First a teacher, and then a stay-at-home mom, Melissa Spredemann turned to indoor cycling to help her get into shape. With 12 years of experience under her belt, she decided to become certified to teach others the exercise form she loved so much. Just one year into teaching, she knew she wanted to pursue her passion full-time, so she opened Velocity Cycling Studio to share stationary cycling's benefits with others. She handpicked a team of instructors, each chosen for their commitment, enthusiasm, and innate ability to bike while not covering any distance. Melissa made the conscious decision to open a niche gym, focusing on indoor cycling and only indoor cycling. In the studio, an army of Spinner NXT bikes with SPD clips seats students as they bike through poses, drills, and movements designed to mimic outdoor riding. Thumping tunes pump up pupils as they ride, keeping them motivated to pedal to the upbeat tempos. Unlike big-box gyms and arranged friendships, Velocity Cycling Studio never requires a contract—guests simply pay per ride.
In 1947, on New York City's Park Avenue, the first Fred Astaire Dance Studio—cofounded by the eponymous toe tapper himself—opened its doors to the public. More than six decades later, now boasting schools across North America, the dancing institution still adheres to the legendary Mr. Astaire's curriculum and instruction techniques.
Specializing in social ballroom and competitive dances, the schools' current consortium of professional instructors shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through dance lessons that span from classic ballroom and foxtrot romps to the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. In addition to classes, the studio hosts social practice parties where up to 40 students hone newly acquired rug-cutting capabilities. As foot-charming music blares from the speakers, instructors work to cultivate a lively social setting where each guest can dance, mingle, and surgically correct their second left foot without fear of embarrassment.
Snap Fitness, bustling with cardio and strength-training gear, throws open the doors to its facilities 24/7. Before exercisers put sneakers to treadmills or lift their first weights, staff meet with them to talk about their fitness goals before suggesting personalized fitness plans based on clients' strength, cardio condition, and bionic-limb manufacturers. The gym keeps members motivated with regular check-in calls and demystifies healthful eating with custom online meal plans designed by nutritionists. Staff also forestall exercise-routine boredom by working individually with clients on a routine basis.
Elite Sports Club started as an all-tennis facility, but over the years has netted a larger variety of fitness activities and services to create multi-purpose, family-oriented clubs. Elite's large facilities house high-end cardio and weight equipment such as LifeFitness, Cybex, Paramount, Matrix, Star Trac, and Precor machines, basketball/sport courts, and Pilates and GRAVITY studios (GRAVITY training encourages organic movement and exercise by using the body’s own weight as resistance). Elite's classes and group training vary by club location, but include Pilates, Body Blitz Boot Camp, Women on Weights, triathlon training, and a miscellany of junior fitness classes to teach youngsters the importance of health, nutrition, and not acting their shoe size. All locations grant their members free tennis-court time from June through August, and all can provide daycare services.
Featured by the Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery, Solaris Medical Spa harbors a staff of professionals well versed in age-battling skin treatments. Patrons seeking a newly polished opera mask can entrust their countenances to the adroit hands of board-certified physician and pharmacist Dr. Marsha Davis. The anti-aging facial smooths skin and discourages wrinkles caused by squinting at the pool-noodle-riddled surface of Loch Ness (a $90 value). Opt for a one-hour deep pore facial to ferret out obstinate blackheads (a $90 value), or choose an exfoliating facial (a $90 value) to eradicate patches of desert from the visage biome. Personalized chemical peels can curtail the signs of acne, sun damage, and fine lines ($70–$90). Depending on the type of peel, clients may need little to no downtime before they can test their results by joining a local porcupine-nuzzling tournament.
Founder and CEO Allison Beardsley's passion for Pilates sparked after struggling to find exercise that would not aggravate her basketball-related ailments. The discovery that the efficient resistance moves helped her to develop a strong core without subjecting her joints to pain inspired her to spread the word of Pilates's benefits to others, which she does from 18 clean and sunny Club Pilates?studio locations. A team of certified instructors teaches the group classes, which are designed to strengthen, tighten, and tone the entire body. The staff leads students through controlled movements and breathing techniques performed on specialized Pilates machines, such as the Reformer, a Pilates ballet barre, and retired kitchen chairs. To ensure each patron can craft a well-rounded workout regimen that suits his or her needs, the studios offer stretching and sculpting classes that touch upon a variety of fitness modalities.