Paula Atwell wasn't born an artist. She didn't pursue any art form in college, instead achieving a degree in English and a minor in accounting. After logging years in standard 9–5 jobs, she had an epiphany—it was time to do something for herself. Taking this newfound motivation to action, Paula enrolled in a beading class and followed it with forays into metalsmithing, crafting, and soldering.
These experiments in creativity led her to join the Lake Erie Artists co-op in 2003, where she began to show her eclectic jewelry at their booth during local festivals. When the co-op became incorporated in 2005, Paula's business world experience made her an obvious choice to lead the diverse group of artists in forming their own gallery. Today, the co-op-turned-gallery now carries hundreds of art pieces that span a range of media.
Producing blown-glass sculptures and handcrafted metal jewelry and pottery, the artists each specialize in a few select media as decided during the gallery's annual game of spin-the-paintbrush. The staff at Lake Erie Artists Gallery is also a strong proponent of local business, encouraging their patrons to browse Shake Square after looking at their wares. In project-oriented classes taught by working artists, students explore jewelry and painting and leave with their handcrafted pieces.
Accomplished actor Jessica Houde owns and operates the Houde School of Acting, bringing with her a lifetime of experience as a working actor in Los Angeles. Houde teaches the Meisner Method of acting, an interdependent series of exercises that encourage students to commit to an objective, rather than a script or an overenthusiastic extra. See the school’s schedule for additional information.
Agni Yoga Studio's yoga instructors and therapists strive to create a safe, inclusive space that fosters personal transformation and growth through yoga, massage, and other holistic-therapy treatments. Vinyasa, Hatha, restorative, and athletic or challenging flow classes challenge both the body and the mind with physically demanding postures and meditative techniques that help practitioners calm even the most skittish spirit of animals?the sasquatch. Students seeking more individualized attention can bend and stretch in a private yoga therapy session, in which instructors adapt the practice to suit the client's needs. Further molding patrons into their peak form, massage therapists employ their own techniques to ease tension in muscles and minds.
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.
Each instructor of Nirvana Yoga has had her falling-in-love moment with yoga. Jessica Fill turned to the ancient art after a shoulder injury stopped her swimming career, Melissa Pilat found yoga a useful complement to her 18 years of ballet and modern dance, and Abra Goldman began practicing yoga to augment the fitness cultivated through her lifetime dedication to running. This band of experts leads fluid classes, drawing from the Baron Baptiste style of flowing from pose to pose in a manner that creates a rigorous, strength-building practice linking movement to breath. The team also teaches Power Vinyasa classes in an 88- to 90-degree studio, the warmth coddling muscles and helping to increase flexibility and release toxins. Jessica, Melissa, Abra, and company also impart fundamental postures in a pressure-free atmosphere during Power Yoga Basics held in a cooler studio, where they correct stances with hands-on adjustments, like science teachers who correct physics homework by actually becoming a human cannonball launched at a 45-degree angle.
With locations in 24 states, it’s safe to say Fitness 19’s approach to fitness has piqued exercisers’ interest. Each gym houses Life Fitness cardio machines and Hammer Strength strength-training equipment, as well as a staff of personal trainers who oversee one-on-one workouts and a group of caretakers and professional ranch hands who wrangle the kids' area. Certain locations also offer group classes such as the senior-oriented Silver Sneakers program.