The purveyors of Oasis wanted to create a space where women could work out together in a pressure-free and rewarding environment. By outfitting the health club with rowers, step mills, and ellipticals, as well as a daycare, spacious locker rooms, and an infrared sauna, they brought that space to fruition. They also stocked it with a team of fitness experts, many with degrees and certifications in the field. That crew fosters a positive attitude while leading classes such as Pilates and Zumba, or personal-training sessions that can prep members for long-distance runs away from donuts. Events such as boot camps and self-defense courses are designed specifically with women in mind, while their nutrition programs round out plans for total fitness.
Focus Yoga's seasoned instructors lead students of all skill levels through a variety of classes. The Yoga Basics class equips students with three building blocks—breathing techniques, concentration exercises, and fundamental poses—helping them develop a solid, balanced practice. During Open Yoga, beginner and intermediate yogis build muscles and flexibility through the slow, expansive movements of Vinyasa yoga. Dynamic Yoga classes pick up the pace, helping athletes bolster their stamina with deep breaths and impromptu thumb-wrestling matches. Focus Yoga also offers specialized classes for moms-to-be, and for teens who want to be trees when they grow up. In addition to its regular schedule of classes, Focus Yoga offers teacher training and hosts a variety of special events.
Circle of Stones imports fine beading materials from around the world, using baubles culled from lands such as Africa, China, and Thailand to lead 10 jewelry-making classes. Pupils can choose from a range of beads, including gemstones, crystals, recycled glass, and semiprecious rock candy, to begin their inculcation into the jewelry-making trade. During the beginning beading class, instructors reveal the proper techniques for finishing bracelets and necklaces, and students wrap and fasten earrings in wire to prevent beads’ untimely escape down open sewers. The Star of India class, also for beginners, converges seed beads into star-like shapes, and the braided-crystal-bracelet class interweaves seed beads with sparkling Swarovski gems. Tutorials on peyote and wire-wrapped bracelets teach versatile pattern-making skills to forge a delicate necklace design. Prospective students can peruse jewelry samples made during previous workshops online. To prevent bead cross-contamination, Circle of Stones requests that students purchase all of their class supplies in-house.
Mike Semerau and the instructors at Chicago's #1 Drum Lessons have a trick up their sleeve. In addition to in-person tutelage, they provide professional pre-recorded take-home videos of proper drumming techniques for students to refer to while practicing. This kind of constant visualization and repetitive watching is what the instructors claim makes their students so successful as they drill new techniques such as double bass, ostinatos, and stick control. During lessons, teachers also cover subjects such as soloing, learning a student’s favorite song, creating original beats and fills, and teaching yourself. Chicago's #1 Drum Lessons has a play-along machine stacked with more than 1,000 songs, all of which have no drum track so that students can provide their own percussion and experience the sensation of playing and keeping time with other instruments.
Stephanie King-Myers and Nancy Bigley founded Bottle & Bottega as a fun, artistic space where guests could, as King-Myers phrases it on their website, “feel like they’re having a party in their living room.” Established in 2009, the guided painting emporium has already expanded to six main locations in two states.
La Grange owners and dedicated community members Paul and Meg Lefaivre were ecstatic to bring Bottle & Bottega to their neighborhood. The Lefaivres, along with a slate of local artists, encourage participants of any artistic level to unleash their creativity onto the canvas, creating their own versions of famous paintings that they can hang in their living rooms or over their bathroom mirrors in an attempt to be famous themselves.
The Chicago White Sox have some truly dedicated fans. In 1994, the team decided to reach out to the youngsters who worshipped their footwear. They sought to provide kids with the same conditioning and training they honed their skills with, so they started a sports-training summer camp. In a mere seven years, demand for the trainers' services necessitated that the program conduct year-round sessions in all types of sports, and the Bulls/Sox Academy was born.
Taught by the trainers who spend their life making sure that the Sox and Bulls are ready to hit the field or court, Bulls/Sox Academy's lessons bring professional techniques to aspiring athletes. Baseball programs teach functional speed movements for high-speed base stealing and help kids build the upper-body strength to knock balls out of the park and through the windshield of their least favorite neighbor's minivan. The basketball course divvies up training between shooting, skills, and defensive play. The fast-pitch softball teachers—both former professional players and longtime coaches—arm students to beat back high-velocity pitches without hurting the ball's feelings.
The aestheticians, hair stylists, and nail technicians at G Skin & Beauty Institute never work alone. As students at the beauty school, they tend to clients as part of their training, always under the watchful eye of an expert. Their comprehensive, supervised services range from haircuts, deep-conditioning, and relaxer treatments to microdermabrasion and complexion-brightening facials. They can also revitalize entire physiques with body wraps. Regardless of the treatment at hand, the team strives to incorporate organic and natural products whenever possible, rather than those made with extracts from the Little Shop of Horrors plant.