American Beauty College has been the training ground for tomorrow’s hairstylists, cosmetologists, and estheticians for more than 40 years. Over the years, the school has been training students in the classroom and during hands-on-hands sessions at the school’s on-site salon, where licensed instructors oversee and supervise services administered by developing students. In addition to offering mani-pedis and acrylic nails, the training estheticians and stylists also perform haircuts, styling sessions, color treatments, waxing, and makeup applications.
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.
Monique Jaime of Yoganette Yoga describes her MO as an instructor: “I teach a style called Vinyasa Flow; it is called this because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance. This style allows a lot of variety, but will almost certainly include Sun Salutations—expect movement, not just stretching.” Jaime and the several other instructors share personal anecdotes about their professional work, in which they lead students through a variety of yoga classes, from rhythmic, dynamic yoga flows to slower-paced, stress-relieving sessions. Their flow-based classes focus on strength, balance, and flexibility, and their detox classes use twisting poses and inversions to help the body cleanse itself, which is also what the body of the Catmobile would do if it existed. The team teaches barre-fusion classes that combine barre and core work with yoga poses for sweat-inducing, fat-burning workouts. Along with yoga classes, the studio hosts knitting and crocheting meet ups, meditation series, and workshops that help awaken the chakras for improved overall wellness.
Room 2 Dance’s instructors help students of all levels hone their dancing skills through private and group lessons. They can teach students to salsa, introduce them to the world of ballroom dance, and more—even mixing up rotating Tuesday-night classes with everything from Argentine tango to a “Thriller” flash-mob routine. The studio’s two floating dance floors are easy on the joints, and the decor is easy on the eyes; the space boasts a vintage-meets-modern style with warm tones accented by splashes of deep red, antique armchairs, gilded mirrors, and strings of lights hanging from the ceiling.
Within Bikram Yoga of Los Angeles' Covina studio, Dr. Vern Rollins helms a team of certified and passionate instructors who have taught thousands of classes and accrued hundreds of teacher-training hours. As the studio's temperature summits to 105 degrees with 40% humidity, these instructors model and explain poses, encourage deep breathing, and tiptoe around puddles. Thanks to their intimate knowledge of modifications, they capably assist students of all levels. Further, they maintain a flexible schedule of morning and evening classes that are 90 minutes apiece.
Bikram’s 26 poses and two breathing exercises work to engage the entire body with the strength and grace of a full-contact symphony-orchestra performance. Systematically isolating muscle groups one at a time, the poses begin on a mat and work up to a standing position, gradually building stamina and flexibility and jump-starting circulation. As waves of heat loosen limbs enough to make sea-anemone shadow puppets, the body begins to sweat and release toxins. The studio rents yoga mats and has onsite showers.
All About Yarn owner Pilar learned to knit and crochet from her grandmother at the age of 5. She learned at first by watching, and then by imitating, and eventually, she was skilled enough to make her own patterns. When Pilar later immigrated to the United States with her husband, tasks such as learning English, working, and raising her family filled her time. Now that her children are grown, though, she spends her time doing what she most enjoys: knitting, crocheting, and sharing her skills with others. She conducts lessons with patience and care, and she also stocks a wide variety of yarns and instructional books.
The bride stood under the photographer’s lights, resplendent in her wedding gown, as her family looked on from a distance. As she and her photographer, M. Chen, prepared for the shoot, she was handed a package—a prewedding gift from her soon-to-be husband. When she lifted the lid, she immediately burst into tears. Inside laid a photo of a great dane puppy—the dog she’d always wanted, which her husband planned to give her on their wedding day. As she ran to hug her mother, Mr. Chen ran after, shooting image after image, capturing the exact moment she fell into her mother’s arms. These quick reflexes have been honed through his nearly 30 years as a sports photographer and professional fly swatter, and he draws on photojournalistic techniques to compose a traditional portrait or snap once-in-a-lifetime, candid moments.
Regardless of specific approaches, he consistently draws from the landscape style of Ansel Adams and the dramatic lighting techniques of Monte Zucker. His work as a photojournalist and private portrait photographer has earned him more than 300 publications in the glossy pages of New York Daily News, Popular Photography, ESPN Magazine, and Professional Photographers of America magazine. When not snapping on-location engagement shoots, family portraits, or boudoir sessions, he passes on his technique through traveling photography seminars, hands-on workshops, and by gently tapping the heads of his students. Though formerly designed only for professional-level photographers, these classes instill confidence and camera basics in beginners. As he frequently finds new class examples and takes feedback from his students, Mr. Chen frequently fine-tunes the curriculum after each seminar.