The year was 1998 and the place was Bogot?, Colombia. Luis Fernando Morales and Alicia Mar?a Vallejo had an idea for a revolutionary art school?one more concerned with helping students become happy people than masterful artists. They've since imported that idea to Miami in the form of Trazos Art Academy, where students are encouraged to explore their creativity on their own terms. Adult classes at the academy are taught by Felipe Lagos?an artist with years of experience; at the end of each class, students are permitted to take home their personally crafted masterpiece.
The intricately designed, European-style buildings that populate the Buenos Aires cityscape enchanted the eyes of Argentina native Cari Cohen at an early age, inspiring her to earn a degree in architecture from the University of Buenos Aires. Driven to push the boundaries of architectural innovation, Cari began delving into other creative media to expand her horizons, sparking a newfound fascination with abstract art and jewelry crafting. She has since moved to Miami, where her original paintings have been showcased at events such as Art Basel and Art Miami.
Cari founded The Fun Palette as a way to share her passion for the visual arts with kids and adults, hosting a variety of imagination-spurring classes for students of all skill and experience levels. During the studio's painting sessions, students can closely follow their instructor's step-by-step instructions to create flowing landscapes or abstract pieces or go off the beaten path to compose self-portraits that reimagine the painter as a bowl of fruit.
Exotic Workouts believes getting fit doesn't require spending hours in a gym and performing monotonous exercises. Through their pole-fitness classes, which range from beginner's to advanced sessions, and their alternative-fitness classes, such as Booty Aerobics and Sexi Flexi, they help ladies burn calories and strengthen muscles without lifting a single weight. That's not to say the studio's workouts aren't challenging. Classes such as Pole Kitten require students to suspend themselves in the air simply with their thigh muscles, and Sexy Chair Fitness & Pole combine a variety of exercises that test students' leg and ab muscles for a full 60 minutes. If the studio and a traditional gym do share one quality, it's the confidence that they instill in their clients. Exotic Workouts members come away with a boost in their self-esteem, making it easier for them to confront the banana spider that's taken over their living room.
At CrossFit North Miami Beach, there are no mirrors, overcomplicated machines, or juice bars. Instead, there are barbells, rowers, kettlebells, pull-up bars, medicine balls, and other back-to-basics gear. This setup keeps distraction at bay and fitness always in focus. Trainers help participants sculpt every muscle group using CrossFit, a system of constantly varied functional movements performed at a high intensity. They foster a welcoming environment where daily workouts can be tailored to any person's abilities.