Chi Chi Randolph has choreographed routines for hip-hop artists including Nelly and the Black Eyed Peas. Kari Lehman has 15 years of ballet training experience. Viviane Bressan turned her love of belly dance into a career, traversing the globe while teaching and performing the ancient art. At Dance Austin Studio, these three number among more than a dozen dance instructors whose dazzlingly diverse backgrounds enable an array of classes for everyone from preschoolers to grownups and fitness buffs to serious students of dance.
Zumba combines fast-paced cardio choreography with dynamic Latin rhythms, and the 18-and-older Sexy Stiletto Fit class uses high heels to tone calves and build confidence. Students can choose to learn fundamental positions, steps, and vocabulary during structured ballet, lyrical, and jazz programs, or they can develop video-ready swagger during hip-hop classes. The studio’s sense of fun occasionally spills out into the community—it recently teamed up with the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to spark a flash mob at city hall, held to raise awareness of emergency preparedness and help officials practice what to do if invaded by dancing aliens.
An AT&T ad executive hangs up the phone, grabs his jacket, and heads toward the subway to Hell's Kitchen. It's the late '80s, and at the New York comedy institution The Improv, a slew of up-and-coming talent, including Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, are testing jokes and honing timing. In the next few years, they'll perform on television for millions. But for now, they're changing the life of one ad executive.
The founder of LA Stand-Ups, Joe Falzarano, quit his promising advertising career because he "hated being a suit" and preferred to nurture promising young comedians. With accomplishments that include producing the CableACE Award–winning Caroline's Comedy Hour for A&E, Falzarano helped launch the performing and writing careers of entertainers including Jon Stewart and Louis C.K. Today, Falzarano imparts his more than 20 years of industry experience to aspiring joke-tellers, teaching them tactics for perfecting a punch line, calming nerves, and subduing hecklers with a marshmallow gun. Falzarano maintains a supportive atmosphere where students learn how to use who they are to connect with an audience, and even lets students try out material at the Hollywood Improv.
Lauren Bruns began singing in an oldies cover band in her early teens before branching out in college as a solo artist on Austin's Sixth Street. After four years in Los Angeles—during which she won V05's Red Hot Rising Star contest and signed a deal with Sony—Lauren decided to focus on working with children. She realized that kids had no access to music programs with songwriting components, so she spent three years teaching youngsters at in-home lessons and schools, all the while shaping a curriculum that encouraged kids to express themselves with original lyrics, finely tuned eyebrow raises, and music.
In 2011, Lauren opened her kids-only songwriting studio where expert teachers imbue children aged 4 and up with sight-reading, improvisation, and music-recording fundamentals. Music makers can learn basic guitar chords at private or group lessons, record an original song in the recording booth, belt out a tune on the performance stage, and practice for life on the road in the hotel-room trashing simulator. Youngsters can also experiment with different rhythms and vocal effects at GarageBand tutorials and learn a new instrument or write a new song at one-week summer-camp sessions.
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
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.
Matteo Baker didn't put ?220? in the name of his fitness center just to help people remember its street address. He did it to remind them of his goal for the center's services: to be ?second to none.? With body-bolstering services that range from personal training to chiropractic care to nutritional counseling, 220 Fitness and Wellness blends conventional gym practices with holistic wellness therapy to forge a multifaceted approach to health. While in one of three studios or out on the beach, guests can get hearts pumping in one of the center's group classes, including boot camp, cycling, and yoga, each of which take place frequently enough to let latecomers find a fun alternate class and early comers join in the previous class's naptime. When workouts are finished, the modern facility's licensed and certified health practitioners work to help guests recover from or prevent injuries with physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy.