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.
Kidz Play Here offers a variety of activities for children ranging from infants to toddlers to preschoolers. Classes lead little ones in engaging themes such as gymnastics, ballet, yoga, and martial arts. Open-play sessions entreat parents to look after their little ones while they play at a train station, in a tree house, or with puppet shows. In addition to parties and drop-off, Kidz Play Here also offers adult classes such as yoga.
Club Fitness’s 50,000-square-foot facility fills with the low rumble of more than 75 cardio machines and the clanging of tens of thousands of pounds of free weights and strength-training equipment from Hammer Strength and Life Fitness. Youngsters scamper through the KidZone or children's nursery while their parents pump iron or grab a spot in the cardio-cinema room, an area that allows people to work out while enjoying a movie in surround sound. The gym’s trainers lead one-on-one sessions as well as group fitness classes. The soft squeak of feet against floors drifts from yoga sessions, and popular Les Mills classes include BodyPump, which combines high-energy music and repetitive moves like somebody repeatedly pushing the wrong way on a dance-club door. The purr of blenders drifts from the smoothie bar, where patrons refuel and chat after workouts.
Zumba Fitness' Jennifer El-Abbadi isn't just a Zumba exercise instructor; she's also one of the sport's greatest success stories. A mother of three, she's lost 90 pounds since first incorporating the workouts into her weekly routine in 2008. Inspired by this success, she became certified by the Zumba Instructor Network a year later, and has since launched several fitness-focused charity events, including a Zumbathon for breast-cancer awareness. Suitable for participants aged 13 and older, her standard Zumba sessions feature easy-to-follow moves inspired by Latin dances such as the salsa and merengue, creating high-octane workouts that torch calories and melt stress faster than a jacuzzi filled with chamomile tea.
At Burn Personal Training, owner and ACE-certified personal trainer Rick Anderson poses a challenge to each of his trainees: exercise at least 24 times in 60 days. The point of the challenge is to make working out an everyday habit, like brushing your teeth or getting your hair cut. To help hurdle the inevitable fitness plateaus, Rick offers support during personal-training sessions and insight into the benefits of healthful eating during nutrition-counseling sessions.
Classes at Glow Fitness Bootcamp are never canceled due to the weather. That’s because they’re all held inside the boot camp’s clean, spacious studio. Atop hardwood floors and workout mats, clients engage their cores and limbs through fast-paced 45-minute sessions that use workout tools such as body balls, dumbbells, and trampolines. Trainers guide and motivate clients through each rep and set, keeping them safe from injury by demonstrating proper form and equipment use.