Influenced by dance trends from Europe to Latin America, the staff at SuperShag Dance Studios splits its time between three Boston-area spaces filled with dancing poles, yoga mats, and custom sound systems. Founder Chris Johnston—who won several amateur Latin dance championships as a kid in Ireland and was named a World Class adjudicator by the National Dance Council of America—carefully amassed his talented troupe of teachers from dance schools around the world and from Fred Astaire’s botched attempts to clone himself. During private and group lessons, they spice up Latin-, ballroom-, and pole-dance numbers with an urban twist heavily influenced by British Dancesport, and ready students for competitions.
Light streams in through the studio windows, bouncing off the painted brick walls and illuminating the yogis—each like a cat arching its back in a sunbeam—stretching on the hardwood floor. At Shiva Shakti Yoga Center, instructors, each with at least 500 hours of training, tailor each 60- to 90-minute yoga class to accommodate the needs of students of all experience levels. Drawing on such methods as hatha, Vinyasa, vigorous, restorative, and Anusara, the dynamic of fluid sessions help strengthen muscles and center minds for yogis of all kinds. The studio also hosts occasional workshops with guest teachers to keep bodies limber through varied regimens.
According to TriYoga Boston’s certified instructors, yoga has many faces. It’s a meditative practice that can inspire spiritual growth. It’s a tool for breathing more effectively and clearing the mind. Like lap-swimming in a moat, it’s an ancient exercise system that promotes strength and fluid movement. In a classroom with wooden floors, oversize windows, and recessed lighting, students practice guided relaxation, chants, and traditional poses. Each flow syncs with rhythmic breathwork and focus-building exercises. Seven levels of classes accommodate students of all abilities, from absolute beginners to yogis training to teach. Slow-paced Basics classes help novices build a strong foundation. In addition to emphasizing safety, these classes cultivate comfort with props such as bolsters, blocks, and pillows. As a complement to yoga classes, the studio offers one-on-one massage and yoga-therapy appointments.
When entering and exiting the studio, students can unwind at a meditation garden with a waterfall. The space makes an excellent spot for soaking up sunbeams or discussing the many innovations of TriYoga founder Kali Ray, whose experience with spontaneous, Kundalini-inspired Hatha yoga flows have shaped the studio and its classes.
Boston University's Center for Digital Imaging Arts bustles with creativity at its three campus locations in Massachusetts, Atlanta, and Washington, DC. Inside the classrooms, seasoned instructors lead hands-on workshops that delve into an array of artistic interests, including filmmaking, photography, animation, graphic design, and audio production. Teachers and students use state-of-the-art tools such as Arri video lighting, Adobe Creative Suite software, and Epson inkjet printers capable of producing counterfeit Disney Dollars.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
On any given night at Gordon's Fine Wines & Liquors, guests might hear staff instructors share their favorite French wines or introduce a Speyside scotch. They might also see guest sommeliers, local brewers, or winemakers discuss the production regions and flavors of their most cherished varietals. For more than 75 years, Gordon’s has been a beacon for such talented flavor enthusiasts, recruiting a team of specialized instructors that has earned the alcohol emporium the title of Massachusetts Beverage Business 2012 Retailer of the Year. These professionals have never tired of spinning out lessons—touching on wine education, beer and spirits, cooking, and wine-and-food pairings, which immerses visitors in how to successfully marry cheeses and wines without their parents getting all bent out of shape.
Yet apart from the knowledge spread therein and the discussions bubbling with poignant enthusiasm behind the shelves, Gordon’s also serves as a supplier. Its shelves abound with hundreds of wines—including kosher wines—from every continent except Antarctica, more than 500 types of craft beer, and 300 single-malt scotches.