In 1976, Joan Barnes?a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time?took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree. In the decades since Gymboree?s founding, Joan?s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children?s? cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classesthat cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Malenna Saunders grabs her ROTC and Air Force experience by the horns when she leads intense indoor and outdoor boot-camp or fitness classes. Warrior boot camp prepares patrons to slay unwanted fat during a 60-minute romp through plyometric and cardio conditioning melded with strength training and calisthenics routines, and Bowery Babes boot-camp sessions cater to moms or three toddlers standing on one another's shoulders dressed as a mom. Meanwhile, kettlebell workouts and functional exercises tone everyday muscles.
Certified instructors helm other group fitness classes, such as Vinyasa yoga and Zumba cardio-dance classes, within studios fully stocked with workout-enhancing props. Patrons of all fitness levels shimmy into Zumba sessions to hip-shake away excess poundage, mastering easy-to-follow Latin dance moves, which can add spice to tired chimney-sweeping routines.
Elite Bodies owner and certified trainer J. Ellis Jones utilizes his training as a kickboxer, a football player, and a tae-kwon-do expert to temper his clients’ mental fortitude and physical prowess on weights and exercise machines. Whereas one-on-one or boot-camp sessions tone and hone muscles, professional nutrition and weight-loss counseling melts fat cells like they're a snowman reading a steamy love letter under a lamp. To ensure long-term success, Elite Bodies' certified personal trainers customize clients' individual programs and track their progress along the way. Full-length mirrors allow guests to keep tabs on their form, and unlike a restaurant staffed by lazy robots, the small, private studio ensures that patrons never have to wait for machines.
It all began with a party. When Z Club NY co-founder Claudia Salem was invited by business partner Edmee Cherdieu D?Alexis to a Zumba party at S.O.B.?s in New York, she was expecting a fun and invigorating workout. But the passion and energy emanating from the crowd made her realize that she was witnessing something more. Claudia and Edmee strive to recreate that same atmosphere at every Z Club location, by employing personable customer service reps, maintaining pristine facilities, and scheduling seven different Zumba variations. The schedule includes classes held seven days a week and a regular series of events.
JG Kinetics Studio fuses a passion for both dance and fitness in an enrichment center that helps students get in shape and strengthen their dance skills. Ballet, jazz, and hip-hop classes introduce children to the fundamentals of rhythm and movement, and yoga for youth helps manage emotions and anxiety tied to the population explosion of imaginary monsters under their bed. Adult classes such as Zumba and salsa cater to dancers and aerobic exercisers of all skill levels for one-on-one and group instruction. Instructors also organize themed birthday parties that immerse youth in treasure hunts and ‘80s dance music with included birthday cakes and age-appropriate activities.
Certified personal trainer Kimora Link fights inactivity with compassion. Whether he's leading a group boot-camp class or a private workout, he exemplifies patience, thoroughly explaining each exercise and helping his clients to properly position their bodies. He adheres to "progression philosophy"?the belief that everyone should build muscle at their own pace, instead of syncing their reps to underdog-movie training-montage scenes. His programs, therefore, accommodate all ages and fitness levels. With calisthenics courses, six-week wellness regimens, and youth conditioning plans in his fitness arsenal, he helps to motivate clients to adopt long-term healthy habits.