Aiming to beautify its clients inside and out, the instructors at Serenity Yoga and Wellness Spa guide their patrons in zapping stress with five types of yoga and nurture their skin with signature facials and massages. In an effort to spread even more benefits, they regularly host workshops, philosophy classes, and family yoga. Students line up their mats on hardwood floors in the studio, where windows let natural light flow across sky-blue walls.
Within American One Productions’ spacious rehearsal room, the sharp pop of toms and the rasp of snares drift from Yamaha drums and reverberate off the acoustic paneling. Music teachers and bands fill the professional-quality studio, which has a laid-back atmosphere that makes it an ideal place to learn, jam, or wear sunglasses indoors. Group and private music lessons teach students the fundamentals of theory and technique on a range of instruments, and bands can take advantage of mixing gear to polish their sound during rehearsals.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
For decades, American Bartenders School has helped aspiring spirit spreaders to develop steady hands, sure eyes for measurement, and an encyclopedic drink-formula knowledge. All of the school's classes cover basic mixing, garnishing, layering, and glassware selection in a realistic bar setting, complete with animatronic bar regulars debating whether Woody Allen is currently the president of Azerbaijan. Students gain access to a book of recipes for shooters, including cosmos, lemon drops, and jelly beans; learn how to make frozen specialties and hot toddies; and discover how to cure hangovers and hiccups. For the 12-hour bartending-certification course, graduation sessions are held where the instructors offer helpful tips on how to get hired as a bartender, before returning home with a mixology certificate, professional resumé, and the ability to set up and stock their own home bars, all of which make a classy addition to living rooms, lounges, and butler traps.
Whether you're locking eyes with one of his tiger portraits or attending his pencil-drawing class, one can't help but ask: how does Jerry Winick find the time? His own artwork alone is an exercise in patience, as his pencil drawings can take up to three months to finish. They capture animal faces and Brooklyn streets with striking detail and clarity, so much so that people often believe they're looking at photographs. But, in addition to sketching out these award-winning snapshots, Jerry also runs Pencilworks Studio, a venue for burgeoning artists to mingle and learn.
Here, he leads classes in his chosen medium—pencil—for both children and adults. His personalized instructions help students reproduce a photo on paper, all without tracing or resorting to the Xerox machine they've hidden under their shirt. The studio hosts other workshops as well, helmed by Jerry's daughter Michelle and other professional artists. Depending on their area of expertise, instructors can teach guests how to work with watercolors or experiment with different cartooning techniques. Michelle also arranges birthday painting parties for kids, which supply enough materials for everyone to make an original piece. The staff can even travel to offices and oversee team-building art exercises that yield a collaborative painting.
Vibrant red, yellow, and blue walls envelop a plethora of weightlifting and cardio machines in Body & Soul Core Fitness’s main room. While lifting barbells or twirling legs atop treadmills, patrons can watch flat-screen TVs or peek through the windows into the cardio-kickboxing room lined with red heavy bags swinging under the force of swift kicks and punches. The gym’s classes also include Zumba, DanceSports, spinning, and circuit training. Those interested in more individualized attention can take part in one-on-one personal-training sessions with the gym’s experienced instructors.
Bally enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day membership includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, and Step Fitness (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts an array of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.