Led by two ACE-certified personal trainers, Carolina Adventure Boot Camp takes men and women of any age or fitness level through regularly scheduled 60-minute outdoor cardio romps. Groups are limited in size for each session, helping students get to know one another and allowing trainers to personalize each exercise to individual abilities. The bare-bones structure of each class builds routines around body-weight resistance, running, yoga, and obstacle courses, requiring each participant to bring only water, a yoga mat, and a pair of dumbbells. When not providing positive reinforcement, instructors counsel students on nutritional matters, helping craft nutritious meal plans and sharing healthful cookie recipes that replace chocolate chips with Flintstones vitamins.
The teachers at Marlyvia Academy of All Stars Today, Inc. know that learning happens both inside and outside of the classroom. That's why their tutoring programs cover both spheres. Within the realm of academia, they tutor kids in K–12 or help them get ready for the SAT or ACT using techniques custom-tailored to each student's learning style. In the extracurricular enrichment courses, they focus on the nuances of socializing, from etiquette and manners to resisting peer pressure.
At Howren Piano Studio, Miss Howren teaches piano in a supportive environment that favors group lessons and one-on-one instruction alike. Group lessons let pupils learn together by taking turns playing songs. This allows for more camaraderie and multiple perspectives on piano techniques. Private lessons are also very effective and available, and Miss Howren encourages parents to be present for kids’ lessons so that they can assist during practice at home. Both private and group lessons are available for all ages.
Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
The mixologists at ABC Bartending School divulge saloon secrets during certification-based and recreational bartending classes. During two-week certification courses, burgeoning bartenders mix classic and popular drinks while learning about alcohol laws, responsible liquor service, and stocking and inventory. Alternatively, an entertaining mixology course lets amateurs shake up drinks and take cover from projectile champagne corks behind an ornate bar with mirrors and gold trim. Once finished imparting their knowledge, the instructors set students up with ABC’s job-placement program, which puts certified graduates to work everywhere from restaurants and nightclubs to the zero-G sports bar where astronauts celebrate successful trips to the moon.
HandPicked's bauble boutiques brandish original, elegant adornments and sterling-silver jewelry handcrafted by artisans from around the world. HandPicked originals such as the Tiny Twinklers studs ($12) grant wishes for lonely lobes, and bare wrists find themselves encased in the turquoise globes of the For The Nurturing Center bracelet ($32), which pleases its parents by donating a percentage of proceeds to its namesake, a local therapeutic treatment center for child abuse.