Within a vibrant, yellow-and-blue-walled workout space, a fleet of free weights, treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical trainers populate the floor. Group workouts take solo regimes a step further, cultivating a sense of community as students perform step aerobics, kickboxing moves, or deeply held yoga poses in a heated studio. Additionally, personal-training sessions allow clients to work with a fitness guru who will custom build a workout that incorporates functional-training tools such as jump ropes, medicine balls, and dip bars, as well as motivating tools such as encouraging words of wisdom and large gentlemen with chainsaws standing behind the treadmills. Guests can drop tots off at the childcare center, which welcomes kids with games, toys, and a television. After workouts, grownups can replenish energy reserves with fresh-fruit smoothies at the adjacent café, where they can also play chess or surf the Internet between weight-lifting sessions. To promote wellness inside and out, they can visit an onsite spa or stop and see the resident chiropractor, who can treat their sports injuries and chronic pain with a range of holistic therapies.
Dance directors Christina Penatello and Ken Hansen have trained underneath champions such as Dancing With the Stars contestant Louis Van Amstel, whose new dance fitness classes, LaBlast, has become a staple of the studio’s schedule. LaBlast classes share schedule space with instruction in cha cha, tango, swing, and other social dances. To sample the studio’s wares, budding dancers can follow in instructors’ rhythmic footsteps during 30-minute introductory sessions, which traverse various modalities with a speed-teaching method. As part of the renowned Fred Astaire franchise, instructors also host social dance parties and choreograph wedding dances for couples who want their first dance to look as effortless as tossing a flaming bouquet.
The indoor-cycling haven boasts a team of motivating trainers dedicated to sculpting participants with challenging, full-body workout classes on the multifitness level RealRyder bikes. Built to imitate bona fide outdoor-cycling apparatuses and effectively easy on your joints, RealRyder bikes steer, turn, and lean with your movements, unlike stationary bikes, which stand around and jealously scoff at sweaty attempts toward betterment.
Having spent many years in the dance and fitness industries, Vanessa Berry knew precisely what to look for in her staff members when she opened Kick Dance Studios more than 10 years ago. Today, staffers include those who have trained at distinguished organizations including the School of American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, and Broadway Dance Center.
But as proud as she is of her team, Berry is doubly so of her students, including her award-winning dance team. Her facility's two studios constantly bustle with the moves and grooves of highly organized dance classes, which include ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, musical theater, and acrobatics.
Studio owner and award-winning dancer Dianna “D” Dray calls ballroom dance “therapy for the soul.” With her fellow instructors, she hosts these unorthodox therapy sessions, basing the lessons on the philosophy that “anyone can learn.” On Latin Days (Mondays and Thursdays), the teachers lead salsa, rumba, cha-cha, and samba classes. Other days feature ballroom dances such as the foxtrot and the tango (Tuesdays), and freewheeling swing and hustle classes (Wednesdays). D also leads classes specifically for brides- and grooms-to-be, teaching them the steps to gracefully handle their first dance as a married couple, whether it’s a tactful waltz or a classy hokey pokey.
Upon entering the Count Basie Theatre, guests might feel as though they’ve slipped through a crack in time and ended up in the early 1900s. Opulent marble staircases and gold details grab the eyes of visitors, recalling the decadence of Hollywood’s history and gently pulling them to the auditorium. There, the acoustically pleasing construction wins out as sound spreads and funnels through a sunburst dome embellished with a dangling chandelier. Since opening in 1926, the Count Basie has earned numerous accolades, including a nod from Pollstar magazine, who listed it as one of the Top 100 Worldwide Theatre Venues.