As a pole-dancing student, Diana Watson didn't let the steel rods in her spine—put there to counteract her scoliosis—slow her down. When she heard that the classes she attended were in danger of ceasing, she signed her name on the studio lease, bought its pole equipment, and settled into the role of owner. Today, she urges all of her staff and students at Room to Move Dance and Fitness Inc. to challenge themselves similarly, whether they are mastering a basic spin or trying a pole inversion for the first time.
Both during and outside of classes, Diana and her instructors foster a sense of community in the space. They keep their pupils up to date on events such as parades and workshops, and solicit suggestions for future class offerings. On the studio's "graffitness wall," guests can post memories, ask questions, and mark off the increasing height of their high kicks for others to see. The tight-knit network welcomes newcomers of all builds and abilities, leading them through boot-camp routines, Zumba steps, and pole transitions with the same judgment-free attitude.
Open since 2005, West Coast Martial Arts promotes the spread of Mixed Martial Arts through the capable hands and feet of its expert instructors. From 23 locations, they train students of all ages and experience levels in the nuances of an international array of martial arts. Their fundamentals programs introduce tots, youths, and adults to some of the fastest-growing disciplines in North America, arming students with pragmatic self-defence skills that work as well in the heat of the moment as they do in the calm of the dojo. Instructors also lead an array of classes for more advance practitioners. Teaching the grappling and ground-fighting techniques of Brazilian jujitsu, they lead students in battling larger opponents with the holds and submissions of the Gracie street self-defence system. They round out their curriculum with the striking arts of kickboxing and muay thai, which is also called the "science of eight limbs." In this combat style, students unleash flurries of blows using their hands, feet, elbows, and knees, turning into a more fearsome opponent than Bruce Lee before he had his conjoined twin removed.
Dr. Alan R. Boyco keeps his eye on the world of sports?both as a fan and as an optometrist. That's because he's examined eyes for pro hockey's Vancouver Canucks and Giants, football's BC Lions, soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and baseball's Vancouver Canadians?four sports where seeing the opponent is a perfectly legal way to gain an edge. He also worked as the event optometrist during the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships. Off the ice, he spent five years as the team optometrist for players on the Vancouver Grizzlies.
Before he made his foray into the world of sports, Dr. Boyco started Image Optometry. His first clinic sprouted into 16 locations over the past decade. In addition to filling designer frames with prescription lenses, he and his team of optometrists diagnose diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma. They also investigate recurring headaches, which are often caused by the fact that it's Groundhog Day, it's always Groundhog Day.
As a kid, Michelle Ricketts could never sit still. She channelled her boundless energy into sports and scampering about outdoors, activities that trained her for a career in the fitness-and-recreation industry. After years travelling the world, Michelle circled back around to her home city of Vancouver, where she founded and continues to infuse her limitless energy into Storm Fitness Inc.
Within a variety of local parks and studios, Michelle and her team of fellow fitness aficionados conduct high-intensity full-body workouts. To train minds and restructure bad habits, they outfit programs with nutrition advice, meal plans, and grocery tips on which sugary foods to avoid and how to mould marshmallows into the shape of broccoli to reduce its calories. Through teaching proper fitness and nutrition models, the team spearheads a sustained mission to decrease obesity. Beyond that, 10 per cent of its profits go to Team Diabetes, an organization that promotes diabetes education, research, and services.
Over the course of his NBA career, Steve Nash developed a fitness vision?one where a place could promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle for all. Within its 18 locations across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Club strives to fulfill that vision by maximizing each member's experience in a fun and friendly environment.
Featuring a variety of amenities for all those wanting to achieve their fitness goals, each facility boasts state-of-the-art training equipment for clients' cardio and weight-lifting needs. For those who work better in packs, a wide range of fun group fitness classes are offered, including Zumba, yoga, pound, and LaBlast. Experienced certified personal trainers impart their wealth of fitness knowledge and effective exercise programs, but also inform on the latest in health and fitness, in-club events, and several other exciting member services.
Tri-Cities? yoga facility pioneering far-infrared classes, Beach Yoga & Wellness combines yoga and Fusion (a Yoga/Pilates mix) instruction with creatively themed classes that include Beach Therapy classes that combine up to 7 different types of therapies to give you the ultimate Yoga experience. Veteran instructors help students stretch and lunge through poses in a tropical-heat environment enhanced by far-infrared waves that facilitate the release of up to seven times more bodily toxins than the average yoga session. The gentle radiation is known to improve skin tone by stimulating the production of collagen. By combing the infrared energy with the studio's steamy temperature, students experience an "artificial fever" that, like a real fever, ignites the body's immune system better than using jumper cables.