On the surface, Susan Hilferty appeared to be living the American dream—a promising position as a pharmaceutical rep, plus an upcoming marriage. But for a woman who grew up studying at The School of American Ballet and dancing on stages including Lincoln Center, selling pills felt empty at times, and Hilferty found her need for physical expression growing stronger. While visiting a friend in Los Angeles, she took her first pole-dancing class, and almost immediately, her life took a new direction.
Though she faced resistance from friends and family, Hilferty saw in her classes how pole dancing transformed women—giving them new confidence, encouraging them to overcome insecurities, and helping them heal from past traumas. She called off her wedding, continued taking classes, and eventually opened Pole Fitness Miami. Today, she and her team of trained ballerinas lead pole-dancing and dance-based fitness classes at two locations. Ranked on CBS Local Miami's list of Best Places For Unique Workouts, the boutique surrounds saunterers with purple walls, subdued lighting, and gauzy curtains to create a sultry atmosphere. Additionally, Hilferty and her crew help students obtain pole-dance certifications, as well as arrange pole-dance parties so groups of damsels can strengthen their bonds or celebrate becoming volunteer firefighters.
Named after a Sanskrit word that means both “power” and “child,” Bala Vinyasa Yoga teems with poses that are as athletic as they are playful. Experienced teachers draw upon Baron Baptiste’s holistic approach to yoga instruction, which aims to transform the body and clear the mind of clutter such as stress and extremely misplaced gym socks. The studio’s all-levels Power Vinyasa classes challenge students with deep, focused breaths that link arm stands, backbends, and seated poses to create a flowing, dance-like routine. Slow Flow Restorative sessions, on the other side of that coin, move at a more leisurely pace as they open joints with lengthy poses, which, like eulogies read by Carrot Top, are supported by props. To bolster their home-based yoga practice, students can purchase mats and props at the studio’s boutique or practice stretches and bends with its live-streamed classes. Dedicated to comfort and relaxation, the boutique also carries Yogitoes and cozy apparel from Onzie, Om Shanti, and their own BV Signature Wear.
With locations spanning the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, iLoveKickboxing.com has trimmed the waistlines of thousands of members while bolstering their confidence levels with engaging and varied total-body workouts. The program blends kickboxing techniques into a fat-burning, muscle-toning, and endurance-enhancing regimen. Limbs warm up with a quick jog before taking down imaginary opponents with a set of practice kicks and punches to drive home proper technique. The pummeling then switches to the one of many freestanding heavy bags, and incorporates ducking and weaving to boost heart rates. Teamwork drills help members tone up while cultivating camaraderie, which could lead to a partnership inspiring future buddy-cop-movie sensations.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
clubX's team of top-notch personal and group coaches work closely with on-staff dietitians to help clients whittle waistlines and boost energy. The fitness coaches encourage bodies to blast calories in small group coaching, and the dietitians put together healthy menus clients can follow at home. clubX even offers fresh, healthy meal delivery, leaving people more time to do the important things in life, including spending time with loved ones and sewing tiny vests for squirrels.
For those who wish to exercise by themselves, clubX offers a fully equipped fitness center. A staff of massage therapists banishes pain felt after workouts with deep-tissue massages.
The certified instructors at Physiocore Pilates sculpt and contour their clients with a robust schedule of classes that bolster flexibility, endurance, and core strength with precisely controlled exercises. During semi-private core cardio circuit sessions, between four and six students work through a dynamic routine that employs Pilates equipment including jump boards and cardio trampolines, rotating students from machine to machine like a fat-burning game of musical chairs. Heart rates rise and muscles tone up during challenging moves, and versatile equipment ensures that students can tailor the difficulty of their workouts without compromising technique. Morning and evening sessions throughout the week cater to busy schedules, although all classes require advance reservations as well as a tattooed reminder of the date and time.