In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
Borrowing tactics from door-to-door salesmen, the trainers of Door to Door Fitness make it easy for clients by bringing the gym to them. Master trainer Gerardo Lambert leads a team of fitness experts that travels to clients' homes for one-on-one training sessions that emphasize functional movements to work many muscle groups at once. After a fitness evaluation that assesses body composition, muscle strength, and flexibility, trainers devise routines that provide full-body workouts regardless of how much space is available between furniture and enchanted suits of armor roaming the halls. Clients can also arrange for personal yoga instruction or meet up with others for boot-camp-style workouts.
Fairfield Hot Yoga’s seasoned instructors gather yogis of all skill levels for 90-minute classes to burn off calories and pent-up stress in a 90- to 105-degree practice space. The studio’s signature hot-yoga class revolves around a constant series of 26 poses students perform to sculpt muscles throughout the body. During power vinyasa, students work from pose to pose in the practice space, warming its floors with rising body temperatures as they use breathing exercises to transition from sun salutations, arm balances, and backbends. Throughout each workout, the studio’s intense heat boosts blood flow and loosens ligaments to make the body more lithe than a pipe cleaner dancing Swan Lake.
The Little Red School owner Carolyn West has been teaching children how to draw and make music for more than 20 years. Her team of instructors provides one-on-one training in a variety of instruments including piano, voice, guitar, and cello. Art classes, additionally, let kids express themselves by splashing watercolors onto canvases or creating their own cartoon characters in semi-private lessons. During birthday parties, kids can combine painting lessons with pizza or play dress-up in a Victorian mansion complete with a tea party.
In the late 1970s career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs, and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.