Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates in cardio routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Since 2000, Camp Jitterbug has grown from an intimate soiree with only about 100 students to a leading force in the swing-dancing world. It now occupies spaces throughout Seattle, inviting swing bands to play non-stop for four days as a multitude of dancers hone their skills in workshops and evening dance sessions. These workshops cater to specific skill levels, combining expert instruction with live music for a three-day learning experience. Evening dance festivities then begin around 8:30 p.m. and go until the last horn falls silent at around 5 a.m., giving dancers eight-and-a-half hours to put their newfound skills to the test. The next day, the organizers invite dancers back to do it all again, encouraging them to allow the joy of dance to overshadow any lingering exhaustion or soreness from the day before.
Meanwhile, the dancers of Jump Session Show punctuate the weekend with performances and demonstrations. The rug-cutters wow crowds with intricate, precisely timed dance moves, just like desperate presidential candidates during their final debate.
Vision Quest Sport and Fitness promotes a five-pronged approach to fitness, covering cardiovascular, progressive resistance, proper diet, supplementation, and personal training. Like any decent clock factory, the clubs are open 24 hours a day, and each keeps its own schedule primed with group classes such as boxing, yoga, spinning, and hip-hop fitness. Body Sculpt sessions fashion forms with weights and bands, and Total Body Conditioning uses lighter weights and higher repetitions to create lean, mean muscle mass.
Members take part in complimentary wellness seminars from fitness experts to fine-tune their bodies, and teams of affiliated massage therapists, chiropractors, and nutrition gurus save skeletons and muscles from harmful injury.
Purchase, prepare, and polish off S.O.L.E. (sustainable, organic, local, and ethical) food at the local foodie soul of the city: the world-famous Pike Place Market. With today’s Groupon, $28 gets you a $45 two-hour ‘Lunch and Learn’ cooking class at Diane’s Market Kitchen, just four blocks south of the legendary market at 1101 Post Alley ($50 with tax included).
Lauded by schools and music magazines, the percussion courses at Interact and Learn immerse pupils in world traditions and contemporary beats alike. Offerings range from downloadable mini-courses to group classes focusing on jazz and salsa rhythms. Both kids and adults can free their inner Ringo in drum kit lessons, while private, instrument-specific instruction narrows in on bongos and maracas.
High above the city, you might hear the sounds of splashing in the Seattle Municipal Tower. They're coming from the 25-meter lap pool and jacuzzi at one of Seattle Executive Fitness's two downtown outposts. Both gyms tend to the bodies of busy Seattleites with personal training sessions with certified fitness gurus, rows of cardio and Hammer Strength equipment, and more than 60 weekly classes. Before exercisers head back into the city to impress their bosses with their new muscles, they can freshen up in the facilities' plush locker rooms, which have showers, towel service, dry saunas, and steam rooms.