Manhattan Elite Prep's staff of teachers and consultants carries firsthand experience navigating the complicated labyrinth of school admissions. Some were students whose high test scores and poignant essays got them into top PhD and Ivy League MBA programs. Some consultants served on admissions committees of coveted schools and know what experience, qualities, and acrobatic feats make student applications stand out. Now, this team of insiders at a firm with more than 10 years of experience pools its knowledge to help students who are serious about acing tests and placing in their top schools. They emphasize efficiency, packing as much information as they can into the time allotted, and exceeding beyond minimum requirements. Courses covering entrance tests teach students to work smarter, ruling out wrong answers and budgeting their time wisely, and essay consultants pare down applications to deliver rich content in a limited word count. Customers may complete classes online or interact in-person with their instructors as well as fellow students.
First Class, Inc., is dedicated to short-term educational programs and has been serving up classes to D.C.-area adults for almost 30 years. Directed by Debra Leopold, the center provides a wide variety of classes in a wide variety of categories, so accountants can get in touch with their artistic side and artists can learn to balance their dwindling checkbooks. Each class is two hours long, unless otherwise stated. Learn to make soap, bath salts, and more ($39) for a cost-effective beauty regimen, or take Intro to Professional Voice-Overs ($45) and finally realize a dream of adding narration to Computer Beach Party. Polish your people skills with How to Up Your Charm Quotient ($39), or indulge in a Chocolate Tasting with a Professional Chocolatier ($49). Online classes ($129 each) let potential pilgrims progress toward goals from the comfort of home, covering a range of topics from the ins and outs of grant writing to conversational French.
People of the Beat, a global community of dancers, organizes unique, oversized nights for dancers so that they can groove to playlists of dance and hip hop, Latin and African, rock and country tunes—in sweatpants or ball gowns. The all-ages party’s dress code is simply “whatever is most comfortable to dance in.” This utilitarian vibe attracts novice dancers, fitness groups, and professional ballerinas alike to the party, which combines stage performances with an always-dancing crowd. Each party is held in a spacious arena where dancers can spread out and dance with the sky as the limit to their exuberance.
In 2007, Pace Beattie had an inkling that his life was about to change. He had discovered hot yoga—a discipline that integrates meditation with rigorous exercise—and resolved to pursue it as his vocation. He saw this as a long-term vision; something he would do after retiring from finance and moving back to his hometown of Greenville.
Then, everything changed: In the eight weeks that bridged 2008 and 2009, he lost his job and his mother passed away. In the aftermath, he scrutinized his life and realized: The time is now. Pace enrolled in workshops and conferences, completing levels I and II of the Baron Baptiste teacher-training program. He moved to Greenville, recruited a team of highly specialized teachers, and opened Southern Om.
Today, having boldly charted his own path, Pace equips others to do the same. He fosters self-discovery through two styles of hot yoga: Southern 26 and Southern Flow, a form of power yoga in which students sweat out sweet tea. These classes serve beginners and experienced practitioners alike, incorporating modifications that support alignment.
Medical Career Specialists’ team of instructors has one mission: to prepare students for medical-certification tests and future careers, all in one week or less. The nine different medical programs, which begin every week on Saturday, train students in a variety of professions, from EKG technician to medical-lab assistant. Within five days, students can learn about the complexities and procedures required of a surgical technician, or train to become a certified pharmacy technician. Additionally, the center also provides CPR and first-aid classes.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee, "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance. Dahn Yoga is also taught at independently owned and operated franchises called Body & Brain Yoga.