Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
Board-certified surgeon Dr. Bruce Marko has a light touch for body sculpting and facial rejuvenation at Enhanced Images Medical, eschewing the "no pain, no gain" beauty philosophy. Dedicated to minimally invasive procedures, he has continually sought out new, gentle technology since he completed his surgical residency at the Orlando Regional Medical Center and saw the wrinkles Linda Hamilton developed while screaming in The Terminator. His specialty in microscopic hair transplantation represents both his technical precision—he painstakingly duplicates the original growth pattern with new follicles—and his interest in creating a natural look with small adjustments. He also takes his time with patients, who develop a safe, effective route toward their ideal look during free 20-minute conferences.
Although Dr. Marko can lift slack cheeks with a few deft incisions, he maintains a collection of five cosmetic injections to smooth facial creases with little more than a pinprick. Erchonia and Cynosure lasers help patients to sidestep weight-loss surgery and skin-rejuvenation techniques that abrade cheeks through exposure to Fran Drescher's laugh, and the lasers can also rout toenail fungus and unwanted hair.
Since graduating in 1994 from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, general dentist Dr. Chris Bowman has made his home in Charlotte, where his practice, Advanced Dentistry of Charlotte, continues to brighten smiles. In addition to regular cleanings and family visits, Dr. Bowman places special emphasis on in cosmetic dentistry and invisible orthodontics, restoring crooked smiles to a straight, immaculate state. His experience has earned him the status of Clinical Instructor and Mentor for Six Month Smiles while providing Invisalign treatment for more than 13 years as well. Dr. Bowman also provides sedation dentistry, dental implants, the new Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation procedure for receding gums, and oral appliance treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
Zoom teeth-whitening treatments whiten teeth by up to 8?10 shades in one session, and custom-made whitening trays allow patients to polish their own chompers at home within about two weeks. To ensure the latest in dental techniques and services, Dr. Bowman attends an average of 100 hours of continuing education a year?far surpassing the state-mandated 15 push-ups.
It may be difficult to decide who has a better time at Energy Sports & Fitness: parents or kids. Adults not only burn calories with a huge selection of weights, on a full-size racquetball court, or in the circuit-training area, but also catch up on favorite shows in the cardio theater or at more than 100 cardio stations with individual televisions. Youngsters with a Kid Zone membership romp through more than 2,500 feet of supervised play space outfitted with a Wii, jungle gym, basketball court, and homework stations with computers. The area even has a video camera so parents can check in from their treadmills to see if their child is actually a vampire. Families refuel after a workout with fresh smoothies, chicken wraps, and supplements at the Grand Slam Cafe.
The staff—which includes the 2010 NPC Charlotte Cup novice division bodybuilding winner—opens the gym at 5 a.m. on weekdays and teaches group fitness classes ranging from Zumba to yoga. The crew also offers SilverSneakers, a program designed to encourage physical and social activity for older adults or people who have trouble working out in ruby slippers.
Dr. Darcey Walraven Ladner was once told she would never walk again without spinal surgery. After being thrown from a horse, she suffered a herniated disc and decided to visit a chiropractor before agreeing to an invasive procedure. It took months of intense chiropractic care, but she soon recovered her ability to walk without surgery and eventually get back in the saddle. Despite her positive outcome, it wasn't until she witnessed a horse recover from a serious injury through chiropractic care that she realized she wanted to devote herself to this branch of medicine, which helped not only her, but also the animals she loves so much.
Thus it's no surprise that today at Omni Wellness Center, Dr. Walraven Ladner and her team of certified and trained professionals focus on bettering the lives of both humans and animals. For two-legged patients, their services cover everything from spinal adjustments to corrective exercises. And for animals––specifically horses, dogs, and cats––they offer an array of holistic options to treat joints and improve competitive performance.