Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness first opened its 35,000-square-foot fitness centers in 1979, and the specialists have since maintained a commitment to helping their members lead healthier lifestyles. They work in partnership with hospitals and medical professionals to stay keen on current research, turning this information into personal-training programs and professional advice for members of all fitness levels. In addition to programs in fitness and recreation, health education, and nutrition, Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness offers more than 60 group fitness classes. Members can shake up their routines with group cycling, yoga, and Pilates sessions, or tune out the surrounding world while burning calories on TV-equipped cardio machines. Member amenities also include basketball courts and an aquatics center in addition to outlets for kids including a youth activities center and babysitting services for kids that are tired of pretending to be their mom's fanny pack as she works out.
Planet Fitness' massive, brightly colored edifice teems with aerobic, strength-training, tanning, and massage options, tailored to suit burgeoning buffs of all ages and abilities. A two-month Black Card membership (a $39.98 value) with enrollment fee included (a $99 value) offers exercisers a wide range of Planet's benefits, including access to an extensive fleet of cardio equipment, strength-training equipment, and free weights, which move unhindered by large machines or political censorship. Tan-seekers can bask in the unlimited artificial sunshine of the gym's tanning booths, and an army of shiatsu massage chairs stands at the ready, twiddling soothing robot thumbs and waiting to coax tension from tired tendons.
Amidst cocktails and dancing, 35 to 40 students of all skill sets recreate classic works of art within hours at Drink and Dabble under the tutelage of comedian and RISD graduate Charlie Hall. He supplies classes with artistic gear including a blank 16" x 20" stretched canvas, water-based acrylics, and aprons that protect outfits from paint more effectively than showering in paint-thinner. Charlie selects the evening’s canvas from famous artworks including Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” though students can opt to try their own painting instead. He guides his class through every layer step-by-step, circling the room to dispense individual tips. During short breaks, he and his students eat, drink, and make merry along to a soundtrack of party tunes. By class’ end, the acrylics dry into a new version of a priceless canvas that you can take home.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Artist Deenie Pacik, armed with nearly two decades of crafting fused-glass artwork and teaching at schools such as Franklin Pierce University, imparts her expertise during a variety of classes. Working out of Deenie's fully equipped home studio, small groups of students learn to fuse dichroic glass and powder into everything from shiny pendants to new work boots for Cinderella's cousin. Projects transform into translucent objets d?art in the glass kiln, which, as Deenie tells the Warwick Beacon, heats glass at three times the temperature used to bake a pizza, or eight billion times the heat used to glaze an ice sculpture.