A full wall of cymbals. A huge stock of both new and used guitars and drums, some of them custom-made. And, out of sight, the sounds of instructors teaching students to master two dozen different instruments. In addition to private lessons, Division Street Music Shop's group classes bundle grownups into rock bands, teach ensembles to improvise jazz, and cover genre-specific curricula such as rock and blues guitar. Summer music camps are packed with recording and performance opportunities so that kids don’t get bored and spend the whole three months re-doing last year’s homework.
Following the lead of professional dancer, choreographer, and studio owner Michael Cuomo, the instructors at Premiere Dance Studios teach young dancers ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and a host of other styles while instilling an enduring love of dance. At both the Bridgewater and Flemington locations, parents can watch their kids cut a rug on monitors in the lobby, and their tykes can keep tabs on their own form with floor-to-ceiling mirrors, perfecting ballet leaps or trying to stop their reflections from dancing the "Macarena." As their dance skills improve, students can audition for the Legacy and Dynasty competitive dance troupes, depending on their studio.
Body Shop Total Fitness helps guests reach their health and fitness goals with a variety of amenities, from group fitness classes such as yoga and spin to one-on-one sessions with certified personal trainers. With early-morning and late-evening hours, the gym makes working out accessible for everyone. In addition to the fitness side of personal health, Body Shop also offers eight-week nutrition-counseling sessions and chiropractic care.
Like many artists, Jamie Lindholm explored a few routes before answering her true calling. Although she’d been painting her entire life, she acquired her first college degree in marketing and management. Shortly after, she started training with artists including David Leffel, presidential portrait painter Everett Raymond Kinstler, and photorealist Robert Neffson, all masters who helped hone her ability to capture life on canvas.
At her own studio in Martinsville, Lindholm takes on the role of instructor. Her classes include foundational studies in drawing and painting as well as BYOB sessions in which students can unleash their artistic potential alongside a glass of wine or vintage tempera paint. She conceives of her studio as a traditional atelier where students and the artists who share her space through the Open Easel Program can feel inspired and at home.
At Eclipse Fitness Sports and Wellness, working out and watching an all-day Real Housewives marathon are not mutually exclusive pursuits. With high-definition 15-inch screens on every cardio machine—which are also outfitted with integrated iPod connectivity and USB ports—the gym's treadmills, elliptical machines, and Expresso bikes double as media centers. The gym complements its cardio machines with more than 100 pieces of strength equipment from makers such as Cybex, Life Fitness, and FreeMotion, rather than forcing patrons to bench press each other. Clients who want a high-energy group workout can join the gym's group classes, which accommodate participants of all fitness levels. The sessions use all kinds of exercises and equipment, including kettlebells, suspension training, and slam balls. Spinning sessions motivate cyclists with a soundtrack of high-octane music, rather than the recordings of Lance Armstrong sweating that are popular in other gyms. Patrons can also hit the onsite racquetball and basketball courts and sip on the juice bar's nutritious shakes during breaks in their games.
The Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium entreats attendees of all ages to sit back, look up, and gaze upon constellations and other light-based spectacles. Astronomy shows entertain younger audiences during afternoon showings, with summer gems such as Attack of the Space Pirates or Solar System Odyssey. On weekends, the staff caters to older crowds with laser concerts with music from bands such as Coldplay, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd. After the show, guests can stop into a gift shop filled to the brim with science, astronomy, and star charts, along with freeze-dried astronaut foods such as ice cream or apple wedges. With an eye toward community outreach, the Planetarium also hosts group shows and field-trip programs. The crew also regularly tricks stars into attending the third grade by dragging them to schools via the Starlab Portable Planetarium’s inflatable dome.
PowerHouse Gym's expansive 15,000-square-foot facility stands on its founders' years of combined experience and previous health club ownerships. In designing the gym, they have called upon combinations of weight machines, aerobic equipment, and nutritional know-how to strengthen and tone bodies of virtually every fitness level. In addition to flooding their gym with up-to-date equipment such as step mills by Matrix and treadmills by Life Fitness, the team also carves out a cadre of boot camp, spinning, chisel, and personal-training classes.