Owner Dani Petrie and her studio manager, Debbie Lofdahl, helm a staff of seasoned teachers who lead yoga and fitness classes seven days a week. Inside their peaceful, Zen-style studio, spacious wooden floors offer plenty of room for stretching and posing, and a boutique shop brims with yoga clothes and jewelry by Manduka, Beyond Yoga, and Be Present. When they aren't leading their regular classes, instructors facilitate yoga parties and provide the mats, props, water, and music. Teachers also infiltrate the workplace to lead corporate classes that help businesses and their employees stay happy and healthy. In addition to their 200-hour teacher training sessions, Reach Yoga also hosts workshops on topics such as laughter yoga, which turns self-induced chuckles into genuine guffaws by having participants laugh intentionally.
Mosaic Therapy, a non-profit organization, strives to help families in need through tutoring. Certified teachers (most of whom have their Masters degrees) focus on incorporating students' emotions as a part of the learning process. Tutors aim to increase confidence and create successful learners, while creating a platform for engaging students and providing interventions.
The staff understands that culture is a key factor in learning, and that's why they try to communicate with clients in their native language as opposed to nongeographic forms of communication like semaphore. They also work with adults, with therapy options and education courses specifically designed for couples, parents, and the entire family.
Since opening its doors in 1998, Language Stars has introduced more than 30,000 children to foreign languages with small-group classes and full-immersion activities. Through a selective process, Language Stars recruits ambitious teachers from more than 20 countries who share a common goal of revolutionizing how and when American children learn foreign languages. Parents and Tots Classes are available for children between 1–3 years old, and Kids Only classes are available for children 3–5, 5–8 and 8–10 years old. Absorbent little minds soak up Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, or Arabic with the help of their FunImmersion approach, learning naturally through games, songs, activities and art projects to help kids finally understand their foreign-exchange imaginary friends.
Winner of several contest awards from the Wedding Photojournalist Association including photographer of the year in 2012, Steve Matteo still remembers his early days as a news photographer for a small suburban weekly, rushing back to the newsroom to watch the film slowly develop and a sliver of history take shape. Though he went on to tackle more exciting assignments and career changes?working at the Daily Herald, compiling images for UIC's yearlong City 2000 photo project, and photographing Princess Diana's visit to Chicago in 1996?one thing hasn't changed: the thrill of knowing that his camera has memorialized a story forever.
Today, Steve is equally at home shooting for Fortune 500 companies and clients such as Northwestern University as he is creating individual portraits. When he photographs a wedding, he uses the same ingenuity and photojournalistic eye that he honed while working as a sports photographer for HBO Sports and as a news photographer for the Associated Press. His wedding photography, meanwhile, has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, garnered a 2012 Bride's Choice award on WeddingWire.com, and won the 2012 WPJA Photographer of the Year.
The seasoned staffers at Make-A-Messterpiece nurture creativity and critical-thinking skills by guiding children up to aged 12 through messy hands-on activities. Aspiring chemists can mix their own concoctions at the Experimentation Station or explore gravity at the Bubbleology area, and future chefs can dabble in gastronomic delights at Creative Kitchen. Whereas Lil' Sprouts activities teach pint-sized crafters do-it-yourself projects, the custom-designed Drum Roll studio gives children the chance to splatter paint with each drumbeat, just like Carnegie Hall during renovation season. For little ones who would rather create aesthetic masterpieces, Splat-Tacular Tables furnish the tools they'll need to draw, paint, sculpt, or decorate their own creations.
Make-A-Messterpiece also goes beyond everyday activities to host school field trips and children's birthday parties with artistic activities, food, and goodie bags. For frequent messmakers, the center offers family memberships replete with perks such as everyday access to the studio, discounts on classes, VIP passes for special events, and consultations with Jackson Pollock's ghost.
A PADI five-star dive center, D. D. Dive outfits novice swimmers with all the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to swim beneath the waves. Their courses are made up of classroom sessions, pool work, and open-water excursions to prepare each student according to PADI guidelines. The instructors also offer classes in rescue diving and diving-instructor as well as dive-master training, all of which are useful skills when working to open a dive school for dolphins. Once certified, new divers can go with the school on a globetrotting trip to a diving mecca such as Bonne Terre Mine, Kona, or the Galapagos Islands.