At the age of 6, Master Han began his martial-arts training under his father in Korea. He has since earned multiple black belts and honed his expertise in tai chi, tae kwon do, and various styles of meditation, such as qi gong breathing therapy. At Han's Martial Arts, he and his retinue of instructors and disciples pass on the techniques of Chen style tai chi chuan—a 17th-century school of combat that channels Chinese boxing into both fluid and explosive maneuvers. The Chen style's swift foot-stomping actions help to differentiate it from other tai chi methods, proving more effective at defeating assassins built from bubble wrap. Small group classes and private lessons for several age groups ensure that instructors dole out personalized sparring tips. Master Han also teaches children's tae kwon do to spark confidence and bolster physical and mental development in kids.
For Urban Beat Dance founder Shannon Murray, dancing is much more than a passionate pastime. She earned a BA in Dance Administration and Teaching, and illuminated the path towards fleet-footendess for 15 years in both Chicago and Los Angeles. Having performed at concerts and in music videos, Shannon’s diverse dance experiences help her lead a staff of experience dancers. Instructors guide students toward their individual dance goals, whether they want to join an international ballet company or simply learn sashays and pirouettes to perform during jury deliberations.
Isabella Samovsky fell in love with a salt lamp. Well, not just the lamp, but also the salt-assisted healing it provided. Her love for the salt lamp and its alternative approach to maintaining health inspired her to create Solay Wellness, a center that offers salt-based products and treatments. The Himalayan salt at Solay is harvested from ancient, mineral-rich seabeds, and can be found in hundreds of fair-trade and organic health, beauty, gourmet, pets, and lifestyle products including salt inhalers, natural rubber yoga maps, and soy candles. Solay Wellness also offers an extensive range of fair trade Himalayan salt crystal lamps with UL dimmer cords, which can be shaped like bowls, pyramids, globes, or salt shakers.
At the center’s private salt room, guests can meditate on lounge chairs as they breathe in the salt’s negative ions, which can help to reenergize the body, purify the skin, reduce stress, and alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms. Guests can also take up Tibetan singing-bowl sessions in rooms lined with ancient Himalayan salt blocks. Tiles and loose salt are also on hand to help stimulate pressure points in feet and give children a place to play. In addition to salt-based treatments, the center also offers reflexology and massage.
Kids rev up their imaginations inside Exploritorium, transforming into little inventors, climbers, or stars of the stage. Tykes caper through a slew of different interactive spaces, including a two-and-half story play structure chock full of tunnels and slides. A waterfall provides kids with a space to play with water toys, and includes a space for toddlers to sit and play in. Visual creations illuminate a giant light brite, and an engineering station crinkles new folds into little scientifically-minded brains. Nearby, a dress-up area wardrobes kids for stints as princesses and heros, readying them to act out adventures on the nearby stage.
More formal performances occur the third Tuesday of every month. On those days, a storyteller takes over the stage and spins exciting, family-friendly tales. Holidays usher in even more events, such as a Halloween party and an Itty Bitty New Year for families.
Aesthetician Jenny Bentan has kept nails in check with specialty manicuring services for more than 20 years. Drawing on this extensive experience, Jenny outfits fingers with everything from acrylic sets to high-end polishes by OPI and Essie to long-lasting Gelish polish. This durable coating offers chip-free protection even when hands are subjected to grueling tasks such as doing the dishes or milking the rattlesnakes.
My Gym Children's Fitness Center, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 30 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level—starting as young as 6 months—and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–8, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Eirith Garza, the trainer behind Chicagoland Fitness Camp, channels his 10 years of experience into each 30- to 45-minute workout session to help his clients burn fat quickly. Each class hosts up to 15 coed students within the 2,000-square-foot studio, which boasts soft floors and a climate-controlled atmosphere. Instructors then guide pupils through muscle-sculpting exercises to tone thighs, mold abs, and out-flex Michelangelo's David. Classes meet Monday–Saturday, and students are welcome to purchase a membership or pay by the session. In addition to fitness classes, Chicagoland Fitness Camp's staff stocks a free health-and-fitness library and offers nutrition seminars, grocery-store tours, and accountability groups.