On the surface, Susan Hilferty appeared to be living the American dream—a promising position as a pharmaceutical rep, plus an upcoming marriage. But for a woman who grew up studying at The School of American Ballet and dancing on stages including Lincoln Center, selling pills felt empty at times, and Hilferty found her need for physical expression growing stronger. While visiting a friend in Los Angeles, she took her first pole-dancing class, and almost immediately, her life took a new direction.
Though she faced resistance from friends and family, Hilferty saw in her classes how pole dancing transformed women—giving them new confidence, encouraging them to overcome insecurities, and helping them heal from past traumas. She called off her wedding, continued taking classes, and eventually opened Pole Fitness Miami. Today, she and her team of trained ballerinas lead pole-dancing and dance-based fitness classes at two locations. Ranked on CBS Local Miami's list of Best Places For Unique Workouts, the boutique surrounds saunterers with purple walls, subdued lighting, and gauzy curtains to create a sultry atmosphere. Additionally, Hilferty and her crew help students obtain pole-dance certifications, as well as arrange pole-dance parties so groups of damsels can strengthen their bonds or celebrate becoming volunteer firefighters.
At first sight, David Barton Gym might appear to be an art gallery or swank pad complete with pounded steel plating, leather-wrapped door handles, and weekly DJ sets, but a second glance reveals a 30,000-square-foot fitness haven overlooking the Chicago River. The designer gym is loaded with free weights, cardio machines, a group cycling studio, steam rooms, a Russian bath, and a studio for yoga class. Meet up with an experienced hardbody personal trainer and melt fat like a George Foreman grill with a barrage of pushups, sit-ups, or 20 minutes on the TV-topped elliptical machine. Renew your will from the on-site therapist from Delos Wellness and let them unkink the knots that prevent you from having the strength needed to throw a dictionary through a thicker dictionary.
E! News anchor and Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic was born in Italy but she has strong ties to Chicago—namely, her husband Bill, the Trump-approved entrepreneur and restaurateur behind RPM Italian. In the My Chicago by Giuliana Rancic collection, the star of Giuliana & Bill gives the scoop on her favorite local spots to get glammed up, be entertained in style, and even shop for Bill.
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Room Service Restaurant Lounge adapts the vocabulary of luxury hotels to a chic setting full of upscale cuisine, top-shelf liquors, and late-night entertainment. After bellmen escort guests to private suites equipped with flat-screen TVs, butlers supply dishes such as penne pasta tossed with housemade alfredo sauce and 12-ounce skirt steaks topped with bourbon barbecue sauce. To complement bites, barkeeps supply bottles—champagne, tequila, and scotch among them—and craft thematically named signature cocktails such as the Wake Up Call, a blend of lemon juice, strawberries, and Bacardi Dragon Berry.
At 11 p.m., Room Service's restaurant transforms into a lounge where DJs spin the latest tunes and prominently displayed bottles of wine, champagne, and spirits prompt guests to summon more rounds. Servers in French-maid outfits offer beverages along with small plates such as housemade crab cakes with clarified butter. Along with nightly soirees, Room Service hosts private parties for up to 30 guests, corporate and special events for up to 270 guests, and stuck-in-the-laundry-chute parties for up to three.
White sand dunes crowned with tufts of grass. Shorelines overflowing with native plants and coastal trees. Clear cerulean waters stretching out onto the horizon, reflecting the undulating landscape of the Miami skyline. At Golden Yacht Charters, captains lead visitors into these scenic waters on boat tours while staffers rent out a fleet of powerboats to customers who want to experience owning a yacht without having to maintain it or parallel park it at the end of each day.
Captains and passengers embark on sunset or nighttime cruises along Miami's downtown and bayside coasts; daytime voyages to private spots such as Palm Island, Star Island, and Fisher Island; and trips to see the lighthouse at Cape Florida. Captains also helm tours past locales such as The Miami Herald, Freedom Tower, Rickenbacker Causeway, and Port of Miami. Guests can explore these same waters at their own pace aboard Tahoe, Sylvan, Hurricane, and Sea Ray powerboats, crafts up to 26 feet and outfitted with plush aft seating and insulated coolers. Staffers also rent fishing boats, catamarans, and luxury speedboats.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
Synergy Yoga holds small gatherings of passionate yogis as they stretch and build muscles in 1 of the 50 classes offered each week. Various styles of yoga, including traditional Hatha flow, focus on deep breathing, and more rigorous classes, such as hot core Vinyasa or hot power yoga, combine the sweat-inducing powers of a heated studio with moves that can makes tummies tighter than an elf's shoes on a pro basketball player.
Focused on supporting the community, Synergy Yoga aims to include all walks of life. Kids' yoga invites youngsters to develop their flexibility, and very advanced yogis can turn their passion into a living with teacher training. Healing arts such as Chakra reading, meditation, or massage soothe guests in need of some extra care.