Having taught gymnastics for two decades, served as a judge to help decide the 2012 Men?s Olympic team, and contributed to establishing gymnastics programs in many schools and gyms, Eric Smith knows gymnastics. At his own facility 360 Gymnastics, he helps gymnasts of all skill levels and ages become flipping and tumbling champions. He keeps his classes small?capped at eight pupils each?and trains students for both recreational and competitive pursuits. Kids can begin their gymnastics journeys at just over 1 year old, if accompanied with a parent or a highly attentive and loyal collie, and continue to hone their skills until age 18. Adult students can take tumbling, and more fitness-focused classes including Zumba and yoga.
Darin Parker's pipes have led him to performances at Carnegie Hall and a Grammy Award as a member of the Kansas City Chorale, but he doesn't rest on his soaring voice alone. He also helps aspiring musicians and established pianos alike find the right pitch with private voice and piano lessons and careful tuning, respectively. Every year, Parker aims to turn his talents to an even higher cause: an avid outdoorsman, Parker has used musical events to raise awareness for the long-distance bike rides and canoe trips he's undertaken to earn funds for the Alzheimer's Association.
Sadlers Indoor Racing draws its inspiration from the go-kart tracks of Europe. What does that mean? In one word: Geschwindigkeit. At Sadlers, imported German go-karts zoom around at up to 45 mph, or twice the speed of happiness. The 86,000-square-foot facility contains three tire-lined tracks: an oval track ripe for speed and passing; a road race track that simulates European-style street racing; and a grand prix track that combines elements of the two.
To ensure accurate race results, an electronic tracking system determines every winner, runner-up, and close third, though human spectators may prefer to watch from the special-event hall known as The Octane Room, which overlooks the course. Other visitors can trade checkered flags for the checkered floor of the 10,000-square-foot game room, where billiards tables provide relief from braking and banking in favor of breaking and banking.
The martial-arts masters at AKKA Karate USA specialize in kenpo karate, a unique form that builds muscle tone and reflexes in order to use the body’s natural weapons—hands and feet—for self-defense. In addition to kenpo, they also lead classes focused on MMA, tai chi, and weapons training. Often, AKKA holds special events such as tournaments and sparring seminars. In addition to learning self-defense techniques, students also build valuable life skills such as an appreciation for fitness, discipline, and self-confidence.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Xenon International Academy's accredited beauty-school curriculum trains fledgling spa and salon technicians in the ways of the scissors and the cucumber slice. These able aesthetician aspirants perform the Academy's variety of services under the watchful eye of a licensed and experienced instructor. With a customized facial treatment ($30), they'll replace your face's neon-green glow with a healthier radiance by cleansing, exfoliating, and balancing dizzy skin tissue. An acne-clearing treatment ($36–$40) targets and evicts any insurgent blackheads, whiteheads, and inflamed redheads that have been vandalizing your pores. Broken, tattered, or torn nails can be carefully repaired for $3, and more ambitious customers can luxuriate in a complete French manicure ($18–$19) before chasing it with a spa pedicure ($24–$25) in a throne chair salvaged from the spa in Tutankhamun’s tomb. A trained sculptor of scalp whiskers can tame your hairy head monster into a stylish new 'do ($7–$8), then color it ($28–$30) so that you blend in with the fall foliage and evade hungry ogres on quiet walks through the forest.