Bear Essentials Fitness wants its members to reach their fitness goals with a minimum of fuss. This 24-hour gym—which is decorated with indoor imitation grass to look like a sports field, has strength-training equipment, and has heavy weight bags hanging from the ceiling—manages to project an atmosphere of “let’s do this” while still being a laid-back place to work out. Certified personal trainers and owners Justin and Nate Warren are on hand to help clients with their exercises and teach small group classes.
The hip-hop and international beats that bounce off the walls inside Kraze Fitness also help guide students’ arms and legs through Zumba steps, turns, and jumps. Each of the five Zumba instructors has their own teaching style – some teach hip-hop or traditional moves at a fast pace while others teach class in the dark. They also ensure participants break a sweat during turbo kickboxing classes at the studio.
Techniques from traditional and modern martial arts styles coalesce in drop-in classes that bestow the self-defense skills necessary to make calories and future foes flee for their lives. A black-belted staff of martial arts gurus guides students of all skill levels through the combat techniques of kickboxing and jujitsu, pausing only to relay snippets of sage wisdom and to put out fires inadvertently started by the studio’s pet dragon. While instructors respect the ancient practices of their forebears, classes rely on an up-to-date scientific understanding of martial arts to maximize fitness benefits. Whether unleashing a flood of punches and kicks on hapless bags in basic kickboxing classes or sparring with opponents in advanced Brazilian jujitsu standoffs, students may expect to emerge from training with sharpened concentration, improved self-esteem, and a tendency to speak only in opaque aphorisms.
The music programming at the nonprofit Maine Academy of Modern Music is designed to allow pupils to rock out to their favorite contemporary jams. During individualized lessons, teachers help students master the basics of rock instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, and more. From there, young rockers can enlist in one of the school's rock bands, where they'll learn to play alongside other musicians as a group. That, in turn, leads to performance opportunities, which the school sets up at renowned Portland venues like Bayside Bowl, Big Easy, Asylum, and the Old Port Festival.
Bands also assemble at the school's rock camps, where attendees not only rehearse originals and covers but also learn rock history and take field trips to local radio stations. Besides its in-house opportunities, the academy's outreach programs also supply local schools with everything from private concerts to master classes to ensure everyone has access to quality music education.
The Fitness & Performance Studio is captained by a team of three fitness experts—Mike Caiazzo, Andrew Kinslow, Martha Lavertu. The trio of trainers invite fitness-seekers of all athletic abilities into their private studio, where they lead custom personal-training sessions, high-intensity boot-camp classes, and challenging strength-and-conditioning workouts. The trainers pack their bright studio with functional equipment, including kettlebells, medicine balls, and TRX-suspension straps.
Fournier's Leadership Karate Centers train kids and adults in self-defense techniques including karate, judo, and krav maga. Students gain self-discipline and confidence while learning how to fight, or they can kick their way to physical fitness during kickboxing classes. In addition to regular classes, the center organizes pizza parties, movie nights, and parents' nights out.