A quick study in graceful movement, Peter Gelzhinsky competed in the finals at the USA National Dance Championship just three years after taking up the craft. Parlaying his quick learning into effective teaching methods, Peter now leads hot-footed hopefuls through lessons that cover such social ballroom dances as merengue, cha-cha, and the hustle. Students can also breakdance to the thumping beats of hip-hop classes, or sashay with a provided partner through the salsa-like steps of the bachata. Many students enlist in Star Dance School’s lessons in preparation for a wedding or the grand opening of a laundromat with a dance floor.
Founded by Eric Bickernicks, Velma's Wicked Delicious Kettle Corn serves up fresh kettle-cooked popcorn at stands and farmers' markets throughout New England. The staff also brings its salty snacks to private events and parties.
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. 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.
Green Planet Kids, tucked away in the independent shopping mecca of Newton Highlands, brings an old-fashioned sensibility to eco-friendly toys and nontoxic art supplies. Sunlight spills across the two-story confines, where personable service collides with fun, educational toys and hands-on art classes. Under the supervision of professional instructors, youngsters create a flurry of art projects in the form of paper-bead jewelry, watercolor paintings, and tissue-paper flowers, which are ideal for attracting tissue-paper hummingbirds.
Whether training one-on-one or leading small-group classes, the trainers at Vitality Personal Fitness Inc. give everyone individualized attention. A cap of eight students per class ensures close supervision as participants swing kettlebells, lift weights, and pull against TRX resistance bands during functional-training exercises. The practicality of these movements effectively enhances not only strength but also agility and balance—skills valued in numerous sports and physical activities.
The trainers’ commitment to wellness expands beyond their clients to encompass the entire planet. Whenever possible, they ride their bikes to the eco-friendly building where they recycle, compost, and use a water-filtration system instead of plastic bottles or coal-powered drinking fountains. To encourage their clients to go green, they offer a $20 gift certificate to members who walk to the studio 10 times.
Crystals, volcanic sulfur, and black caviar extract may not seem like likely spa products, but that's where the "innovation" in Skin Innovations Spa comes from. The staff uses these nourishing products in tandem with clinical treatments to relax and refresh clients. Come in for a Hungarian organic facial or pumpkin peel and stay to have a skin irregularity whisked away through cryotherapy spot removal. These diverse offerings—along with a wealth of products from Pevonia Botanica and Jane Iredale mineral cosmetics—has earned the oasis a slew of awards and honors.