A father's hand shakes as he passes the car keys to his fresh-faced teen; the metaphorical and literal roads ahead are full of potential danger and driving hazards. America’s Driving School understands this fear and assuages it with guidance from a team of certified instructors whose stints at the company range from seven years to three decades. These instructors—who studied under the expert eye of a Master Trainer and underwent a thorough background check before earning their wheels—ensure a hands-on educational experience that helps new drivers reach their destinations safely and may reduce their insurance costs.
America’s Driving School focuses on a number of oft-ignored but important skills, such as planning and mapping out a road trip and pulling off emergency maneuvers—threshold braking, teleportation, and the like. And the school doesn't just train teens. Adults can also stop in for private lessons to develop their driving skills or even prepare for their first license.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable fitness-focused members to improve their physical wellbeing with a cornucopia of equipment, no matter the hours they keep. Prospective perspirers don't have to let The Man or a random street man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength equipment or top-of-the-line cardio equipment, which features touchscreen TVs with cable and iPod hookups. Couples looking to get in shape or maintain their fitness can take advantage of the dual memberships, enjoying their workout time together or contending against one another in unspoken loser-does-the-dishes competitions. Even fitness quartets who exercise during conventional hours can bask in Snap Fitness's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere that provides a refreshing change of pace from meat-market gyms and tough elementary-school weight rooms. For those who need a televised distraction during free-weight iron-pumping sessions, each corner of Snap Fitness's gym houses a flat-screen TV.
The mission of Body and Brain Yoga—alongside its affiliate yoga centers—is to make yoga accessible to everyone, everywhere. To this end, each team of instructors modulate movements based on Korean sun do to match each students’ needs. Classes emphasize aligning the body and mind equally through stretches, breathing exercises, and meditation, and each session is capped off by a 10-minute tea time, during which students and instructors can socialize or reenact Alice in Wonderland's interview with the Easter Bunny.
Sneakers pound the grass during shriek-filled games of tag. But this isn’t recess, it’s Portland Fit Camp, and the jubilant players aren’t children but women sculpting muscles during the intense, outdoor adult version of the classic game. With a max of 24 campers, the sessions have an intimate feel, and their participants are fueled by their collective energy and the motivational training of a certified instructor. For five days a week for four-week sessions, the groups meet in the park for muscle-shocking routines that change daily to avoid plateaus. Core-based, functional exercises such as agility ladder drills, air squats, and hill sprints are all taught to students, who break the traditional workout routine with games of tag or games of capture the flag taped to the squirrel’s back.