Ronda Arndorfer began exploring Pilates in 2001 at the age of 40, when she was trying to recover from the multiple running injuries she incurred while training for her first marathon. Her rehabilitation was so successful that she decided to learn how to share the experience with others. She became a certified Pilates instructor and—after opening a studio out of her home—eventually founded The Movement Center, a place where students can restore both body and mind in a positive, lighthearted environment. Arndorfer continues to attend workshops and teacher trainings with master instructors throughout the country, and some of her staff members have trained in Pilates via Arndorfer's teacher-certification program.
Arndorfer's passion for movement has paid off: the center has been featured in numerous television and magazine media outlets and was voted the Best Pilates Studio by CityVoter in 2009, 2010, and 2011. In addition to traditional yoga and Pilates classes, the crew offers innovative and challenging techniques such as aerial yoga—in which students "float" on a trapeze-like swing—and yoga performed on open water using a standup paddleboard. Barre classes require students to hold onto a ballet barre or the outstretched arm of a handsome stranger while strengthening muscles with a mix of yoga- and Pilates-inspired moves.
The center's team includes massage therapists, a nutritionist, and a physical therapist and certified Feldenkrais practitioner who continue the healing that begins within each class. They also offer childcare for guests' convenience.
Rock and Roll High turns children into rockstars through lessons and summer camps that mold eager novices into capable maestros. Popular week-long summer camps help kids assemble bands, practice their instrument and write songs, and even shoot a music video. At-home lessons for children or adults cover a choice of instruments, including guitar, bass, drums, and voice.
Jeff Stern grew up across the street from a country club, where he would hunt for lost golf balls and fish in the course's lakes. His passion for the game began when he first picked up a golf club at the tender age of 9, when most kids still believe that golf balls are filled with chocolate. With a whole lot of hard work and a dash of talent, Jeff developed into a serious competing amateur. His teaching career began in earnest under the tutelage of Bruce Hamilton, a top 100 golf professional, who groomed him to become a golf professional at prominent golf facilities including Cascades Golf Club and North Ranch Country Club.
Today, golfers can pick at his golf brain during one-on-one lessons at Lindero Country Club. Students can opt to stay on the range, where Jeff analyzes and critiques their swing mechanics, or head out on the course, where he can better teach course management and fly-swatting with a 9-iron.
Create Studio gives kids, aspiring artists, and weekend Warhols the means to unleash their creative sides in a multitude of artistic media. A Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on each of their eco craft kits sums up their inclusive artistic approach: “Nothing in nature is exhausted in its first use.” With that spirit animating their work, the studio's staff furnishes paint, fabric, and paper, but also less-typical materials, such as plastic bottles, sunglasses, and pinecones. In addition to everyday activities, they host birthday parties, where celebrants can craft their own party hats or personalize their birthday cake by smearing frosting across the top à la a youthful Jackson Pollock.
CrossFit FAST might exist in a brick-and-mortar building, but it’s probably better described as a methodology shared by its coaches and attendees. Unlike other gyms, CrossFit FAST does away with the mirrors and treadmills, leaving attendees free to focus completely on functional training movements performed at a high intensity. Whether they’re firefighters, military personnel, or private citizens, they relentlessly pursue challenging fitness classes that increase full-body strength and endurance. The core of their fitness philosophy focuses on the titular CrossFit program, a series of functional-movement exercises that changes daily and requires participants to increase their work capacity across broad time and modal domains.
Beyond CrossFit, exercisers train in weightlifting, krav maga, and nutritional coaching. The fitness routines produce results, leading some members to be successful in CrossFit competitions, and others to take home titles such as 2011 National Champion Olympic Lifter and 2012 and 2013 California State Champion Olympic Lifter.
Chef Craiger Van Zee started his grilling career at age 12. Now, after 40 years in the food and beverage industry, Chef Craiger has become a strong proponent of the saying "practice makes perfect." Through To Grill or Not to Grill, the chef has passed his hard-won cooking experience to more than 3,500 students. Chef Craiger smoothly divulges tips and advice to classes with cooking demonstrations and field trips to the mystical talking spatula, and helps clients master their own grills with at-home group lessons tailored to the grill's specific make and model.