Personal trainer Nicole Williams founded Allure Dance & Fitness Studio to bring clients closer to their health goals through fitness classes, personal-training sessions, and intense, empowering pole-dancing lessons. Having dubbed the pole "the new dumbbell," Nicole now draws on more than 10 years of experience training everyone from housewives to celebrities as she brings full-body pole workouts to the masses. Nicole and her coterie of instructors specialize in pole dancing, but also lead personal-training sessions and classes that incorporate kickboxing, plyometric, and cardio techniques. Along with classes, Allure hosts private pole parties to sprinkle some spice into birthdays, bachelorette parties, and routine training for streetlight cleaners.
Indoors or outdoors; the venue doesn't matter to the trainers at Fitness and Motion, as long as they get their charges moving. The four trainers—who come from diverse backgrounds including judo training and a degree in physical education from Mosul University in Iraq—motivate their clients to lead healthier lifestyles through group boot camps, Zumba classes, and personalized workout regimens for clients who wish to train one-on-one. They supplement the physical aspect of their coaching with nutritional guidance, which extends from healthy grocery lists to low-fat recipes to help their clients gain control of their diets. They also team up with companies to promote corporate wellness, as keeping employees healthy can raise productivity, lower healthcare costs, and promote the settling of interdepartmental differences by friendly matches of arm wrestling.
As strobe lights slice across the stage, masked dancers descend from scaffolding and undulate to Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” Minutes later, a troupe of 6-year-olds takes to the same stage in traditional Indian shalwar, or loose trousers, and launch into a frenetic dance set to fast-paced bhangra music. These divergent routines—performed at Mona Khan Company’s student showcase—hint at the scope of dance styles that instructors bring to their classes. Though traditional folk and classical South Asian dance make an appearance, instructors also incorporate styles such as salsa, modern, and hip-hop.
This Bollywood dance philosophy has propelled Mona Khan Company into the national spotlight. The company’s professional dance troupe has performed with Bollywood demigod Shah Rukh Khan and dancer Shaan, and dazzled a live audience on America’s Got Talent.
Though classes at Mona Khan Company occasionally lead to professional dance careers, the studio strives to make Bollywood dance accessible to every aspiring dancer. For example, Jollywood dance classes train performers age 65 and older, and the Jeena program trains special-needs students. “It’s more than just dance,” says Ms. Shankar, the company’s dance captain. “We try to build a whole community around it."
The staccato beat of conga drums rises over the deep voice of a bass guitar and the higher trills of the timbales and piano. Head dancer Evan Margolin and his bevy of experienced instructors lead students in classes that take beginners through basic footwork and salsa rhythms, with intermediate and advanced sessions offering salsa aficionados more challenging instruction. The social class structure—partners rotate throughout every session—creates a low-pressure learning environment and keeps dancers from scrambling to locate a partner or human-shaped tupperware container. The one-hour beginner classes are mostly filled with salsa novices and new dancers, and Dance SF's experienced and engaging local salsateers are patient and friendly when showing new students how to bust well-timed moves. During intermediate classes, which require six months or more of social dancing experience, students focus on timing and cross-body leads with turns. After some evening classes, new dancers are invited to join an all-night salsa party where they can put their new moves in practice. Students should wear comfortable clothing, which includes dancing shoes, but does not include rear-flapped onesie pajamas.
Combining core-strengthening workouts with the aerobic movements of classical ballet, Barre Relevé's classes help patrons work the whole body while building muscle and shedding calories in a total body workout that lasts an hour. No dance experience is needed as each ballet-based, high-intensity, low-impact class kicks off with deep toning and stretching, readying muscles for exertion and helping to prevent injuries while strengthening bodies, toning muscles and burning fat. After easing into workouts and emphasizing proper body alignment and posture, instructors flip on professionally mixed playlists, which set just the right tone for keeping students motivated and let them achieve a dancer's body without actually being a dancer.
Regardless of the workout's pace, Studio Fixx's experienced staff of instructors provide the encouragement and form advice to develop an effective fitness regimen. Their wide range of classes encompasses toning bodyscult and barre workouts as well as Zumba sessions and tabata, which combines cardio exercises and interval training to give your lungs six-packs. Exercisers who want to slow things down, on the other hand, can sign up for a relaxing vinyasa flow yoga session instead of wasting hours pretending to lift a medicine ball in slow motion.