Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
In the fitness industry, only a select few exercise pioneers enjoy widespread name recognition. Bikram Choudhury is one of them, and the instructors of Bikram Yoga Everett have earned that name by enduring his legendary nine-week training course. The program also keeps yogis on their toes by requiring recertification every three years. In the intense training sessions, aspiring instructors learn to make use of a heated environment to push the mental focus and muscular endurance of students during the 90-minute classes.
The Bikram Yoga Everett Studio welcomes visitors with a lobby bursting in bright primary colors and a spacious workout room swathed in natural sunlight. The computer-controlled temperature remains evenly regulated throughout the space, and a ventilation system provides a constant supply of fresh air, occasionally pumping in helium for cartoon voiceover workshops. Floors are covered in Zebra yoga mats that dramatically reduce joint strain.
With two locations, long hours, and a bounty of equipment, Emerald City Athletic Club helps its members get in shape, whatever their workout of choice. Gym floors lined with regiments of Precor and Nautilus machines let members work every muscle in their bodies, and the class studios' high-tech sound systems energize Zumba, salsa dancing, and kickboxing sessions and keep stationary cycles from tearing around the room in loneliness each night. Free weights and intricate weight machines hold down the floor of a spacious weight room, where muscle sculptors work up a sweat before winding down in a dry sauna, Turkish steam bath, and hot tub. At the Everett location, an Olympic-style pool, a basketball court, and racquetball and handball courts offer even more variety.
An award-winning artist, Evelia A. Sanchez passes her knowledge onto others during group classes at her pottery studio. She limits the amount of students—no more than six per class—in order to provide personal, hands-on instruction with pottery wheels and hand sculpting. Evelia also designs private lessons around students' specific goals, be they to learn a new skill or build the world's largest fruit bowl.
An extension of the Tacoma Bar Academy, the Bartending Academy of Mill Creek has educated students in the finer points of bartending and mixology for more than 35 years. Classes include a 40-hour bartending-certification program, which prepares aspiring tenders to take their place in the drink-slinging industry with lessons in bar etiquette, drink-making techniques, and more than 150 cocktail recipes. The professional classroom setup echoes that of an actual bar, allowing students to get a feel for each element?s proper place, from the sliced fruit and soda guns to the emergency manual that outlines exactly what to do should a horse, duck, and pirate walk in.
"I believe there is an artist hidden inside each person," art instructor Jay Gilani says on FeelArtistic's website. "Inspiration is the only gap between the hidden talent of a person and a creation." Accordingly, Gilani and his team of instructors seek to inspire their students with media as diverse as clay and digital animation. During group classes and summer camps, class sizes are kept small to ensure lots of one-on-one attention, whether pupils are animating their own cartoon characters or learning how to make photorealistic paintings of their feelings.