Named St. Charles Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year in 2010, Main Street Gym owner Wendy Black invigorates limp limbs and un-buff thoraxes with her more than 10 years of personal-training experience. In a six-week boot-camp session held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, crews of 15 or fewer huffers and puffers stretch and strain together in one-hour workouts twice a week. Evening sessions at 7 p.m.—led by trainer Marcel Walker—pump up the after-work crowd. Black leads 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. sessions so early risers can achieve their morning sweat without power-lifting medicine balls full of boiling-hot coffee. In addition, a one-on-one consultation will compile body measurements, past workout history, and a cardiovascular assessment to address personal-fitness and nutritional goals and to help barbell adherents overcome their deep-seated fear of aerobics. See Main Street Gym's online schedule for details.
Studio Gallo blu is a three-pronged artistic haven, complete with a café, studio, and gallery. The studio inspires guests with Tuscan-style decor, complete with brick and coral walls adorned with lushly rendered paintings of rolling hills and framed landscapes by painter Kate Franklin. Franklin—who also instructs students during Chianti and Canvas classes—isn't the only artist with work hanging in the gallery. The city's cache of talented local-artists' work cycles through the space, showcasing their skills—the artists occasionally even pop by during classes for adults and children. The space is also available for private art lessons as well as a wide variety of events, including children's tea parties, fashion-themed bashes, and BYOB studio time that occasionally results in Pollock-inspired dress-shirt stains.
Gotham Dream Cars lets drivers grip the throttle of exotic speed machines such as the Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Bentley Continental GT for personal rental or specialized thrill experiences. During the Dream Car Sprint, auto enthusiasts slip into a Ferrari or Lamborghini on a closed course and whip their more than 500-horsepower drive three times around the autocross track, learning how to tame their power with the aid of an instructor before coming out of the third lap on a straightaway to open the engine up to its full potential. Drivers conduct an orchestra of firing pistons and camshafts for three laps before crossing the finish line and parking to the pianissimo of the softly purring V8 engine. Gotham Dream Cars snaps pictures of the sprint, so drivers are sent home with hands they will never wash and a CD of images to parade before jealous coworkers and humbled shopping carts.
A Redken Premier school, The Salon Professional Academy staffs an elite team of certified teachers, each of whom boasts more than 10 years of industry experience and a passion for education. Director of Education Chris Gould garnered 16 years of experience training with well-known brands such as Vidal Sassoon, Jacques Dessange, and Yosh Toya, before opening the academy to share her savvy with top local talent. Up-and-coming hair stylists, cosmetologists, and aestheticians meet for full-time, hands-on classes that dispense wisdom on products, body treatments, and the most effective way to relax tense mannequins. Armed with scissors, enthusiasm, and on-trend taste, advanced students head onto the floor to perform salon services on real clients under the watchful eyes of their teachers.
Salon Cosmetique at Vatterott Career College trains tomorrow’s aestheticians and stylists, giving beauty students practice perfecting their craft. Hair, nails, makeup, facials, waxing, and eyebrow tinting are all offered in this busy teaching salon, and all treatments are completed by students under the supervision of licensed instructors.
As a Pivot Point member school, the Academy of Beauty has been offering top-notch cosmetology training for aspiring mane tamers and skin smoothers for more than 25 years. At the academy salon, noodle nests are nurtured by student stylists working under the watchful eyes of licensed educators and Adonia, the Greek goddess of Brazilian blowouts. Each haircut begins with a relaxing scalp massage to lull scared strands out of hiding before shampooing, snipping, and shaping them to the height of follicular fashion. Brighten dull dreads with all-over color (a $30+ value), lift lazy locks with a perm (a $35+ value), or loosen tress tension brought on by years of supporting your many fruit hats with a relaxer (a $45+ value).