The best way Angela Williams can tell her life story is through dance. In her 20 years of experience, she has practiced disciplines such as jazz, tap, and ballet, placed in several gymnastics competitions, and performed in musical theatre. She earned a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies, holds an Ontario Gymnastics Coaching certification, and has spent her summer months overseeing Zodiac Camp’s dance and performing arts programs for kids.
Bringing all of those experiences together, Angela formed Groove School of Dance, where she and her team of teachers demystify the art of bodily expression. The school’s uncompetitive environment creates a familial atmosphere where kids and adults alike can try their feet at ballet, hip-hop, tap, and Zumba. Groove School’s lessons also cater to students with special needs, such as autism, downs syndrome, and visual and hearing impairments. Their dance-themed birthday parties excite youngsters with performers dressed as princesses, clowns, or superheroes, and can include snacks and a cake with Baryshnikov hiding in the center.
Body + Soul Fitness strives to help patrons stay or get into shape via modern equipment and an elite team of trainers who regularly hone their skills through in-house continuing-education programs. Clients looking to slim down or bulk up can receive one-on-one physique-moulding instruction from one of the gym's friendly fitness buffs, who use their expertise to map out a safe, effective program tailor-made to each individual's goals, abilities, and grunting capacity. The sleek, chic establishment also welcomes individuals eager to sweat out their calories without a trainer on a well-maintained fleet of treadmills, weightlifting machines, and stationary bicycles, among other body-bolstering equipment. Body + Soul maintains a commitment to the earth's well-being as well, employing recycled building materials and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems.
To Artistic Way’s team of experienced instructors, a community touched by art becomes a stronger, healthier community. Keeping this philosophy in mind, the staff seeks to unleash the shrink-zapped Monets living in artists of all ages, experience levels, and backgrounds via a host of programs that encourage self-expression. Professional artists helm art classes for kids and adults alike, and an ever-changing roster of workshops includes BYOB ladies’ nights and opportunities for intensive independent study. Creative endeavours such as mosaic making and sculpture ensure that Artistic Way’s summer and winter camps capture youngsters’ imaginations, preventing boredom or bouts of nostalgic pencil sharpening. While specializing in painting and drawing, Artistic Way also offers make-your-own jewellery, ceramics, and glass sessions, and a school of animation combines art and entertainment.
The macaron display case at Ruelo Patisserie is an edible rainbow of tiny, round sandwich cookies. Each flavour is lined up in neat rows, waiting to be savoured with a cup of afternoon tea or alongside another treat from the café. These little sandwich cookies are even known to make an appearance in the shop's extravagant cakes. The cakes are made with classic French cooking methods and the bakers use only natural ingredients every step of the way.
Extreme Fitness sets Toronto's calories ablaze at the 13 renovated, multimillion-dollar locations peppered throughout the greater suburban area. Each facility hosts a menagerie of group fitness classes, which can be taken à la carte or bundled into a gym membership. Muscles loosen up in hot-yoga classes or bulge into sinewy symbols of might in outdoor boot camps, where students soak up vitamin D or distill Capri Sun from the sun's rays. To make sure members get the most of the gym's myriad amenities, personal trainers kick off fitness journeys with their Smart Start program, taking BMI measurements and analyzing heart health and oxygen uptake to give patrons a clearer picture of how much and what types of exercise they need to hit their goals.
After working up a calorie-blasting sweat, members can retire to the steam rooms or whirlpool tubs to soothe sore muscles. The internet business lounge lets people catch up on email while sipping a rejuvenating smoothie from the juice bar, and the basketball courts host pick-up games where adults can show underdog teams of fifth-graders that it takes a little more than pluck and an adorable animal sidekick to win games.
Heat seems to emanate from Fireflow Yoga’s cozy confines. It could be the soft lighting or the warm tones of the hardwood floors, but the studio’s teachers swear it’s the energy flowing through the students in their signature Ashtanga classes. Here, yogis of all levels rehearse poses that summon sweat while they stretch and strengthen muscles throughout their bodies. The instructors, each of whom possesses at least three years of teaching experience, also lead classes for specific populations such as athletes and moms-to-be. The staff keeps its routines up to date by regularly welcoming renowned master yogis to the studio to share their sage knowledge of body-mind alignment and what sound a tree in the forest makes when performing downward dog.
After class, students can peruse the studio’s boutique, which teems with sporty, stretchy fashions created by indie designers. Though most classes are designed for adults, the studio hosts kid-friendly activities such as yoga-themed birthday parties and play sessions filled with animal-inspired poses.