Think beauty pageants are all about being skinny and strutting across the stage in a bikini? Think again. Scott Keppel, of Scott’s Training Systems in Chandler, wants the pageant contestants he trains to be beautiful and healthy. “I not only want the girls to feel confident in the bikini portion of the pageant, but all of it. I want them to feel good in their evening gowns and whatever else they are wearing, too,” he says.
A gym membership just sounds so very permanent – sign a contract, pay your dues, and find yourself wedded to the same boring treadmills and plate-loaded arm curls month after month. Who needs that kind of commitment? In reality, a lot of people pay monthly gym memberships to go maybe once a week (or not at all). Losing money while not losing weight is a lose-lose proposition. But how about one-time classes with low fees? Now that’s winning! If you’re not getting enough bang for your buck at the gym, there are plenty of fun à la carte fitness classes around the Valley. Here are just a few options for one-time fitness flings.
Get to the point with Phoenix’s fencing centers.
Sometimes referred to as “physical chess” for its complexity, subtlety and mental gamesmanship, fencing isn’t just a martial art, according to adherents. It’s a lifestyle choice. “Fencing is a lifelong sport that teaches self-discipline, self-control, perseverance, patience and analytic and strategic thinking skills,” says Rachelle Arama, assistant coach at Arizona Fencing Center.
Choosing the Top Dentists
Every spring, PHOENIX magazine mails 1,600 surveys to randomly selected dentists throughout the Valley. The survey asks the dentists to write the names of three dentists whom they deem the best in each of nine specialties. They mail the surveys back to us, and we tally the votes in each category. Once the top vote-getters are determined, we obtain the dentists’ contact information from the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners, and our fact-checkers verify their information.
PHOENIX magazine does not give any preference to dentists who advertise. The Top Dentists are determined purely based on the number of votes they receive. Our sales staff does not see the list until the magazine is printed; if there are instances when a dentist on the list also has an ad in the magazine, it is merely coincidence. With the exception of the five randomly chosen dentists profiled, the dentists also have no advance knowledge of whether they made the list.
Get fit while getting hip to a popular European-import sport.
Ever heard of netball? Yeah, neither had we until we came across the Phoenix Heat, the Valley’s own team devoted to this domestically obscure sport.
Similar to basketball, netball is played on a court divided into zones featuring two 10-foot baskets. The seven players on each team are restricted to certain zones depending on what position they play. There’s no running or dribbling with the ball; players must shoot or pass to another player within three seconds or be penalized. “Games can get pretty intense,” Faye Hall, Heat president, says. “Your level of fitness has to be pretty high.”
Beat the summer exercise void with the Olympic sport of curling.
Now that liquid-asphalt season is here, the idea of participating in winter sports is literally cooler than ever. There’s always ice skating or hockey, but if you really want a butt-busting cool-down, try curling. Tempe-based Coyotes Curling Club conducts classes year-round. The Olympic sport – said to boost balance, agility and strength – consists of sliding 42-pound pieces of granite, called “stones,” across a 150-foot ice “sheet.” The game plays like overgrown shuffleboard, with teams of four vying for superior stone placement in the target “house,” comprised of a set of concentric rings. The challenge lies in the “delivery” slide of the stone, and then the “sweeping” of the ice by players alongside the stone. Players rub the ice with brooms to melt it and change the stone’s trajectory. “Learn to Curl” classes cost $30 per person at Coyotes Curling Club, 2202 W. Medtronic Way, Tempe, 602-300-4808, coyotescurling.com.
Do you know bow? Enhance your archery skills with these local clubs.
As more bow-and-arrow-wielding protagonists save the day in blockbuster movies, interest in archery is starting to curve. Whether you aspire to be a competitive Katniss Everdeen-type or a prey animal-slaying Ted Nugent, archery clubs across the Valley aim to further your enthusiasm and skills. Tony Cuchiara, owner of Arizona Archery Club and Pro Shop, says two things make the sport special: It’s gender-neutral, and it emphasizes mental focus. “[Archery] doesn’t take a lot of physical strength. It doesn’t matter how fast the arrow goes, it’s where it lands in the target. Everybody can do archery and it’s really cool to see young ladies get into this sport,” he says, adding, “It’s easy to learn to shoot a bow. But it’s extremely difficult to focus and develop the skill archers need.”