With a history stretching back more than 40 years, Circus Vargas wows audiences with dazzling acrobatics and rib-tickling clowns under a giant big-top tent. The show eschews animal performers for human-costumed spectacles, showcasing dazzling feats that only a few dexterous humans and short-circuited cyborgs are capable of. The circus's big top, hand-fashioned in Milan from 90,000 square feet of fabric, holds up to 1,500 show-goers in classic, blue-dyed elegance. Early-arriving guests can take part in an interactive preshow, jumping in the ring with ringmaster Jon Weiss as he leads audience members through tutorials that show how to perform stunts such as juggling, feather balancing, and balancing checkbooks with quill pens.
With backgrounds in Bikram, Vinyasa, and Yin yoga styles, Xplore Yoga's collection of passionate instructors helps students of all experience levels further their individual yoga practice while honing healthy bodies and minds. The studio’s seven-day schedule boasts 27 heated classes each week, including traditional Bikram yoga sweat sessions. During the 90-minute Bikram practice, students perform 26 postures and two deep-breathing exercises in a room heated to more than 100 degrees to promote detoxification, flexibility, and the deep understanding that comes with walking a mile in a camel’s shoes. Vinyasa flows take mat mavens through a series of continuous postures, adding an aerobic element to the practice that helps build lean muscle and increase endurance, and Yin yoga utilizes strategic stretches that target the body's connective tissues around the hips, thighs, and lower spine.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, strengthen bones, and increase metabolism. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottles to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions can create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to help create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Marina Bichinsky knows the importance of art education firsthand. She had her first art lesson at age 5, and, though it may have seemed like a childhood hobby at the time, art paved the road for her career path, a road that had perfectly straight yellow lines thanks to her artistic skill. She studied architecture in college, earned her doctorate in visual communications, and, today, funnels these skills into her position as director of Living Art Studio. Here, she teaches students of all ages and skill levels enlisted in the studio’s classes, in which instructors trained by Marina teach realist painting techniques.
The team generally starts first-time artists off with classes that teach gesture and proportion before graduating them to charcoal-drawing classes, color study, and, finally, painting still lifes and figures. For their younger crowd, instructors lead Mommy & Me classes, during which 2.5- to 5-year-olds learn techniques amenable to their age, such as how to turn baby-food splats on highchair trays into impressionist opuses that suggest Monet and Renoir, but with an underlying current of originality in the vein of a Pissarro. The school also offers a specialty curriculum for adults who are seeking further education in areas such as fashion design, photography, and advertising.
Fremont Table Tennis Academy's seasoned coach and instructor Shashin Shodhan, winner of 15 national and international table-tennis titles, guides players aged 4 and older to ping-pong mastery during fun, competitive classes. The facility's shock-absorbent floors minimize accidental skidding as players shuffle side to side, launching balls across tables that meet the International Table Tennis Federation criteria for international play. Intensive multiweek courses or drop-in classes dedicate one to two hours to improving speed, shot precision, and strategy by pitting students against an octopus wielding eight paddles. Fremont Table Tennis Academy's fully stocked pro shop equips visitors for competitive tournaments with a lineup of equipment from brands such as Butterfly, Killerspin, and Double Happiness.
Having shot more than 30,000 subjects throughout his career as a photographer, including many Silicon Valley business figures, Eric Gould understands how to create a good photo in any setting. His adeptness at communicating with subjects carries into his photography workshops, where he conveys difficult concepts clearly and methodically, saving students from such rookie mistakes as shooting with the lens cap on or turning the flash on while taking pictures of your imaginary friend's third grade graduation. In his own photo sessions, he frames professional clients in business portraits and headshots, high-school seniors in youthful poses, athletes in midaction, and a wide spectrum of people and places encountered on international travels.