The Sylvester family had bartending in its blood. Whether it was Uncle Mickey holding court with 40 years' worth of regulars or Tony Sr. mixing one of his signature Skip and Go Nakeds, they exemplified the easy grace and no-nonsense craftsmanship found in a true barman's barman. That dedication to well-poured drinks carried over to Tony Jr., who has spent the last 35 years training mixologists nationwide through the curriculum of his ABC Bartending Schools. Taught behind fully functional bars, his courses educate students in topics ranging from drink recipes and equipment setup to flair moves and alcohol awareness. His schools also emphasize employment; after graduation, students can take advantage of a nationwide job placement service to land gigs in Miami nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, or the bar cars of Chicago's El trains.
The fun-loving teachers at Uptown Art: West Palm Beach believe they can teach anyone to paint work they'll be proud of. Child brush wielders get inspiration from helpful instructors who mentor them in their strokes, and adult classes find similar guidance from both the pro painters and their own BYOB beverages. The airy downtown studio attracts budding painters to its varied schedule of evening painting classes and daytime children's classes that span up to three festive hours of guided artmaking. Students return home with their masterpieces at their sides, each based on a class topic such as a homage to a beloved pet, a poignant still-life of potted flowers, or a self-portrait that looks suspiciously like Audrey Hepburn.
Powerhouse Gym escorts its members toward healthier lifestyles with comprehensive memberships and a cavalcade of meticulously maintained equipment. More than newly installed 50 cardio machines volunteer to put legs through their paces as users utilize theater remotes to control one of seven different televisions. A neatly aligned contingent of benches, dumbbells, and racks populate the spacious free-weight area, and competitive guests can work up a sweat or settle disputes the way Congress does with intense games of racquetball. To shed calories among fitness confidants, slide into an expert-led group class such as yoga, Zumba, or cardio kickboxing. Additionally, two 30-minute sessions with a certified personal trainer help facilitate positive results with an in-depth review of individual goals. After determining each guest's needs and level of fitness, trainers can begin to coax fit forms from their subcutaneous hideaways with motivating workouts and softly hummed Rocky themes.
Bindu guides yogis of all levels through daily classes that strengthen and restore bodies and calm bustling brains. Bindu specializes in Vinyasa yoga, a practice that streams muscle and breath movement into one continuous flow. During Divine Play Vinyasa sessions, disciplined contractions, extensions, and alignments awaken life-force energy and the ability to channel soft-serve through ordinary drinking fountains. Vinyasa concludes in the relaxation pose shavasana, known less poetically as corpse pose, wherein yogis simulate the proud posture of dead presidents. Bindu's eight yoga masters also lead therapeutic Viniyoga and athletic Ashtanga classes that align and restore wayward muscles to their rightful places. Sessions range from 60–90 minutes.
At Craft Gallery, professional teaching artists cater a variety of classes and workshops to mold students into matter-manipulating virtuosos. The gallery's small class sizes allow instructors to work with each sculpting scholar during the hands-on sessions. In the hand-built-clay workshop (Tuesdays or Saturdays, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., reservations required), students will discover firing fundamentals while coercing stubborn lumps of clay to take various shapes with the use of secret massage techniques. The full hour includes a demonstration, instruction, clay, tools, and bisque-kiln firing. The fused-glass jewelry class (Thursdays, 1—2 p.m.) enables students to create their own colorful pendants, earrings, and monocles, and the paint-your-own-pottery sessions (Tuesdays–Saturdays, 12–3 p.m.) expose terra-cotta trainees to the art of glazing figurines, bowls, and mugs with personalized designs or subliminal pictures of cats.
Being a successful natural bodybuilder was only the beginning of a fitness journey that led Cast Iron CrossFit owner Matt Franco toward a deeper, biological understanding of how exercise and dieting affect our bodies. Franco obtained a degree in biology from Binghamton University and went on to study Nuclear Medical Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology, working in the healthcare industry for many years before discovering CrossFit. With its simple, ever-changing movements, CrossFit tied in perfectly to what he'd learned about having to constantly challenge and surprise the body in order to achieve results and his passion for helping others find the most effective way to get fit and healthy.
His newfound love for CrossFit inspired Matt to open his own studio which today operates out of an expansive 3,000-square-foot facility. At Cast Iron CrossFit, workouts strip away everything but the essentials. With the Cast Iron CrossFit Unloaded classes, students can get the benefits of CrossFit, but without the heavy lifting or tire throwing. Matt teaches movements designed using the principles of body mechanics. Just like the classes Matt took once upon a time, the workouts can be customized to challenge both beginners and seasoned athletes, and the exercises increase in difficulty and intensity over time. In a supportive class environment, students master Olympic lifts, body-weight exercises, and plyometrics as they build toned, lean, lithe bodies.