International Institute of Cosmetology founder Carmelo Gugliotti began his career as a professional hairdresser when he was 16. He gradually built his passion into a successful business, entering international competitions and earning leadership positions within multiple cosmetology groups. Now supported by his beauty-minded family—including his wife and three sons—Gugliotti trains stylists and aestheticians in rigorous, accredited courses.
As part of their training, students offer a full menu of hair, nail, and spa services that incorporates Wella coloring and Dermalogica skincare products. Instructors supervise each treatment to ensure pupils don’t disregard protocol or use their untutored genius to make clients too beautiful for this world.
Some might say Darci Mchenry's qualified staff members make an unusual team: several specialize in hosting parties, and one is an experienced temporary-tattoo artist and balloon twister, and Darci holds years of experience as a face painter and art instructor. Together, these artists and planners helm TeachArt2Me's plethora of art-education programs for children from preschool up to ninth grade. They organize year-round themed art camps suited to each age group, which focus on disciplines in painting, drawing, collage making, sculpture, and environment-based science. They also coordinate children's birthday parties, which feature craft projects based on a chosen theme, such as learning to draw comics or emulate Picasso's Blue Period.
Visitors never have to wait in line to workout at Cardio Express—each of the six clubs boasts a ton of Cybex strength-training machinery, an arsenal of free weights, and more than 80 pieces of cardio equipment affixed with personal 15-inch television screens. Compassionate instructors imbue gym visits with a human element as well, leading classes such as Core Fusion, Total Tone circuit training, and spinning sessions at the Southington, Vernon, and Manchester locations. Each year, the staff members carry the same motivational energy they use in their studios to recruit members and friends for the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour. Cardio Express has raised a grand total of nearly $400,000, and it also acts as title sponsor for the 2012 benefit.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Sacred Rivers Yoga is more than just a place to practice yoga. It’s also a massage studio where therapists soothe tension with techniques ranging from deep-tissue to thai massage, and a certified 200- and 500-hour Yoga Alliance school and an International Association of Yoga Therapy member school.
The main goal at Sacred Rivers is to help visitors achieve a balance between their bodies and minds. Classes accommodate all skill levels, with gentle and introductory yoga sessions for beginners and four courses, including power yoga, that can challenge even the most advanced yogis. Other specialized classes include Fabulous Over 50! and Yin yoga, which focuses on connective tissue.
Bikram Yoga Glastonbury's band of yoga instructors guides students of all abilities through the 26-posture practice. Students begin the 90-minute workout with a deep-breathing exercise before moving into a sequence of standing and seated postures designed to improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Balmy temperatures help students sink into deep stretches, eliminate harmful toxins from the body, and keep confrontational snowmen at bay. Though challenging, students of all experience and fitness levels can tailor the poses to meet their needs, with the idea that through dedicated practice, students may see a decrease in weight, improved sleep, and greater flexibility.
Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness first opened its 35,000-square-foot fitness centers in 1979, and the specialists have since maintained a commitment to helping their members lead healthier lifestyles. They work in partnership with hospitals and medical professionals to stay keen on current research, turning this information into personal-training programs and professional advice for members of all fitness levels. In addition to programs in fitness and recreation, health education, and nutrition, Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness offers more than 60 group fitness classes. Members can shake up their routines with group cycling, yoga, and Pilates sessions, or tune out the surrounding world while burning calories on TV-equipped cardio machines. Member amenities also include basketball courts and an aquatics center in addition to outlets for kids including a youth activities center and babysitting services for kids that are tired of pretending to be their mom's fanny pack as she works out.