Sisters Veronica and Marilin have almost always danced together since they began their training at just 3 years old. They went on to study various forms of dance—from classical to contemporary—at the National School of Ballet in Peru, as well as eventually teach modern and Afro-Peruvian dance. In 2009, they moved from their native Peru to Rockville, where they currently specialize in Zumba fitness classes that help participants burn calories as they sway, step, and backwards-somersault to Latin beats. The sisters even add strength-training to the mix with Zumba Toning classes, augmenting the dance-based workout with muscle-sculpting toning sticks.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person’s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
Within a vibrant zen-inspired space with nature-themed art and art-themed plants, Sanam Day Spa's holistic healers draw upon multiple massage modalities to foster full relaxation of the body and mind. Therapists customize treatments with a blend of the soothing strokes of Swedish massage, the precise prods of reflexology upon the hands and feet, and the targeted taps of acupressure, which hearkens back to age-old Chinese medicinal techniques to promote wellness and nourish backs plagued by deep aches and Kick Me signs. Aestheticians can also refresh faces with a retinue of spa and clinical facials, which begin with a skin analysis to guide the facial using a custom mask, steam treatments, and extractions to fashion a spot-free, radiant complexion.
During your initial consultation, a certified practitioner will sit down with you for a one-on-one discussion. Disclose any health concerns and ailments so they can be addressed with the proper honorifics. An assessment of your pulse and iPod playlist as well as a physical exam will be performed before the treatment begins. Each treatment is targeted to meet individual needs. Expect your first appointment to last 1.5 to 2 hours including the consultation, the acupuncture, and 10 minutes of debating the relative merits of the Yak Bak and the Talkboy.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee, "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance. Dahn Yoga is also taught at independently owned and operated franchises called Body & Brain Yoga.
Dr. Rachel Cohn of Wink Eyecare Boutique, winner of Bethesda Magazine's 2010 Best Place to Buy Eyeglasses award, leads a team of optical experts in enhancing natural beauty with brand name frames that house quality lenses. Bolstered by a knowledgeable staff and unfailing third-eye detectors, shoppers browse an expansive selection of designer eyeglass frames. Designer brands including Juicy Couture ($225) and Nike ($199) dress up visages, while independent names such as Intrigue ($219) frame faces with subtle styles. Tech-savvy staff crafts most lenses ($149+) at the in-house lab using advanced technology, sending clients out the door with an eagle's vision and a rabbit's ability to identify carrot soufflé from across the room.