After gracing stages and arenas all over the country as a professional dancer and member of the New York Knicks dance team, Amanda Grace, the director of the New Jersey Devils Dancers, started her own company, Urban Flair. Building upon her small dance empire, the award-winning choreographer opened Flair Dance Academy and Yoga Center to share her love of dance and fitness to both kids and adults of all abilities. She explained why dance can be particularly helpful for kids during an interview with MyCentralJersey.com, stating, "training in the arts helps give children poise, self-discipline and confidence that will help them in whatever endeavors they choose in life.” She leads a team of passionate instructors who teach students to perform proper techniques, complex footwork, and musicality during ballet, jazz, musical theater, and hip-hop dance classes. Most of these classes are available in beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The studio also hosts elite Flair classes for a few very advanced students who have earned a recommendation from either their teacher or Fred Astaire's ghost. When these instructors aren't teaching little ones to spin and shuffle, they marry high-energy dance steps with aerobics to help students sculpt toner physiques during Zumba classes. They further pump up fitness regimens with yoga and Pilates sessions. Amanda Grace also helps to enrich the lives of special-needs kids through her Rainbow League dance program, helping them learn how to express themselves artistically despite their disabilities.
Following the lead of professional dancer, choreographer, and studio owner Michael Cuomo, the instructors at Premiere Dance Studios teach young dancers ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and a host of other styles while instilling an enduring love of dance. At both the Bridgewater and Flemington locations, parents can watch their kids cut a rug on monitors in the lobby, and their tykes can keep tabs on their own form with floor-to-ceiling mirrors, perfecting ballet leaps or trying to stop their reflections from dancing the "Macarena." As their dance skills improve, students can audition for the Legacy and Dynasty competitive dance troupes, depending on their studio.
After giving birth to her third child, Stacey Wodarski decided that it was time for her to reclaim her figure. She created a fitness plan for herself and lost 50 pounds in four months. Inspired by her own success—and fueled by the belief that traditional gyms aren’t motivating enough—she started Impact Fitness and Fight Club with the hope that others can achieve the same success she has.
Today, she leads guests of all levels and ages through intense group classes that combine conditioning exercises with traditional boxing and kickboxing routines. She also offers classes for kids, with childcare services in the mornings and evenings. There are even kid’s kickboxing classes, where budding martial artists can learn proper form and how to kick cookies down from the top of the fridge.
Slow and steady wins the race—a good tip for both tortoises competing in races and humans looking to stay healthy while exercising. Instead of seeing how many reps their clients can complete in a session, always egging them on to do more even faster, the trainers at Enlightened Exercise use the SuperSlow technique. Exercisers spend 10 seconds lifting the weight and another 10 seconds lowering it. In addition to making the muscles work longer, the 20-second rep also allows exercisers to focus on proper lifting form, resulting in fewer injuries and more bodybuilding poses. The slow-motion workouts—which take place in a private, distraction-free fitness studio—only need to be performed once or twice per week for 30 minutes.
Marriage, motherhood, and a passion for watching movies haven't slowed down professional trainer Marie V. Ande. In fact, she feels more motivated than ever to stay fit to meet the challenges of domestic life and advancing age. That's why she's passionate about helping exercisers of every stripe—especially parents—do the same and to achieve their weight and physical goals. She has designed boot-camp classes in progressions and regressions so that all can train at their current fitness level within the same workout without surpassing campers' pain thresholds. In observance of safety, Marie emphasizes oft-overlooked aspects of exercise, such as stretching, proper form, and avoiding gyms filled with bats.
The art of purifying, strengthening, and healing the body: that's how American Yoga Academy–certified instructor Kirlaynne views yoga. As such, she creates a serene atmosphere during her classes, so students can immerse themselves in this art of yoga. During her multilevel yoga classes, she focuses on breath awareness and proper alignment, and will assist students with more challenging positions. She furthers her study of yoga by attending Yoga Journal conferences and advanced workshops.