The lively dance instructors at GoDiva Studio impart the rhythm to burn calories in a variety of sweat-manufacturing, 60-minute dance classes, which may incorporate dance poles, thumping hip hop beats, and entrancing Latin melodies. The GoSensual Flex class blends hot dance moves with serene yoga and Pilates techniques to improve balance and set chakras to conga; the GoOpen class for all skill levels hones the pole-dancing maneuvers of flirtatious flag-imitators. During Virgo's GoVixen class, stiletto-clad students boogie to the latest radio jams, and Eve guides the Latin footwork of the GoZumba class with agility and aplomb.
Grandmaster Taek Sung Cho has accrued more than 40 years of martial-arts experience and a host of titles on his resumé, including coach for the International Junior Taekwondo Championships and the U.S. Junior Olympic Taekwondo Team. However, he derives the most reward from his role as teacher, a position he has coveted since establishing Master Cho's Talium in 1991. Working with expert instructors, he imparts the value of community and inner balance through the lens of tae kwon do technique.
Master Cho's lessons amplify confidence as well as coordination in young children, teens, and adults. Students can practice with others in their age group or alongside their families, depending on whether their school bus or their house transforms into a giant fighting robot. Kardio Kickboxing workouts toast calories with rapid jabs, and the staff emphasize the social aspect of self-defense training by hosting summer camps and birthday parties.
The dedicated instructors at Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey see capoeira as more than a blend of dance and martial arts—they see it as a way of life. They train children and adults of all ages in capoeira's graceful movements through classes, therapy sessions, and afterschool programs, many of the instructors drawing from extensive training in Brazil and an understanding of Brazilian folklore and culture. But their instruction doesn’t end at capoeira—many of the Cultural Center's coaches specialize in disciplines including yoga, Zumba, salsa, and West African dance. Though many of the instructors were born and raised in New Jersey, others hail from places such as Guinea and Senegal and infuse their culture into their teaching style. The instructors hold classes at least once a week and more frequently for students preparing to dance-battle chaperones for control of the prom.
Seth Weisberg and Alison McCue, cofounders of Garden State Yoga, strive to foster growth and community for both students and teachers of yoga. Along with their fellow instructors, they teach yoga classes inside two distinct studios. Their heated studio offers hot power Vinyasa classes, inspired by the Baron Baptiste style, that detoxify bodies, build strength, reduce stress, and encourage self-awareness. The other studio hosts Vinyasa, Zumba, restorative yoga, and yin yoga classes at normal temperatures. When they aren't striking peaceful poses on their home turf, instructors offer corporate yoga at retail businesses such as Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods. Seth and Alison also pass along their knowledge during regular teacher-training courses for yogis who want to earn their certification through Yoga Alliance.
Sifu Ron LePree helps students of all levels learn to defend themselves with the Chinese martial art of wing chun kung fu. He trained in the United States, Germany, and Hong Kong, studying under the son of Grandmaster Ip Man?a notable wing chun instructor who taught Bruce Lee?as well as other experts in the field. In his classes, LePree teaches the fundamental tenets and moves of wing chun kung fu. He believes that a strong foundation is vital and builds on that structure during each class, introducing students to drills and interactions with an emphasis on mindfulness and concentration.
Wailing away on person-sized punching bags, glove-wearing kick-boxers sweat and focus. Instructors weave between this forest of flying fists and furrowed brows, guiding boxers with technical feedback and a creative take onsport. Kickboxing in a group setting, say trainers, "encourages participants to push themselves by working harder." The result of this hard work is toned muscles, increased confidence, and a background in self-defense, along with pet punching bag that follows its exerciser home.