Inside Addie-Tude Dance Studio, lessons don’t just end at technical instruction and rhythm. The performing-arts center is dedicated to exposing people of all ages to the art of movement. Budding artists are encouraged to experiment and build on their ideas though theatrical work as well as with dance, in styles from cha-cha to hip-hop and African dancing.
Donna Shari started out as an early childhood teacher whose hobby was painting pottery. At first, she was a familiar face at a paint-your-own-pottery studio. Then she started attending seminars on pouring molds and glazing bisque, until she’d been to more than 250. After an injury cut her teaching career short and the owner of the pottery studio announced his plans to close the place, Donna jumped at the chance to “make my hobby, my passion, into my business,” and took over the studio.
Donna’s new career taps into her talents as both a teacher and an artist as she helps painters of all ages choose plates, figurines, and mugs to personalize with paint, glaze, and territorial tongue licks. After artists perfect their creations, they leave the masterpieces for Donna to fire in a kiln and pick them about up a week later. Donna also teaches students to manipulate clay as it whirls atop a potter’s wheel or a pirouetting ballerina’s head.
A licensed chiropractor and experienced martial artist, Dr. John Surie started practicing hot yoga when he met his future wife, Natalie. Charmed by her Australian accent and passion for the practice, he soon became an avid Bikram student himself, and in 2002, the husband-and-wife duo opened their first studio with Natalie helming her own curriculum of Bikram-inspired classes. Today, their hot-yoga empire has expanded to five studios sprinkled across the United States and Australia, each teeming with certified instructors who lead students through 13 different class styles. Designed to make hot yoga accessible to everyone, classes range from the studio’s signature Ignite series, which introduces newcomers to the foundations of hot yoga, to intense Shape classes that see stretchers melding hot-yoga and Pilates moves while solving Pythagorean equations.
Each studio comes equipped with special flooring tailored to the humid environment of hot yoga, as well as air-circulation and advanced heating systems to keep fresh, hot air blowing. Studios also boast children’s classes that take place concurrently with adult sessions, allowing kids and parents to work out simultaneously.
At The Cliffs at Valhalla, professional setters map out more than 200 new climbs every three months. It’s part of the gym’s mission to keep routes as challenging and engaging as those found outdoors.
Though ideal for skilled climbers, the gym caters to first-timers too. Certified instructors lead adult classes in climbing basics. Staff members guide customers to the proper gear and yodeling song books at the pro shop, and they even created a fitness area with climbing-specific cardio training equipment and yoga classes to complement the climbing terrain.
The Cliffs at Valhalla also readies kids for climbing. Climbing camp lets kids experience indoor and outdoor climbing, and award-winning birthday parties furnish groups with private climbing walls and a 1:5 instructor to student ratio.
At New City Yoga, programs for adults and children alike focus on challenging the mind and body with a mix of modalities including yoga, tai chi, ki gong, and energy healing. Yoga classes focus on physical well-being with strengthening and toning work, and they also benefit students emotionally by introducing techniques that can improve emotional health by breaking unhealthy habits, including how to get the Cookie Monster off your speed dial once and for all. Along with meditation classes and private healing-massage sessions, the center also hosts energy principle and other meditation-based workshops.
Gotham Dream Cars lets drivers grip the throttle of exotic speed machines such as the Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Bentley Continental GT for personal rental or specialized thrill experiences. During the Dream Car Sprint, auto enthusiasts slip into a Ferrari or Lamborghini on a closed course and whip their more than 500-horsepower drive three times around the autocross track, learning how to tame their power with the aid of an instructor before coming out of the third lap on a straightaway to open the engine up to its full potential. Drivers conduct an orchestra of firing pistons and camshafts for three laps before crossing the finish line and parking to the pianissimo of the softly purring V8 engine. Gotham Dream Cars snaps pictures of the sprint, so drivers are sent home with hands they will never wash and a CD of images to parade before jealous coworkers and humbled shopping carts.
Initiating newbie motorists through hands-on training, the expert instructors PAS Auto School Inc. have been steering students toward road-rage-free licensure for more than 40 years. The five-hour prelicensing course awards budding auto operators an MV-278 certificate upon completion, allowing them to make a road-test appointment through the New York Department of Motor Vehicles and awe friends with never-before-seen quadruple-clutching skills. Specially trained staffers teach students in traditional classrooms, helping them learn road-safety practices without the constant need for parents to slam invisible brakes.