Experienced trapeze artist Ray Pierce began his circus training on the tightrope in 1976. More than 30 years later, he and his highly trained staff at his company, Hollywood Aerial Arts, devote their time to every aspect of the art form, from choreographing their own aerial acts to designing custom rigs to teaching the next generation of artists how to maneuver through the air. They reference their collective backgrounds in the circus, Pilates, stunt work, and dance to teach group workshops inside their 10,000 square-foot facility. All of the classes supply students with safely lines and a spotting belt, and the majority of the classes focus on a specific apparatus. These include the aerial bungee, aerial hammock, spanish web, tightrope, tissu, or flying trapeze, which is performed on the facility's 32-foot-high outdoor trapeze equipped with a safety system and animatronic clown cheerleaders.
Over the course of the summer, Street Food Cinema rolls out more than forty events that showcase the greatest hits of the silver screen and the LA food-truck scene. When the gates open, guests spread blankets on the grass and pop open coolers. Live bands play until dusk, when crowd-pleasing movies such as Fight Club and The Sandlot across the big screen. Meanwhile, a rotating food-truck schedule assembles a diverse curbside lineup, which might include asian-inspired tacos from Komodo or the gooey delights of The Grilled Cheese Truck. Their events also feature movie-themed games projected on the big screen for audience participation. During showcases, artisan vendors are on hand selling fresh baguettes, fine meats, and sweets for purchase.
Street Food Cinema's eclectic assemblage of food, music, and films has picked up attention beyond the park's bounds, snagging mentions on NBC4 and in the Huffington Post's Broke Girls Guide. Other videos of the events in action can be seen here. It's also become known for its philanthropic work: each year the organization supports one designated local charity.
Regardless of dress size or dance background, each woman who enters one of The Secret Pole Dance Studios becomes a part of a supportive community. At both the original Culver City studio and the brand new Hawthorne location, instructors dish out compliments as they guide women through choreographed fitness routines, empowering dancers to overcome inhibitions and let loose along the way. During the Pole Diva and Sensual Movement classes, instructors also encourage camaraderie, occasionally breaking participants into groups and have them perform for one another. Though it may seem intimidating, this opportunity to show off in front of a nurturing audience provides students with the opportunity to build self-esteem.
In addition to boosting mental fortitude, the studio's sensual fitness routines also build physical strength; pole-dancing classes sculpt arms and cores, and chair-dancing classes firm up glutes, quads, and newly emerged dorsal fins. Classes unfold in the studios or on location, but the fun doesn't necessarily end once the imaginary bell rings; groups of gals can even reserve the spaces for private dance parties.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
Thanks to Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, more than one million families have found themselves more flexible, more physically fit, and healthier since 1975. In the decades since opening their doors, the school has developed more and more programs to cater to diverse community members. Even their trampolines and padded floors welcome everyone from toddlers to adults and beginners to professional-level competitors capable of cartwheeling for miles.
As for the teaching staff, the school's coaches come from across the world (14 different countries in total), and each has completed multiple certification courses, including those from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That experience guides them in each one of their gymnastics programs, whether it's a class for parents and their toddlers, an adult parkour class, or a gymnastics camp for kids with special needs.
At the end of a fruitful career that led her from the Cincinnati Ballet to the Sacramento Ballet, Jennifer Williams funneled her dance savvy into creating the barre-inspired exercise system taught at Pop Physique, a 2013 CityVoter finalist for Best Gym. Her fleet of handpicked and personally trained instructors pairs graceful ballet moves with other low-impact exercises in order to chisel cores without injuring muscles. Deep stretches further preserve tendons and leave each student more relaxed than a tortoise moseying past a state patrolman with a radar gun. Sessions run multiple times a day, seven days a week at an expanding network of SoCal locations. The roomy studios are lined with sprung dance floors and design accents that lend each location a distinct personality and a chance to forget its past as a storage room for defective food processors.