The teachers at Wine and Canvas believe anyone can be artist. In fact, they draw out skills from people who have never even held a paintbrush before. To do this, they guide participants step-by-step through the process of replicating a painting during three-hour classes held at different restaurants and bars throughout the city. To keep each class fresh, they regularly change up the selected masterpieces, which can be anything from the Eiffel Tower at night to an abstract rendering of trees. No matter what and where they teach, though, they always supply students with all the necessary accoutrements, including paints, canvases, aprons, and pronunciation guides for realistic French-accents. The one thing they don't supply is wine, allowing guests to choose for themselves what to drink at the venues' full bars.
These nights on the town are for adults only, but they do host kid-friendly cookie and canvas nights for children wanting to discover or flex their artistic chops.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level (starting as young as 6 months) and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
When discussing his teaching philosophy with reporters from Central Florida Lifestyle, the owner of Salsa Heat quipped, "if you can walk, you can dance." He himself didn't know much about dancing when he took his first salsa class in the early 90's, but he caught on after just a few sessions, falling in love with the dance's energetic spins and rhythmic movements.
Today, a team of professional dance instructors teach salsa spins and footwork to students of all experience levels. Zumba and bachata classes provide tutoring in other Latin dance styles, and salsa classes for kids teach youngsters dance fundamentals that hone coordination and motor skills. Throughout the year, the staff hosts special events on their spacious dance floors, such as salsa socials, salsa Christmas parties, and salsa-infused celebrations of Robert Heinlein's birthday.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando was founded to give those who share the Jewish tradition a communal setting in which to exercise, play, and learn with one another. Between them, the two locations boast full fitness facilities, tennis courts, and an outdoor pool. Group exercise classes and a gymnasium aid adults in acquiring fitter bodies, and sports leagues provide a venue for grownups to compete and ceremoniously dump sports drinks on each other. The center also puts on its own full-blown theatrical productions.
The center’s staff tailors certain events to the needs of senior citizens, helping them with exercise regimes such as yoga. Staff members also assist the Senior Nite club in organizing trips to new restaurants or the theater and help pintsize guests by helming a preschool, kids' camps, and extracurricular programs. Staffers can even pick up youngsters from school and ferry them to one of the facilities for afterschool development programs, which, like backyard mazes, are designed by the child’s parents to challenge young ones.
Lying face down, the students press into their hands into the floor, lifting their heads and shoulders toward the ceiling into cobra pose. As the studio's 100-degree heat pervades their muscles, students feel their spines lengthen, their shoulders broaden, and their chests open. The instructors of Bikram Yoga West Orlando lead participants through this and Bikram‘s 25 other postures every day, combining them with two breathing exercises in a specific sequence that strengthens and lengthens muscles and joints while pumping oxygen-rich blood into the organs, glands, and internal hard drives. Every 90-minute class follows the same routine and challenges participants of all ages and practice levels. Bikram also encourages dedication—the more students practice, the deeper they can go into each pose, reaping benefits including decreased blood pressure, relief from back pain, and lowered stress levels. In addition to their yogic discipline, Bikram Yoga West Orlando's team also arranges spa services, including massage and skincare.