In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Club Metro USA believes that it takes more than rows of exercise machines and a couple of dumbbells to create a desirable workout experience. At all of their Club Metro USA locations throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, founders Emile Farina and Mike Sullivan strive to treat their members less like anonymous gym grunters and more like guests at a stress-free vacation resort. The calorie-eliminating haven features a streamlined decor and innovative workout equipment, along with classes and programs for all skill levels, including yoga, boxing, and dancing, along with amenities such as personal trainers, tanning booths, a juice bar, and a Kids’ Club playroom for unleashed toddlers.
A dancer since age 6, Dasha Sushko founded Ballroom Dream in 2011 after a successful professional dance career in both Russia and the United States. She and her instructors teach fledgling dancers at ballroom, Latin, and swing classes inside Ballroom Dream’s 4,000-square-foot facility, which features a floating hardwood dance floor. Mirrors help students assess their form during group or private lessons, and on every first and third Friday and fourth Saturday of the month, the studio turns up its professional-grade sound system to let students flaunt their newfound form during social dances. Classes are open to adults as well as kids, who discover dance basics during entertaining classes that help expend youthful energy faster than a feverish baseball-card trading session.
The passionate instructors at Vertical Fitness & Dance, LLC encourage and support students of all skill levels. Within the clean, spacious studio, students of all skill levels utilize chrome poles, gaining confidence and body awareness as they burn fat and strengthen limbs.
Total Core Fitness Boot Camp's four-week sessions eschew full-metal drill sergeantry for a positive, encouraging style. Motivating trainers help campers get into shapes such as buff, lean, and octagon via a comprehensive nutrition plan, tracking of body-mass stats, and 50-minute workouts. At camp, like-minded folk of various abilities engage in a variety of aerobic options, both indoors and out, including group activities, such as swinging mallets at tires until they shed oily tears and lugging weights in relay races. Traditional equipment such as stationary bikes and rowing machines are also on hand and foot. The boot-camp schedule includes classes throughout the day on Mondays–Thursdays, and the next session begins on March 14. Anxious ab disciplinarians can begin sooner and roll over unattended classes to the next session.