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.
With a diverse range of fitness backgrounds and specializations—from injury rehabilitation and prevention to martial-arts training—Metropolis Fitness & Spa’s staff of 15 instructors ensures a helpful match for nearly every client. The team leads more than 70 group fitness classes per week, including familiar favorites, such as yoga, Zumba, and spinning, and a few of their own inventions, including Video Dance Jam, which pushes exercises through fast-paced choreography. The ballet and jump-rope classes for kids help wee ones burn off extra energy without requiring you to construct a giant hamster wheel in your home.
In the main studio, a slew of cardio machines with built-in TVs and weight-training equipment awaits members, in addition to a room stocked with dangling punching bags and TRX bands. To recover from sweat sessions, guests can fuel up with healthful drinks and snacks at the juice bar.
At some point during Elite U’s signature X-Training classes, an exerciser probably wishes they could spread out across the facility’s turf-green floor to rest their aching body. The intense 60-minute workout consists of various functional and unconventional movements such as pushing a weight sled, climbing a rope, springing into the air holding a kettlebell, and pounding a tire with a sledgehammer to get to its candy center. The class is one of a handful of group classes offered at the center, along with MMA cardio and sport-specific training.