Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Palm 'Springs' Pilates Weekend

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Palm 'Springs' Pilates Weekend

Article excerpt

Gay health retreats are a surprisingly rare species, but Dirk Shafer's brand-new Pilates desert escape especially stands out: Not only do you get two certified instructors who give personal attention to a small group of a dozen or so participants, but you also dine on fresh, health-conscious meals prepared by a world-class chef, and you slumber in lush accommodations at the upscale renovated East Canyon Hotel + Spa (pictured, right), Palm Springs' only gay spa hotel-all starting at the rate of $800 per person for an entire weekend. Daily guided fat-burning hikes in the spectacular San Jacinto Mountains are thrown in as well. The first retreat is June 7-8, with further dates to be announced soon.

Better known as the writer-director of the films Man of the Year and Circuit, Dirk was Playgirl magazine's 1992 Man of the Year before he came out. He has devoted much of his life to fitness instruction and has been a Pilates instructor for over three years. He swears it's the best all-round physical program he's done.

[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED]

"I found Pilates the most interesting discipline out there, and I've dabbled in them all," he says. …

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