Planet Dance Uptown coordinates shindigs for youngsters in three dance studios, all sporting floating wood floors with marley surfaces expertly tuned for floorboard-pounding. The trained instructors—who have been featured on everything from Broadway to MTV—specialize in myriad dance styles, so kids can pirouette at a ballerina party or learn to expertly cut a rug at a hip-hop hoopla.
Students gather in Clear Wellness's practice spaces in small groups, focusing all attention on their instructor, who bends and curves limbs gracefully while demonstrating exercises with enormous muscle-toning potential, enhancing every gesture with directions to guide attendees' movements. Each workout blends elements from different disciplines, including Vinyasa- and Iyengar-style yoga, Pilates, TRX suspension training, and reiki, creating hybrid workouts demanding vigorous physical exertion and sharp mental focus. By limiting each class's attendance to four students, instructors can monitor every individual's form and posture, providing slight hands-on adjustments to correct any missteps. Outside of the practice room, staff members stock the shelves with TZone skincare products, which help to reverse the signs of aging with antioxidant-rich balms, collagen-building formulas, and millions of microscopic babies to fill pores.
At RJ Fitness, founder Rachelle approaches fitness as a collective task, leading intensive group workouts that get her clients to exercise harder and push themselves further than they would on their own. During her Body-Sculpt Boot Camp sessions, participants are continuously engaged and pushed in a non-intimidating atmosphere. Besides interval training, strength training, and bodyweight exercises, the camp incorporates healthy eating plans from a certified nutritionist. This whole-lifestyle approach helps clients quickly burn away body fat, build muscle, and increase cardiovascular endurance, so they can quickly get into the best shape of their life. Rachelle also leads hour-long, calorie-blasting Zumba classes, where students burn fat to the varying beats of salsa, merengue, and international music. The simple dance moves are easy to follow, even with two left feet or two left brains, making the energizing routine appropriate for all skill levels.
Originally built in the late 1800s as a vaudeville theater and then seeing time as a German film theater in the 1950s, today Bogart’s stands as a portal to a world of live music. Six bars stand at the ready to keep rocking bodies hydrated, and three concert-viewing levels ensure pristine sightlines so that lead singers can have midconcert staring contests with anyone they choose.
Finding a babysitter is one thing that mothers don’t have to do in order to attend Stroller Strong’s fitness classes. That’s because children are always welcome at classes—in fact, the sessions are based around the act of pushing kids in strollers. Inside Leblond Recreation Center or outdoors at Ault Park, groups convene to burn calories and tone muscles behind the rolling wheels of their child’s buggy. Afterward, they spend 10 minutes working out abdominal muscles while kids play with the studio’s toys.
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.