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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

On location at TEAMiFIT Lifestyle Center-676 N. LaSalle Street-with Founder, President and Wellness Coach-Amy Leffel.

Speak a little bit about your background-life before TEAMiFIT and how all this happened?

I received my undergraduate degree at Indiana University in Exercise Physiology and Public Health.  I worked as a personal trainer and exercise specialist-teaching fitness classes at gyms across the city.  Then I went back to school to get my masters degree in Education, where I worked with kids from 1st grade all the way up to 8th.  While as a school teacher, I was also teaching fitness classes and working as a personal trainer on the side.  So I have about seven years working in fitness.  This has been my passion, so doing this doesn’t feel like work.

TEAMiFIT at Chicago Soul Music Festival

Amy Got Soul

The initial concept was exercise on location at different outdoor venues across the city.  What gave you the idea to get started that way?

I’ve had this vision a long time.  April through September every year we hold outside classes.  So you’ll have classes happening all around the city…Lincoln Park, West Loop, West Town, River North, Gold Coast, Lake View and South Loop.  We also take these classes to the beach.  And as the weather cools we bring this more of this action to our space here.

So what makes TEAMiFIT different?

TEAMiFIT Lifestyle Center

TurboKick

TEAMiFit is a one-stop shop promoting health and wellness!  You can come here and get fitness classes for adults and kids.  We have Strictly CORE, TurboKick, Zumba, Strength Boxing classes and more…we’ve got all kinds of flava flava-including Power Yoga and Power Pilates.  We’ve got specialized workshops like plyometric training focusing on high-intensity movements for high impact.  We also have small group personal training called ‘Armed and Dangerous’ for only six people, to work with a personal trainer at a discounted price.  And beginning in November we are going to have educational classes ‘Doing Life Together’, where our lifestyle coaches will educate based on personal experience using their expertise to focus on what our members want.  Topics will include like how to eat right when working out, how to balance life, how to spend smart over the holidays, educational self-massage, couples massage, etc.  The lifestyle coaches will be here to educate and build relationships with our clientele.  We’re basically doing life together.

TEAMiFIT

TEAMiFIT

Amy is definitely on the move in Chicago and wants to get your body moving.  For additional information and register for classes visit TEAMiFIT online and Facebook.  To hear the entire interview, download the audio casts below.

Part 1  Interview w/Amy ‘Body’

Part 2 Interview w/Amy ‘What You Waiting For?’

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

On location at the Studio L’amour, West Loop. There is nothing better than an original, and Michelle L’amour is just that-dancer, choreographer, business woman, teacher, promoter and most of all Queen of Tease!

How did you become Michelle L’Amour?
My background training was in Classical Dance. But I didn’t get a chance to do Burlesque until after college when I was asked to choreograph and perform a Burlesque show. I didn’t really know what it was at the time but I said yes because I wanted to dance and perform. Then I heard the music and was completely hooked and knew that this is what I was meant to be doing.

So when you say you heard the music can you elaborate on that?
The music is the classic dirty jazz, bump and grind style music…it’s really great…great drums, horns…

Michelle L'amour

Michelle L'amour

What makes you different than most women in and outside of the business?
Well, one of my goals was to draw attention to the Chicago Burlesque scene and what I was doing here. I really wanted to pull attention to this city because I love this city and I think it’s great and deserves the attention. My first step in doing that was winning the Ms. Exotic World title in 2005, which is like the World Series of Burlesque. And then I did America’s Got Talent the first season so that definitely drew attention here. But I had also been teaching, because this was one of my goals, to educate the people in the city about Burlesque what it was and what it can be today. I’ve been teaching Burlesque for about 4 years now and have since opened my own dance school Studio L’Amour which has been open for about a year.

For those of us who don’t know can you describe what Burlesque is?
Burlesque is all about the tease. Exaggerating your femininity, showcasing the curves and really playing up the fact that you are a woman.

So would you define what you do more as art or entertainment?
I think art can be entertainment. And I think I do both.

How did you take something like this(Burlesque) and do it in Chicago visa vis New York or LA?
I really think that teaching women helped break the ice a bit. If you can get women on your side you are in good shape, we are harder to please. Women learn in class what it takes to do Burlesque, that it is not as easy as it looks and it is my job to make it look easy. So when they come to class using muscles they didn’t know they had, and let things jiggle that they didn’t think they were supposed to let jiggle one gains a large amount of appreciation for the art form. It’s something fun you can bring your boyfriend to-it brings sexuality in a great light.

Well enough read…to hear the entire interview click to download now.

Stay tuned for upcoming events at Studio L’Amour including:

StripTease Classes/Dr. Sketchys-Figure Drawing Class/LipShtick

Naked Girls Reading/Sex Body Fashion Show/The Tassel and Twirl Workshop

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Eric Smith, NBC Chicago Street Team

Starting out as an invitation to a great party on Chicago’s hot music scene at the EnVent West Loop venue turned into an opportunity to take a closer look at the new KIA Soul vehicle and The Soul Collective.

The KIA Soul urban passenger vehicle was designed by Mike Torpey, who found inspiration for the vehicle while on assignment in Korea after watching a television show on wild boars. Believe it or not, the vehicle’s shape is derived from his sketch of a wild boar with a back pack, and as he states it is… “tough, rugged…with a cool stance and is ready to go places…”

The New KIA Soul

The New KIA Soul

After having test-driven the vehicle it is all that and then some. KIA Soul is a cool urban vehicle perfect for city living. Its design is sleek, tight and compact with out being too small, rugged in posture-yet smooth around the bends. Definitely holding it’s own against other similar vehicles in it’s class like the Honday Civic, Scion xD and Sukuki SX4, this vehicle will surely stand out with many options for personalization and with the upcoming signature releases-Denim Soul, Ignition Soul, Light-Up Soul and more.

KIA Soul defines “a new way to roll” by partnering with Collective members Janelle Monae, Jonas and Francois, Jeff Stape, Jeffery Kalmikoff and Major Nelson. As stated by Katherine Cima, Manager of Sponsorships and Promotion for KMA, “Soul is a state of mind. The Soul Collective members have their own unique style and personality, they don’t roll the way the rest of us do. And as part of this campaign, these tastemakers are articulating how they roll, with KIA Soul-connecting with Gen Y at their passion points which are music, fashion design and art.”

Stating further, “The Soul Collective 10 city tour events are a fun place for people to come mingle, hear great music and test drive KIA Soul. Taking place over the course of three days and culminating on the last day in each market, a free concert only for those who take a test drive.” And she was right on point, I had the opportunity to see Chicago’s own Moneypenny

Money Penny Headlines Opening Night

moneypenny

do her thing opening night, those in attendance were more than ready to mingle and I got tix to the closing ceremony with The Walkmen because I test drove the new KIA Soul!

For additional information and tour dates visit KIASoulCollective.com.

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Dave Leonard, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Summer isn’t over yet, so if you’re looking for some new heat to rock in the iPod, here’s a few new artists you need to check for:

Get familiar with Scientific The Rap God from the Westside of Chicago who has been killing the game on the hip-hop freestyle and mixtape circuit since his early high school days. The buzz is now getting louder on this kid who has shared the stage with heavy-hitters such as Akon, Ludacris, and Young Jeezy just to name a few. His latest single “Boomerang” which is also featured on his current mixtape release,

l_254a5ddc6dad421da3c5339e4cc34f67“Murderwoods: Vol. 2”, is starting to rip up the airwaves and consistently sells on iTunes in addition to breaking records on the ringtone charts. You can check out more of Scientific’s infamous YouTube freestyle battles, mixtapes, and upcoming appearance information at his Myspace www.myspace.com/scientifictherapgod

From our Midwest neighbors comes a unique brand of rhymespitters equipped with hella style and we’re not just talking about the music. “Authenticity is invaluable…Originality is non-existent”…this is the mantra echoed on the intro to the innovative mixtape release, “Dope Couture Presents alpha.live + CMART: Steal From The Rich”. This mixtape is a breath of fresh air for the true hip-hop heads and sneaker fans all the way down to the clever cover design. Indianapolis’ finest, alpha.live, rips through a 12-track collection of CMART beats and orchestrated by Shadowkat Nightson. Two of Chi-town’s notables are featured on two of the first leaks off the mixtape. Grammy-Award winner, Rhymefest drops in on “All I Need” and Naledge of Kidz In The Hall blesses the soulful “Kelley’s Song”.

stealfromtherichFRONTOther standout cuts include “Roy G Biv” which cleverly samples the theme song from the popular “Reading Rainbow” children’s show and the haunting “Listen” which has alpha.live taking on the persona of a Vietnam veteran. This mixtape is definitely one to get for when the official free download hits the net on August 4th. Check www.alphaisforever.com for updates.

Last but not least, check out the dynamic sounds of E-TRAIN, a dynamic Chicago-based producer and singer-songwriter who has a unique brand of hip-hop and “Nintendo Pop” that is creating a huge buzz for his forthcoming album, “The Wrath of Roxane” which was inspired by his late mother. E-TRAIN has already garnered radio exposure with his first single “Damn” and his current single,l_c815a31402024f3ea2a23b8f7e530b76 the explosive “Wreck the Discotech” which features the “Minnesota Monster”, Young General. Next up, is the super-jazzy, “Your Dance Floor” which is currently being mastered by world renowned engineer Eric Yoder at Horse Drawn Productions. Be sure to also catch him on tour soon to get the full experience. To get more of this kinetic, electro hip-hop check out his Myspace at www.myspace.com/eTRAINrap. Hop aboard the “TRAIN” and feel the “Wrath” on Sept. 5th.

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tom_kolovos_wordpressnewTom Kolovos, NBC Chicago Street Team

Let’s say you’re a guy who knows that cargo shorts suffered a timely death at least 2 seasons ago but that you’re also on a budget this summer just when you need a few new pairs of shorts  now.  What should you look for and where?

Look for shorts in bold solids or patterns that end somewhere above your knee and taper from the mid thigh to the hem. If you’re looking for a bargain right now, head to Club Monaco and ask for their “Broderick” short. All patterns are on sale for $29.  The short comes in a  good array of checks, plaids and bold graphics.

A client who took my advice last week wrote in an email: “Just wanted to say thank you for the tip on the shorts at Club Monaco.  I went there on Sunday after the gym and immediately found 3 pair I liked.  One was in my size and the salesperson was able to find the other 2 in other stores.  Very cute, shapely, stylish and perfect for the streets!  All for less than $100, so a great deal overall!”

My personal favorites are the “Dk Blue Mix/Blue Fonce” which is essentially a teal diamond patterned print and the “Black Pattern” which looks like black lattice on a white background. Both of them have a very  crisp retro feel and look great with a white shirt or t shirt. (I would prefer that they ran a bit leaner through the thigh, but let’s not quibble about it for $29 bucks……)

Oh, and instead of wearing your  shorts with flip flops, run over to Aldo, buy yourself the terry cloth shoe inserts, insert them in a pair of dress loafers  and……  long story short, you will look  perfectly hot.

TheBestDressedList.com

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Chasity Chaos, NBC Chicago Street Team

Since this weekend is destined to be blissfully chaotic, I thought I drop you a line to let you know what’s on my agenda for the next 72 hours…

Khari B., the Discopoet, is holding a CD release party for his long awaited sophomore album, I’MMA BAD MUTHA: The Rockstar Poetry Project, 7 p.m. today at the Dusable Museum of African American History, located at 740 East 56th Place.

The CD has been described as a live instrument experiment and studio album that brings together a ferocious 12-piece Funk/Rock ensemble of some of Chicago’s undisputed music champions.

Tickets for the event are $25 and include a CD. For more info, visit http://discopoetry-rss.eventbrite.com/.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but I’m back in Chicago! I wouldn’t be Chaos if I snuck back into the city all quiet and low-key like… So I, in conjunction with BlackWater Marketing Group, am organizing a massive event called The Flavor Mosaic to celebrate my arrival back to Chicago and my birthday.

The event begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday and will end at 3 a.m. on Sunday. It will be held at Galleria Unico located at 44 E Superior. Come indulge in zesty beats from over 10 deejays, an open bar filled with exotic drinks, ethnic delights and grilled goodies, and enjoy tarot card readings, massages, trunk shows, live musical performances and art shows… But most importantly, come kick it with me! I’ve missed you Chi-Town!

Entry for my shindig is $35 for women and $45 for men. The entry fee includes access to all of the events for the evening and access to the open bar and food. For more info visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=121844361512&ref=ts. To RSVP email BlackWaterMarketing@gmail.com.

To wrap up my weekend, I will be spending Sunday night at Bytch Fest 2009. Bytch Fest is a feminist punk event that’s goal is to create an environment where women can freely express themselves without the judgment of a critical society which seeks to wipe out creativity. The event will be held 9 p.m. Saturday at Fizz, 3220 N Lincoln Ave. The affair will include burlesque performances, performances by feminist bands and more.

Entry for this event is $20. For more info visit http://www.myspace.com/bytchfest2009

As you can see this is going to be a busy, but a kick ass weekend! I hope to see you guys out!

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Reggie Brown, NBC Chicago Street Team

Hear ye hear ye! Friends, spenders, shoppers, lend me your ears!  Change has come to Chicago fashion at just the right time.  For the second time this Spring, four of Chicago’s apparel and accessory showrooms are teaming up to bring you the fashion phenomenon known as ” The Sample Sale”.

Commonly found on both the East and West coasts, shopping a sample sale is  the ideal way to boost your wardrobe without busting your bank. From an average consumer viewpoint the deals are so good they almost don’t make sense . When the sale first premiered weeks ago, I left with an estimated $1000 worth of clothes and accessories for $240. T shirts that you’d find at boutique stores for $60 and up, were marked between $10-$15. Designer underwear from Bjorn Borg a mere $10 per pair compared to their normal selling price, upwards of $35 per pair. One of the other benefits to shopping the sample sale is being the first to be seen in some of the season’s hottest new styles or be the first to take home a one of a kind sample.

Find mens and womens clothing and accessory samples at discounts of up to 80% retail by lines including:

Ted Baker, Bjorn Borg, Superdry, Shared, Triple 5 Soul, 1921 Denim, Serfontaine Denim, Chaser LA, Five Crown T Shirts, Goorin Hats, Tretorn, Enyce, Royal Elastics, and tons more!!  

The $5 racks and 2 for $5 bins are a God send, I stocked up on birthday and graduation gifts to spread the love.

They’re accepting cash only, so make sure you hit up an ATM before you arrive. Take my advice,bring a little more cash than you were planning on spending, you won’t be sorry.

Admission is free and the sale runs from 5-10 pm today and tomorrow only  (June 4th and 5th) so get on over there!

1200 W 35th st 4th Floor (On the corner of 35th and Racine)

Parking is available in the lot on the North side of the building.

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