticket-violation hearings to share a love of artistic expression with the public.
Lauren Whitmore Powers knows what it's like to be out of shape?she was more than 80 pounds heavier before she discovered boot camp. Her transformation from heavy to fit inspired her to become certified in Schwinn cycling and Level 1 CrossFit so that she could help others achieve the same kind of results. Today she acts as program director of Total Fitness Revolution, working alongside a team of 15 other instructors that includes lifelong athlete Rashad McDade, yoga and pilates teacher Michelle Wade and CrossFit Coach, Richard Bowen. This team of trainers helms one-month boot camps and one-on-one training sessions, as well as small-group classes that cover the ins and outs of CrossFit, Pilates, yoga, and Zumba.
Resolute Spirit Athletics provides a safe and structured environment for children to get fit and explore self-expression through movement. Instructors guide students of all ages through dance classes in styles such as hip-hop and jazz, and lead tumbling classes that cover everything from basic cartwheels to advanced standing full twists. And, for those who wish to compete or just keep their moves fresh in the off-season, the facility also offers cheerleading classes that teach students how to bring pep to any sporting event or traffic court hearing.
Head Instructor Jim McKinley calls upon his certifications as a Level 3 United States Golf Teachers Federation Instructor and US Army Master Fitness Trainer to help students take control of their swings and improve their scores. Jim starts lessons by assessing a player’s grip, posture, and alignment at setup, which are the building blocks of a tasty stew and a fundamental golf swing. Teachers and pupils then focus on the mechanics of the swing, with the students performing drills and exercises that help remedy problem areas. Students may also use training aides to lock in muscle memory so that the muscles learn the different benefits of swinging and twirling the club. Jim understands that while stance and swing mechanics can be addressed on the driving range, the less tangible aspects of club selection and golf-course management cannot. He helps students with these principles by playing a round with them, and offers a 50% refund to any student who can beat him.
Elite Lifestyle Fitness, founded by Bobby Farley in 2011, offers multiple ways to get fit while meeting each individual's needs. The Lithia Springs–based fitness center offers personal training, life coaching, and personalized diet plans, as well as a free one-on-one consultations to ensure specific goals are met.
Step It Up Fitness’s immersive signature boot-camp program engages patrons in nutrition counseling and motivating group training that SmyrnaVinings.com lauded as the area's best boot camp in 2010. Four days a week, campers gather before dawn for 70 minutes of rotating agility drills, strength exercises, and calisthenics fueled by a trainer's ardent cheers.
After trainers test each participant's athletic mettle, they assign them to a team of similarly able bodies or similarly bodied androids. Group accountability and sweaty camaraderie knit these crews together to help their members build confidence as well as lithe, powerful physiques. An accompanying nutrition program extends camp support through mealtime, doling out personalized plans rooted in the food pyramid. Athletes log meals and resultant adventures in Slumberland in a journal to share with their instructors, who use the data to make recommendations for increasing energy and meeting fitness goals. In addition to its boot-camp classes, Step It Up Fitness hosts weeklong speed and agility classes for youths that are led by a staff of experienced certified instructors.