Starting in 1998 in the Philadelphia suburbs, the women behind Art of Exotic Dancing have strutted and hip-rolled their way to the forefront of a surge of interest in fun, sensual movement. Dedicated to fostering a comfortable space where all participants feel safe, the certified instructors proffer encouragement and reassurance as they teach dances that emphasize self-expression, personal power, and natural movement. Women learn to dance to a full song during the 90-minute CoreMoves class, while the Signature Workshop fortifies confidence via flirtatious techniques such as sensual walking and slow-motion winking.
A team of friendly gurus runs each club. They're ready to help you reach your goal, whether it's to lose a pants size or set the record for number of Ecto Cooler boxes crushed in 60 seconds. Fitness buffs of all buffness levels feel welcome in the fun and accommodating atmosphere at Philadelphia Sports Clubs. During your two weeks, you get access to all the professional equipment, group exercise classes, locker rooms, and facility amenities offered (some group exercise classes require a reservation). Different clubs have on-site features such as pools, racquet sports, babysitting services, electricity, and more. Search for the club that suits your checklist here.
For Bonnie Weber, fitness is more than a way to look good in a bathing suit—it saved her life. When she suffered an aneurysm that led to emergency brain surgery, the surgeon told her that if she had not been physically fit, she probably would not have made it. So, as she navigated the long road to recovery, she was inspired to not only regain her own fitness, but to help others do the same. In 2008, she opened The Pilates Garden and Personal Training Studio to share her passion for Pilates’s strength- and flexibility-boosting workouts, as well as other forms of exercise.
Her studio is packed with Peak Pilates equipment, including mats, a reformer, a cadillac, and exercise balls. In addition to various mat-, equipment-, and ball-based Pilates classes, the experienced instructors, including Stephanie Lantz, lead Core Barre classes, which help boost coordination, strength, and flexibility with ballet-inspired movements and lead tutus. For a more customized approach, they lead one-on-one personal-training sessions, during which they integrate the principles of Pilates into workouts tailored to their clients’ goals paired with nutritional advice. The instructors can also organize semiprivate sessions for small groups. In any given sessions, they might motivate their groups to toss medicine balls, battle their own body weight with TRX suspension-training bands, or swing kettlebells.
At Gimbel Eye Associates, certified optician Frank Gimbel and optometrist Dr. Barbara Karagiannopoulos pool their talents to help patients achieve total ocular health. Gimbel specializes in determining prescriptions, running patients through the phoropter's gamut of lenses to measure the acuity of each eye. Dr. Karagiannopoulos, meanwhile, checks eyes for signs of disease and works closely with ophthalmologists to co-manage surgeries and share ophthalmological riddles that no one else appreciates. Inside the brightly lit store, wooden shelves teem with more than 2,000 frames and sunglasses from designers including Yves Saint Lauren, Hugo Boss, and Lacoste. An in-house finishing lab can produce glasses either at the same visit or the very next day.
Verge Yoga's passionate and certified instructors foster personal growth in their students with invigorating yoga classes held inside a heated studio. The robust schedule accommodates morning folks and those who don't believe in sunrises with a variety of yoga classes. In the Stationary 60 class, beginners find balance with standing poses, core strengthening, and bends that encourage mindful alignment and stability. Flow-based classes range in duration, culminating in a challenging 90-minute session that guides limbs through a sequence of sun salutations, warrior poses, arm balances, and deep hip openers. Stomachs seeking new careers as washboards or speed bumps for Hot Wheels cars tone up during the Verge Core class, which combines yoga fundamentals with functional core training to target trunks and backs.
Licensed acupuncturist Lance David Isakov practices kundalini yoga, reiki, qi gong, zero balancing, plant-spirit medicine, and other healing techniques like a basketball player practices a jump shot or a pianist practices the piano—with equal parts dedication and joy. He and his staff of fellow licensed acupuncturists and wellness practitioners bundle those same services at Wayne Family Wellness. There, he guides students and patients through overcoming an array of disorders and conditions, including stress, allergies, and fatigue using both classic five element and traditional Chinese medicine styles of acupuncture. Isakov’s wife and certified massage therapist Amy Isakov also lends a therapeutic hand during Swedish, Thai, reflexology, and deep-tissue massages.