The passionate and experienced lead instructor of Hula Halau ‘Ohana Holo‘oko‘a, Lisa Fujii Chang, helms classes designed to introduce beginning hip swayers of all ages to the arts of hula and Tahitian dancing. The month-long adult hula class focuses on basic steps and hand motions, training students to tell stories using long undulating motions, much like a snake moonlighting as the village minstrel. Children starting at 3 years old can indulge in the relaxing Hawaiian tradition in 12-week-long children's classes that teaches young dancers the rudimentary facets of hula.
Ataraxia Wellness Concern borrowed their name from an ancient Greek term used to describe a state free from worry or preoccupation; a state, which in their belief, can be attained through the power of laughter. With their laughter-yoga curriculum, the Ataraxia crew share a therapeutic art form that was created in 1995 by Madan Kataria, MD. Although Dr. Kataria was living in India at the time, his method for self-induced wellness has spread to 65 countries around the globe.
Instructors use eye contact and their own chortling bellows to induce laughter without cracking jokes or hiring one to three stooges on staff. They blend childlike playfulness with yogic breathing, working in themes such as disco dancing or pirates to stimulate the body’s natural release of endorphins and serotonin. In addition to considering it as a form of emotional and psychological catharsis, they believe laughing may also help improve cardiovascular and pulmonary function since laughter itself can be an aerobic workout. Even if their students aren’t in a laughing mood, they encourage them to come and chuckle anyhow, as just faking a chuckle can be enough to trick the body into feeling better.
Equipment: Kettlebell, vibration plate, foam roller, suspension trainer, and more
Students should bring: Water bottle, towel, healthy snack for after
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Plan to arrive 15 minutes early so introductions and paperwork won't eat up training time.
As a former collegiate football player, CrossFit Reflexion cofounder and head coach Shawn knows the kind of motivation many people need to help them reach peak fitness. To help his clients reach their goals he's at his clients’ sides practically every step of the way to ensure they stay on target in the gym. Steeped in functional fitness exercises, his CrossFit workouts change each day and include work on equipment such as rowing machines, kettlebells, ropes, and gymnastics rings. A large area of the gym is even devoted to Olympic-style weightlifting, helping people squat and snatch their way into bigger muscles and 24-packs.
Portland Festival Ballet's artistic director, John Magnus––whose career has touched down in the world of South African dance as well as the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in New York––headlines a cast of performance-arts instructors and serves as the architect behind the organization's lively, world-class productions. Their seasoned coaches prepare fledgling hoofers and thespians to face the crowd through a schedule of acting and dancing classes for kids, teens, and adults. During breathtaking performances that have included The Nutcracker and the annual Spring Concert, Portland Festival Ballet's charismatic performers storm the stage at the ACMA Performing Arts Center to dazzle audiences with high-flying pirouettes and convincing impersonations of ficus trees.
Express Fitness and Training founder Trevor Trebbien and his team, which includes a fitness model, a ex marine, and a mompreneur, pack plenty of power into their 4,000-square-foot space. Kettlebells and strength equipment are incorporated into constantly changing team training classes that bolster muscles and cardiovascular health, and these workouts in turn can be incorporated into weight-loss and sport-specific athlete-performance programs.