At The Cupcake Factory, bakers banish boxed and prepackaged ingredients from the premises to ensure that every cupcake is made fresh each day from scratch. Chomp into a tongue-tantalizing creation in any of 18 available flavors ($2.50 each). Delicately moist strawberry cakes repine under waves of pink butter-cream frosting, and the dapper chocolate cupcake dons a cap laced with fudgey shavings. Adventurous taste buds can travel abroad with a chai cupcake, which infuses vanilla cake with hints of cinnamon and exotic chai frosting, or steep in British tradition by devouring the vanilla butter-cream frosting on the english toffee cupcake and then pretending to be shocked by its immodest state of dress.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando was founded to give those who share the Jewish tradition a communal setting in which to exercise, play, and learn with one another. Between them, the two locations boast full fitness facilities, tennis courts, and an outdoor pool. Group exercise classes and a gymnasium aid adults in acquiring fitter bodies, and sports leagues provide a venue for grownups to compete and ceremoniously dump sports drinks on each other. The center also puts on its own full-blown theatrical productions.
The center’s staff tailors certain events to the needs of senior citizens, helping them with exercise regimes such as yoga. Staff members also assist the Senior Nite club in organizing trips to new restaurants or the theater and help pintsize guests by helming a preschool, kids' camps, and extracurricular programs. Staffers can even pick up youngsters from school and ferry them to one of the facilities for afterschool development programs, which, like backyard mazes, are designed by the child’s parents to challenge young ones.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 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 6–9, 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.
It's hard to learn how to fight until you've actually stepped into the ring, which is why the expertise of professional fighters is so highly valued in instructors at martial-arts clubs. With teachers whose in-the-ring careers earned them nicknames like "Merciless" and "Little Giant," American Combat Club's crew members turns their own grappling and striking experiences into a lineup of mixed-martial-arts classes fit for all levels. They teach a fusion form of boxing and kickboxing that incorporates elbow and knee strikes, as well as a Brazilian-jujitsu-based grappling program that elucidates takedowns, submissions, and defenses against commonly encountered holds. Becoming a well-rounded fighter requires more than just technical skill, however, so the teachers also offer full-body conditioning classes in which participants flip tractor tires, swing sledgehammers, and heft medicine balls until they finally confess that they can't actually cure the common cold.
Forte Fitness’s owner, Alicia Streger, gathers a crew of trainers whose backgrounds are as diverse as the exercises performed within her boot camps. When not motivating people to achieve their fitness goals, instructors spend time participating in fitness competitions and charity camps within the community, building strong bonds and increasing their accountability and success as co-trainers. Each instructor's background is reflected in his or her physical and mental fitness, and they try to instill that discipline in students through their 21-day Belly Blast Challenges, boot camps, and regular kettlebell courses, all supplemented with nutritional education. For traveling clients who don’t want to lose the rhythm of their routine, the instructors assemble their 20 favorite body-weight exercises, ones that conveniently don’t require using any particular equipment or punching any particular wall.
Teaching hips to swivel to new circumferences, dance instructors impart their masterful moves unto students in the respected tradition Arthur Murray schools have upheld since 1912. Students can bring a partner to their lessons or fly solo and dance with the instructor. Protégés may find their new moves applicable in a number of settings, such as when prepping for a wedding dance or when blending into an airport crowd that breaks out in the cha-cha. Embodying the three-count time of a stately waltz brings partners in close, and rumba moves or swing steps add vibrancy and playfulness to a repertoire.
The Orlando studio provides a warm, aesthetically sound environment for engaging in private and group dance lessons. The full class schedule is well suited to teaching feet to slice and dice a rug until it is no longer recognizable.