As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
This cozy shop is filled with all manner of beads, strings, and semiprecious stones for crafty customers to fashion into jewelry. The supplies instantly stimulate project ideas, such as turning lengths of wire and pieces of amethyst into earrings, or threading beads into personalized bracelets. The resident stringers also offer individual and group classes, which teach students how to make a variety of trinkets, from chain mail to peyote star earrings and invisibility rings.
The trained chefs at Sushi Academy in Tennessee work to demystify the art of rolling, filling, and presenting sushi during two-hour classes. Using hands-on teaching techniques, they demonstrate how to cook Japanese rice to the proper consistency before bundling it inside a seaweed wrap with fresh fish, crisp veggies, and other natural ingredients. Students also learn to craft the more common inside-out rolls, in which rice covers the outside of seaweed wraps.
When lessons conclude, cylindrical slices don crowns of gari, wasabi, and soy sauce to create a presentable plate of sushi for classmates to chow down on. The academy also peddles a medley of sushi-making gear, such as rolling mats and rice paddles, so that students can continue to hone their craft at home or deal with laundry-day shirt shortages by swaddling their torsos in nori.
In honor of Women?s History Month, Groupon is celebrating an inspiring group of women: business leaders whose companies and brands enrich their communities. Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of these leaders, local communities across the country are stronger and more diverse.
Shop the Women in Business collection.
Experienced photo gurus Doug Box and Randy Kerr impart practical photo skills to curious shutterbugs during engaging seminars that have appeared across the States and in eight countries abroad. Doug Box, author of myriad photography-technique books, is one of 13 Kodak mentors and is the Executive Director of the Texas Professional Photographers Association. His co-teacher, Randy Kerr, heads World Photographic, which uses photography as a vehicle for illuminating humanitarian and environmental topics. Both men have been teaching photography classes for years and help amateurs take photos that capture piercing looks, toothy smiles, and elusive dodo sightings.
YMCA of East Tennessee holds fast to its three-fold mission: to encourage healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility. Each of their five locations brims with cardio and weight equipment, as well as digital ActivTrax kiosks, which print out customized workout plans based on each guests' information. Instructors lead group fitness classes for adults and stacks of trench-coat-clad babies disguised as adults, offering sessions that range from kickboxing to water aerobics. In addition to specialized sessions for seniors, they also lead sports programs for kids, such as swimming, basketball, and karate, as well as host a youth-based leader's club.
The folks at YMCA of East Tennessee offer memberships to military families and host programs for kids who have dropped out of school or who have been suspended. Their scholarship program helps families send their kids to the YMCA's fun, safe, character-developing programs no matter their financial circumstances.
The pottery lining the shelves inside Mighty Mud almost looks like it could have come from an archaeological excavation. With glaze jobs that call to shabby-chic sensibilities or enhance they clay’s hand-worked grooves, each work would be at home either on a windowsill or in a museum. The fun begins when it comes time to make these pieces. Mighty Mud offers classes that teach students how to throw clay, operate a pottery wheel, and build figures by hand. Kids even get their own set of classes catered just to them, and group raku firings happen once a month when the firing process is turned into a group BYOB activity.