The leashes from students’ untamed muscles are released during a fierce two-hour clinic that combines savage techniques with safe and principled instruction. Students are led through intense exercises armed with cast-iron kettlebells and medieval conditioning tools such as maces, hammers, and greased-up Bubonic battle-axes. Effort and intensity are emphasized with odd lifts and bodyweight motions that leave muscles throbbing with equal measures of rapture and fatigue. Small group classes begin on July 16 and will be held every other Saturday, with reservations required.
The varied amenities of Harro East Athletic Club foster a well-rounded fitness regime, lavishing patrons with access to a full schedule of classes, a cardio theater, weight equipment, and recreational sport facilities. Guests can pump up heart rates by churning legs on Life Fitness treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals, or by pounding shoes against the running path overlooking the basketball court, which allows for mid-run entertainment and the chance to parachute in for the alley-oop. A wide selection of free weights populates the mirror-lined weight room, and interludes on the racquetball court or in the boxing room can add kinesthetic spice to humdrum, stationary muscle-sculpting routines.
Yoga DrishTi's instructor Nicole privately guides students of all levels through reflective small-group classes. Using ancient Indian sounds known as kirtan, students exercise their mind, body, and spirit through classes that are concentrated, alignment-based, and heart-centered. With a weekly menu that includes Manas [Mind] Your Mondays and Warrior Wednesdays, Yoga DrishTi's schedule provides several offerings to help pupils achieve inner tranquility.
The skilled instructors at Tango Cafe Dance Studio train bipedal pupils of all levels in salsa, ballroom, and Argentine tango. Over the five weekly sessions offered in the salsa discipline (a $50 value), Kerri Vaughn, Ruben Fuentes, and Darin Price will immerse students in their choice of style, such as Cuban and Puerto Rican club style, NY/LA style, and Rueda de Casino. Students are placed in a Level 1, 2, or 3 class depending on swivel experience; as they master the rhythm and their hips learn how to roll their r's, students will learn to both lead and follow dance partners, perform increasingly complex turns, and pull off scintillating combinations. Alternately, the ballroom sampler enrolls feet in six Saturday afternoon classes that cover six of the most popular toe-tapping dances, including the foxtrot, waltz, and cha cha. Meanwhile, the Argentine tango course, taught by Joffrey School of Ballet–trained Diana Kelly, introduces students to several types of Argentine tango, including salon, nuevo, and performance on Thursdays at 7:45 p.m. All the while, Tango Café's convenient online schedule lets dancers coordinate class times with the cat's clarinet lessons.
When she's not wrangling her three kiddos, Rachele Maier shares her talents and experience as a pole dancer. The proud mom began practicing pole in 1991 and immediately embraced its graceful movements and tummy-toning effects. Today, she owns and operates her own pole-dancing fitness studio—Tangent's Pole Aerobics—where she draws from her years of practice and certification in fitness training to lead a variety of instructional and fitness-based classes.
Her oldest daughter's artwork speckles the walls of her spacious studio, where she leads students through pole-dancing tricks, transitions, and techniques on nine 12-foot poles. She also conducts classes in theatrical dance, lap dancing, and floor routines along the studio's hardwood floors. During her private instructional parties, she dims the lights and turns on the strobes, making students feel like they're strutting their stuff in a club or the coolest library of all time.
Mark Sandler and Carrie Gaynor—co-directors of Absolute Yoga & Wellness—teach yoga as an extension of the healing arts they both practice. Mark focuses on the mind, bringing his studies of yogic philosophy and psychology under Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati to the classroom. Carrie draws upon the medical know-how she garnered in her two decades as a nurse to enhance the benefits of her practice. Together, they seek to restore health to bodies through exercise and associated physical therapies, such as kinesis myofascial integration and yoga therapy.
Touting 10 years of yoga experience, instructor Nora Lynne leads students as they bend and twist through a schedule of Vinyasa classes designed to strengthen both mind and body. Throughout each one-hour class, wannabe rubber bands admire one another’s budding flexibility as they assume myriad poses to improve strength and balance and rehearse breathing techniques meant to heighten internal focus and operatic solos. Under Nora’s command, limbs transition from pose to pose with smooth and controlled movements for maximum safety and bodily benefits. After each peaceful session, minds slip into a relaxed and calm state, making yoga a great way to stay toned and limber while temporarily storing worldly worries in a drawer with knickknacks, spare change, and shrunken heads. Yoga with Nora also offers regularly scheduled prenatal yoga classes.