Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
Step-N-Out Dance Studio brings together a talented and diverse group of independent instructors—each expert in their own mix of dance styles. The team of enthusiastic dance professionals, lead private lessons, group classes, and workshops on three separate, mirror-lined dance floors. Together, they can teach everything from the classic ballroom and Latin dances to the fitness-focused belly dancing, Zumba, and trophy-lifting classes. Classes are foundational with a focus on movement, direction, and basic concepts of partner dancing. From getting one's start in Latin dance with salsa and bachata to basic ballroom, classes have a specific focus on teaching novice dancers steps, timing, and connection to build confidence on the dance floor and, in some cases, prepare students for more advanced training.
The gym can be an intimidating place for unexperienced exercisers, which is why Better Bodies introduced its Healthy Start training program. During the initial session, the staff uses a computer program called the Virtual Fitness Planner to reveal basic biometrics and calculate the likelihood of health risks such as type-2 diabetes. Once you're informed, you can take action by signing up for a personal-training session, attending a group-fitness class, or lifting on the fitness floor's Hammer Strength machines. For busy parents or particularly ripped nannies, Better Bodies also provides complimentary childcare services for members.
Mary Rider took her first Zumba class three years ago. A year later, she decided to become a licensed instructor so she could guide students through the Latin-inspired dance moves that helped her lose 75 pounds. She went on to found Move Your Body Fitness inside a 1,200-square-foot studio. Now, Mary and her instructors teach classes that range from Zumba to Yoga and Pilates.
At PRO Martial Arts, students of all ages learn the Korean arts of tae kwon do, hapkido, and tang soo do. The instructors guide students from white belt to black belt, helping them with age-appropriate goals such as cultivating scholastic excellence, burning off extra weight, or gaining the leg strength to beat schoolyard rivals at double dutch.
But PRO Martial Arts isn’t only focused on martial arts. It also torches calories in Zumba fitness classes, which use fast-paced dance moves set to Latin beats to tone cores and shed pounds. And cardio kickboxing classes focus on the fitness aspect of martial arts to slim down bodies.
In addition to offering its clientele increased athletic prowess with combat and fitness classes, PRO Martial Arts offers its youngest students invaluable knowledge about issues such as bullies or predators. It has classes that cover topics ranging from how to ask for help from adults and deal with cyberbullying to tips on recognizing strangers and their bad behavior.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
We both teach our classes together bringing a high-vibration and upbeat atmosphere! We also look forward to teaching every Zumba? class because every class is an awesome party!
Exercise is challenging. How do you keep clients motivated and engaged?
We choose high-energy music and we love teaching every single class. Since we are motivated, it is easy to pass it on to our students.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Our mission is to share the wealth of health and joy that we have with everyone. We want to also help build a world community that is physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy.
What do you love most about your job?
We get to work out and smile at the same time. We also love helping our students reach their personal weight and fitness goals!