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, trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. 30 seconds 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.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Devoted to providing easy access to party photography, Photobooths of the MidSouth creates a focal point for fun at weddings, parties, and other events. Classic curtained photo booths and open-air kiosks snap memories at gatherings and galas as attendants ensure that the booth is in smooth working order, producing reliable, non-ghost-revealing pictures. Additionally, provided props and signs help subjects customize portraits, furthering the company's goal of personalized service.
Inspired instructors at Spirited Art Little Rock guide all ages and skill levels through the creation of painted masterpieces. In art classes, people create artworks in one of the few adult atmospheres where it’s acceptable to wear paint-spattered jeans. The studio hosts an eclectic selection of class themes, ranging from dragonflies to wine glasses, and provides fridge access, corkscrews, and cups to encourage attendants to bring along their own wine and snacks.
Designed by Emmy Award–winner and PBS-featured pianist Scott “The Piano Guy” Houston, Play Piano in a Flash instructor Don Nichols uses a quick and simple format to teach aspiring ticklers of ivory the basics of piano in a nontraditional format. The group classes of around 10–20 students foster a collaborative environment in which a teacher uses an overhead camera to demonstrate chord positions, useful techniques, and little-known shadow puppets like the wallowing lemur, which students can then emulate at individual practice stations. The simple philosophy teaches new disciples and piano latecomers to play chords and harmonies using the left hand and to walk through a melody of individual notes with the right. The eight-week course is intended to provide graduates the ability to read and play popular, listenable tunes, such as "Poker Face" in the style of Yanni.
Ageless Health & Fitness Center's expert trainers keep senior citizens and baby boomers finely tuned with age-appropriate exercises executed in a full-service gym facility operated by a physical therapist with more than 30 years of experience. A two-month membership invites health enthusiasts of any level to explore the exercise emporium that helps keep attitudes and bodies youthful with bench presses, treadmills, and cryogenic stair climbers. Healthy bites from the downstairs bistro help exercisers refuel, and hard-earned sweat can be washed away beneath an individual shower in the spa-inspired locker rooms. The upper level provides a spacious wonderland for group exercise classes (not included in the price of today's Groupon), including yoga and tai chi, which allow guests to expand their mind, balance their body, and practice dangling from the rafters by their toes.