Our Health Club & Spa corrals a state-of-the-art fitness center and full-service day spa under one roof, helping clients radiate health from the inside out. Weight rooms, a swimming pool, saunas, and a juice bar comprise the physical-focused side of the center, where certified personal trainers monitor form and fitness trainers lead more than 30 classes per week. Pampering is the priority on the spa side, which offers everything from customized therapeutic massages and European facials to gentlemen's pedicures, which skip the polish in favor of a barely perceptible coat of Armor All.
Though the club's focus is mainly on adult activities, kids can flex their growing flippers in one-on-one swimming lessons or socialize with other tykes in a childcare center, where colorful toys spill out from rows of cubbyholes. Seniors will find themselves equally at home at Our Health Club & Spa with arthritis-focuses classes that provide an opportunity to stretch out aches and whirlpools that provide a perfect setting for stage readings of The Caine Mutiny.
At Pottery Hollow, kids and adults alike find inspiration to create ceramic works of art from a fanciful story about a potter in need of an apprentice to help him and his fairy friends adorn ceramic mugs, platters, and knickknacks with colorful paint. Guests enter the potter's enchanted hollow—complete with twisted tree trunks and brightly colored chairs—to work on the unpainted pieces stored deep beneath the forest. While guests create their masterpieces, staffers keep them supplied with paints and brushes and take finished pieces to be baked in the kiln.
In addition to walk-in sessions, Pottery Hollow's three locations host parties and events such as mommy-and-me sessions, bridal showers, and corporate events. And on Friday nights until 9 p.m., ladies can create beautiful works of art while sipping on their favorite BYOB drinks. Staffers also craft custom pieces in less than a week, which can be given as gifts, kept as future heirlooms, or offered as sacrifices to the home-decor gods.
Circus Harmony employs a staff of instructors wizened by decades spent as circus performers and dedicated to revealing big-top secrets to students age 5 and up. One-hour, semiprivate lessons for up to two students introduce customers to their choice of circus art including trapeze, acrobatics, juggling, contortion, magic, and peanut hawking. As a brief warm-up builds strength and flexibility, instructors guide guests through the fabled fundamentals behind up to four of the available topics. Groupon holders are exempt from the standard registration fee as well as the lion-taming portion of the class's final exam.
When asked about their teaching qualifications, the instructors at Finney's HIT Squad—including Jesse Finney himself—all point to their win records. All of them have a competitive fighting history in their chosen disciplines, and several have earned championships or black belts. As full-time employees of the gyms, they school guests on MMA, kickboxing, boxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and wrestling. They also access their inside knowledge of the industry for fighter-development programs, which strive to transform beginners into professional combatants without stuffing them into hollowed-out punching-bag cocoons for 5 years. For amateurs and experts alike, they assert that "you fight how you train," and aim to simulate official rounds inside their onsite cages, boxing rings, and matted arenas. In 2011, their professional chops helped Finney's HIT Squad take the title of Best MMA Gym in the Riverfront Times Best of St Louis feature.
Despite their investment in competitions, however, the staffers view the two gyms as all-inclusive spaces. Whether they are instilling confidence in children through kids' jujitsu, orienting a new member to the fitness equipment, or leading a women-only martial-arts class, they mentor students of all backgrounds.
The well-trained tone teachers at the American School of Music enlighten aspiring musicians with custom private lessons in a variety of instruments. During a 30-minute lesson, music mavens—many of them professional musicians or degree-holding music educators—can teach a 10-year-old his or her first guitar chords, or help an experienced adult drummer hammer out the difficult timpani solo from The Odd Couple’s theme. Before the lesson, administrative staff gathers information about each student’s goals, experience level, and preferred musical style so that instructors can tailor the experience to his or her needs. Beginning singers and instrumentalists will also receive a complimentary lesson book whose sentient pages whisper words of encouragement during at-home practice sessions.
For four decades, Fischer's has delighted both novice and professional sweets savants with instruction and supplies for delectable decorations. Learn the fundamentals of dessert decoration over the course of a two-hour express session. Bakers-to-be will receive all supplies necessary for confectionary creation, aided by savvy instruction from Fischer's dedicated staff. Topics include lessons on cake improvement, such as how to deftly ice and smooth away rough edges, adorn tops with frilly dollops of buttercream, and teach elocution lessons in advance of fancy-dress balls.
Fitness and sport. McArther's Tae Kwon Do & Fitness focuses on both with traditional and sport tae kwon do classes. During those classes, students bust boards with fists of fury, master technique, and spar to enhance agility, strength, and balance. As they teach these skills, instructors also infuse students with the values of confidence and discipline. Similar benefits are bestowed during yoga and koryo gumdo—a martial art that employs the graceful use of the long sword.