Ann Kamhi Toran credits Pilates practice with saving her dancing career. After a major back injury threatened her ability to continue performing, Ann devoted herself to Pilates, and the exercises helped rehabilitate her body so effectively that she was eventually promoted to soloist after recovering. Although she stopped professionally dancing more than 20 years ago, Ann still practices Pilates daily.
Ann’s husband, Dr. Errol Toran, also is a believer in the rejuvenating capabilities of Pilates, and he suggested it to his chiropractic patients, incorporating the exercises into their physical rehabilitation. Together, Ann and Dr. Toran decided to create a studio that shared these benefits with the general public, introducing the time-honored exercise techniques that improve posture and build lean, toned muscles.
The studio boasts four locations throughout the New York area, each featuring an arsenal of traditional Pilates equipment. The signature apparatus, the Reformer, generates gentle resistance with a system of springs, pulleys, and miniature black holes. Students push and pull against this resistance while performing sequences of relatively simple movements that require unwavering mental focus to maintain the ideal technique and alignment. By emphasizing controlled, quality movements over flailing your body against a boulder, Pilates exercises can evenly tone muscles across the entire body, with a particular emphasis on the core muscle groups.
Ann and Dr. Toran encourage their instructors to take initiative when leading classes and tailor the pacing or sequence to accommodate students, but each studio does host sessions for particular skill levels. Introductory and Level 1 classes work to develop form and technique, whereas the more advanced sessions begin to include modified exercises or long-division flashcards to ensure a more challenging workout.
Once every three years, the curators at New York's International Center of Photography set out on a mission to encapsulate the world. They scour every corner of the globe to collect the most interesting video and photography. The end result is an exhibit that reveals the Earth at present—its economic conditions, political instabilities, and social mores. The museum's other gallery spaces surround their visitors in works from the 19th century to modern day, offering windows into every era since Santa invented cameras as a new Christmas toy. These ever-changing exhibits showcase everything from evolving fashions to countries in the midst of full-blown revolution.
Hidden behind theses photographs' imagery, lies the minds of brilliant visual artists. Some of these masters speak at the The Photographers Lecture Series, a staple of the museum's research center since 1974. During these events, distinguished photographers discuss their work and how photography fits into the worlds of art, fashion, and journalism. The ICP's Library delves into these worlds even further with thousands of photobooks, periodicals, and digital files.
ICP's faculty also nurtures emerging artists. Together, they lead more than 400 continuing education courses, exploring areas such as digital photography and video. And for the most serious students, they offer a one-year certificate program and an MFA program.
Roshelle “Rocky” Wilder, NYC Dance Arts’ founding director, began dancing and choreographing dance pieces when she was still in high school. She has performed with underground hip-hop artists such as Denzil Porter, Deena Jones, and The Future, and her students at NYC Dance Arts have performed on Broadway, earning mention from ExpertsColumn.com.. With a team of teachers, Wilder guides students through the steps of contemporary hip-hop, classical ballet, heart-healthy Zumba, and other dance-centric classes.
Ballet classes boost students’ balance, concentration, and coordination while strengthening core muscles. Modern/contemporary dance rebels against the traditional aesthetic of classical ballet with abstract, emotive movements—or by cutting class, sneaking out, and taking the works of Jean-Paul Sartre very seriously. Break dance 101 introduces students to urban street dance, focusing on inspiration and creativity. Yoga fitness classes combine a cardio workout with deep-breathing exercises and yoga poses. In addition to regular classes, NYC Dance Arts offers special workshops with visiting choreographers and professional dancers, and organizes dance flash mobs—groups of dancers who meet in a public place to perform a dance routine.
A surfeit of sights competes for attention at this MoMA restaurant, and it’s difficult to say which is the most compelling. The Picassos and Mirós that reside in the sculpture garden are certainly worthy candidates, as are the towering floral arrangements bursting forth from the center of the room.
In 1820, before the dawn of New York's public library system, a group of city merchants began a circulating collection of books. Now part of The Center for Fiction, that collection has grown to include more than 85,000 titles of classic and contemporary fiction, as well as literary journals and magazines.
Though readers can enjoy these works in the quiet of the eight-story building's second floor reading room, The Center for Fiction is far from a simple library. Authors, critics, and professors encourage guests to embrace reading's social aspect through reading groups on contemporary and classic works. More than 60 yearly literary events also dot the center’s schedule, inviting more than 100 writers to read and discuss their craft. Afterward, intimate, informal receptions afford readers and writers a chance to casually chat about their work or discuss the latest experimental punctuation marks.
Along with stimulating fiction readers, the nonprofit supports fiction writers with a slew of resources, from studios on the building's top floor to fellowship opportunities for emerging New York talent. Evening workshops invite writers of all levels to study MFA-level topics under seasoned faculty and bestselling authors, who cover everything from structuring stories to crafting a stronger narrative voice.
There are six essential ingredients that compose each of Complete Body's fitness programs: strength, cardio, flexibility, meditation, nutrition, and rest. Founder Alex Reznik is the mind behind this philosophy. In 1995, he founded the company believing that, if given the opportunity, most people would seek to better their health. Soon thereafter, he was proven right by both rising membership numbers and favorable media attention, including articles in Time Out New York and the New York Times.
Complete Body has now expanded to three locations. At each club, experts adhere to Mr. Reznik's principles, blending Eastern and Western techniques during classes such as yoga, boot camps, and kickboxing. Complete Body also hosts cross-training classes, which are designed to burn fat, build strength, and improve flexibility by focusing on six elements: strength, cardio, flexibility, meditation, nutrition, and rest. Among the state-of-the-art equipment and fitness technologies that help members reach their fitness goals, independent trainers utilize the facility with their clients. At onsite spas, massage therapists work tense muscles and aestheticians refresh skin with facials. Physical therapists can help to rehabilitate clients following injuries, calling upon various training methods in their arsenal.