Few yoga studios can say that they've created their own styles of yoga, but at Highland Yoga, Anelyn and Stephen Tortorello did just that. With the help of their instructors, these yogis developed Yogacarya, which marries Western yoga postures with the introspection, meditation, and self-realization encouraged by the Yoga Sutras. The open, clean studio hosts a rotating gallery of local artists' paintings and photography to inspire reflection.
Their 32 weekly classes—available in beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels—also embrace the widely popular Vinyasa and Hatha methods along with the lesser-known Kripalu and Kundalini yogas. To further foster mind-body connections, the studio's licensed massage therapists ease muscular stress, taut muscles, and uptight grizzly bears with myofascial, Swedish, and Thai yoga bodywork.
The Sing With Me curriculum stretches back to the late 19th century, when a duo of sisters and early-education researchers composed the tune that would eventually become "Happy Birthday to You." Donating the popular song's royalties to a foundation, the song eventually financed the research of Ken Guilmartin, who was pursuing the role of music in early cognitive development. Teaming up with fellow researcher Lili Levinowitz, Guilmartin founded Music Together LLC, a system of musical learning that allowed kids from birth to age 7 and their parents to access the joys of music together in a fun, supportive environment. Although not every child is destined for a career as a concert pianist, Sing With Me’s teachers start from the philosophy that all children have some innate musical sense and can be taught to sing in tune, move rhythmically, and distinguish a recorder from a Charleston Chew.
A nonprofit organization, The Riverdale Art Center's only aim is to weave creativity into the everyday life of its community. To this end, its instructors host A Glass of Art BYOB art classes for adults, and pARTy pizza-and-art classes for kids and teenagers. Additionally, the art center offers studio and gallery space for local artists.
Kidoodle Learning Center strives to create a safe space for social, emotional, and intellectual development. Instructors embrace a curriculum of age-specific activities that foster socialization and motor skills through play, along with ample time for stories, art projects, and power naps. The cozy and colorful play space boasts a 1:4 instructor ratio for infants and a 1:6 ratio for children aged 18 months to 2.5 years. Kidoodle classes strike a balance between child-directed and teacher-directed activities that help prepare tykes for kindergarten and high-stakes games of Duck, Duck, Goose.
One can look behind every stationary bike or beneath each treadmill, and never come across a man at American Woman Fitness Center. They will, however, find a swimming pool, rows of cardio machines, and a studio that hosts more than 50 fitness classes. Because the health club only admits women at its two locations, gals can feel more comfortable and confident as they break a sweat on elliptical machines and weight-training equipment.
The all-female staff leads a slew of group fitness classes, including CrossFit, Corebar training, Zumba, and yoga classes, some of which take place in the swimming pool and can result in highly desirable dolphin abs. In addition to classes, they offer personal-training sessions along with weight-loss and nutritional counseling tailored to female physiques. While ladies are working out, they can rest assured that their wee ones are looked after, as the staff also provides childcare services.
Katy Fischer picked up ballet when she was 3 years old and never stopped tapping her toes. Now, with more than 30 years of dance instruction to her name, she and Russ Fischer impart ballroom and Latin dance wisdom to couples wishing to learn the waltz, swing dancing, and cha-cha. Each Friday night, the Fischers host dance socials where couples can show off their dance chops.
After traveling to vineyards throughout the United States and Canada during wine-tasting trips, Michele and Paul Crecca realized they could show others how to make their own wine. They founded Your Own Winery to share their passion and know-how with newcomers to the world of wine.
Today, they help hobbyists produce and bottle more than 200 varietals of wine, including cabernets, pinot noirs, chardonnays, and pinot grigios. The staff will provide free samples to help students decide what kind of wine to make. It can be a tough decision, because winemaking is a six-to-eight week process that spans from primary fermentation to bottling. Each batch makes 28 bottles, and Michele and Paul even help their clients create custom labels, which have ranged from family photos and beloved pets to cherished pictures.