Dim red lights cast a glow over the women’s only pole-dancing studios at Unveiled Fitness. Periodically, the shadows of pirouetting bodies flicker against the wooden floor and reflections streak along the metal of 16-foot stationary and spinning poles. Within this environment, owner Kristin Mason and her team of instructors lead their students through pole-dancing classes. Combining the battle-tested fitness techniques of strength training, yoga, pilates, dance, cardio, and pickle-jar-opening, Kristin and her team aim to make every woman they work with feel confident in her body. The supportive staff also offers personal training, private parties, and foam-roller classes, which use a cylindrical piece of foam to boost flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.
The rumba, Argentine tango, waltz, and other ballroom dances are often absent from the dance floors at bars and clubs. To acquaint people with these classic dances, the staff at Sway Ballroom Dance stages complimentary private lessons for newcomers on their initial visit. The lessons, which boost dancers’ confidence and knowledge of basic movements, forerun any future group classes, dance parties, or dance-offs with bosses.
Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, YogaWorks's expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flows enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks. Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it.
Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
George Moore is the third-generation owner of a family business that opened more than 60 years ago. True to its original purpose, the shop still sells sewing machines, cabinets, vacuum cleaners, and ceiling fans, but now aims to acquire equipment that is eco-friendly and ultra-efficient.
Alongside its retail branch, Moore’s nurses the machines it sells back to health and leads crafting classes. Expert stitchers lead hands-on sessions in everything from quilting to correctly taking the measurements of a restless scarecrow.
In 2003, the teaching staffs behind the Butler-Fearon and the O’Connor-Kennedy Schools realized something: though both academies nurtured the physical, mental, and competitive skills of scores of young Irish dancers, they could form a more robust program by combining forces. Once united, the team of Rose Fearon, Vincent O’Connor, and Kathleen O’Connor—each a certified Irish dance adjudicator—implemented a revised curriculum reaching students from both American coasts to the solid-ice skyscrapers of Ontario. Today, Butler-Fearon-O'Connor trains everyone from girls buckling their jig shoes for the first time to experienced adults, many of whom—such as 2011 world champion Emily Penner—have danced competitively at home or across the pond and landed spots on touring companies for shows such as Riverdance.
Focusing on perfecting traditional form and technique, classes are kept as small as possible, ensuring personalized attention from one of the school's 10 experienced, decorated instructors. Students also learn stamina, flexibility, and presentation, with an emphasis on avoiding motions that tend to draw judges' ire, such as clumsy arm placement and badgering the audience. Many locations also host more casual classes for adults and groups such as Girl Scout troops.