For more than three decades, locally owned Spectrum Athletic Clubs have aimed to create a resort-like experience for patrons with upscale perks and personalized care. After workouts, gym-goers can avail themselves of unlimited towel service and change in comfortable locker rooms. Other amenities include saunas, steam rooms, healthy cafes, specialized workout areas, and complimentary Internet access.
In addition, racquetball courts let athletes improve their game independently, and patrons can sweat solo on cardiovascular equipment with individual viewing screens. Group classes, more than 1,200 of which are held daily, include Zumba, Pilates, Body Combat, and CXWorx sessions and enable trainees to draw motivation from each other or from each exercise studio's complimentary tank of moxie. The Spectrum Kids Club gives kids a place to play while adults work out and hosts such events as pool parties and pizza parties throughout the year.
A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
From garnishing a perfectly poured martini to doling out rounds of drinks quickly and efficiently, the experienced instructors at National Bartender School possess all the tips, tricks, and tools to succeed in the bartending trade. With years of industry experience under their belts, these knowledgeable spirits sages guide pupils through certification courses that cover every aspect of the job. Under their supervision, students learn to craft more than 200 cocktails, handle transactions, and practice the art of the upsell without breaking a sweat or bottle of 50-year-old scotch. Free refresher courses and job-placement assistance keep students on track even after school is through. For more focused pursuits, National Bartender School also hosts classes in specialty fields such as flair bartending and bar management.
The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.
Many performers are already triple threats—experts in acting, singing, and dancing—but Emma Ridley decided to add one more line to her repertoire: fitness. At her alternative health studio, Goddess Fitness Dance, Emma and her instructors eschew the monotonous exercise regimens and carnivorous treadmills of traditional gyms, instead focusing on fun, flirty exercises such as sultry pole-dancing routines and belly-dancing classes—all infused with Emma’s passion for entertainment.
Though all the workouts still subscribe to the concept of repetitions in order to burn fat, Goddess Fitness Dance infuses each workout with an added element of fun. Studio classes teach specific moves that, with practice, can lend grace and allure to students’ dance routines, and the driving force behind every drill is always laughter, not grunts. "You don't need to be a pro to see the results," Emma remarks. "As long as you're moving, you're doing it right!"
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.