Whether it’s rooms, clothes, or pet hamsters, sisters share everything. For Faaridah, Leena, and Nahari, that transaction extends to their love and appreciation for belly dancing and the Middle Eastern culture. Eventually, their passion led to the shared ownership of Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance, where they—along with four other instructors—lead sultry, body-sculpting belly-dancing and Zumba classes.
Basic classes lay a foundation of arm and hip movements, and specialty sessions fuse belly dance with a number of other dance styles, including hip hop, blues, and Bollywood, for a dance mélange that tones muscles more effectively than waltzing with a Bowflex. Classes may cover traditional Egyptian, Turkish, Tribal, and Gypsy styles, while others create innovative choreography set to steam-punk-tribal fusion, Arab electronica, and tango fusion. Some even incorporate such props as fan veils, canes, and brass candleholders, all available for purchase so that guests can practice at home, or play makeshift games of Clue.
Certified personal trainer Kimberly Y. Fleming believes that exercising with others is the key to staying motivated and on-track with a fitness routine. Offering one-on-one personal training, small group training, and boot camp classes, she helps her clients burn fat and build muscle in a challenging team-like atmosphere. Her structured, competitive workouts cause muscle confusion to help bust through fitness plateaus, combining cardio with strength training. While Kim emphasizes results, she’s also a big believer that her classes should be both intense and fun, and her client testimonials attest to the way she achieves both goals in every workout session.
Ten career women step into their hot shorts, high heels, and alter egos when teaching at Vertical Joe's. They go by monikers such as The Headliner and Sexy Locs, teaching pole dancing, twerking, Pilates, and cardio kick classes all while encouraging students to jettison their inhibitions. To create a comfortable atmosphere, the studio hosts groups of bachelorette partiers or girls-night-outers for private sessions that teach the techniques behind pole dancing, lap dancing, and sexy tax prep. Vertical Joe's brand of flirty fun has even made guest appearances on The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Braxton Family Values.
Though Sharika Giddens grew up dancing, her family was afflicted with obesity and diabetes. So when she put on weight after college, she quickly joined a gym, and discovered a workout that catered to her love for dance: Zumba. At Hot Body Fitness Boutique, Sharika banishes boredom from her Zumba, pole-dancing, and yoga classes with energetic exercise routines.
The trainers at Body Design University have developed a scientifically based program to help people battle excess weight and lead fuller, healthier lives. They incorporate both resistance and cardio training into each routine, offering encouragement and tips on how to perform each exercise safely. In addition to maintaining a strong focus on fitness and nutrition, they help clients consider which multivitamins, supplements, or radioactive serums from outer space might be most helpful as they get into prime physical shape. Body Design University also offers hands-on personal-training-certification courses that prepare students for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) certification exam.
At Fitmode Atlanta, red accent walls and a concrete interior blend pizzazz and raw functionality, much like the gym's workouts. Founded by Ron Anthony, a fitness guru with more than two decades of industry experience, the gym emphasizes personalized workouts, which tone physiques by accounting for each client's specific fitness level and goals. The facility also hosts group classes, which range from flowing yoga sessions to boot camps that build fast twitch muscle.