As a certified personal trainer for women, Rhiannan Nichole knows firsthand the physical benefits of working out. It wasn't until she started teaching pole-dancing classes, however, that she realized exercise can also induce inner change and empowerment. By blending challenging tricks with sensual movements in her own personal dance style, she works to help students feel more confident about their bodies, regardless of their age, shape, or fitness level. Along with fellow instructors, she leads seven classes, each of which centers on objectives rather than difficulty or government-mandated sweat quota. Nichole's vertical abilities have not only helped other women discover their inner vixens but have made her a fierce competitor in the California Pole Dance Championships and have even earned her a feature on the Pocket Pole iPhone application.
Dance Asylum’s name takes on a different meaning in each class—though the smooth, graceful movements of a foxtrot or a waltz can act as a sort of refuge from the outside world, the pulsating beats that fuel salsa and rumba classes can just as easily send dancers into fits of frenzy. With more than a dozen styles to choose from, students will have their hands full and their feet darting in all directions as they navigate a schedule that includes classes in the hustle, samba, two-step, and other dances gathered from ballrooms and nightclubs around the world.
Though classes may change according to contemporary trends—jazz, express pole dancing, and even aerial arts are some of the current offerings—the studio’s one constant is a staff comprised of professionally trained dancers with certifications and years of experience. These instructors rely on positive reinforcement during private and group lessons, boosting self-esteem by teaming up dancers of similar levels and forcing students to kiss their own reflections in the studio’s wall-length mirror. Once students' confidence reaches its peak, they can glide next door to the dancewear boutique and suit up in a brand-new tutu or feathery skirt.
If you feel as sexy as a pair of non-sexy orthopedic shoes, transform yourself into a sexy pair of orthopedic shoes in time for Valentine's Day. For $24, today's Groupon gets you two pole-dancing classes at From Mind to Body (a $60 value), plus 10% off the purchase of one retail product on the studio's website. Both classes must be redeemed at the same location.
At Creation Station Dance, owner Judy Carmen—also known as Ms. Jude to her troupes of wee ones—and her staff of enthusiastic instructors cultivate an exciting and imaginative studio where kids can be kids. They teach children from 18 months to 16 years how to move and groove during age-appropriate dance classes that emphasize fun and creativity. While kids hone skills in ballet, tap, hip-hop, and musical-theater classes, they also develop strength, coordination, and cognitive abilities and boost their self-esteem, giving them the confidence to finally kick the boogeyman out of their closet.
Watching some of the lithe women coming out of Pure Barre classes, it's easy to believe that they've been ballet dancers their whole lives. But that's not necessarily the case. Pure Barre's instructors stress that the workout requires zero dance experience, and they say that as long as you can hold onto the bar and quote Center Stage verbatim, you can participate in the classes.
Because small isometric movements are performed in the classes, women of all shapes, sizes, and ages can take a Pure Barre class. These small movements work each muscle to fatigue, and then stretch it back out, which creates the lean lines dancers are known for. The movements also work areas of the body many women struggle with, including the abs, butts, thighs, and arms, and they burn fat—all without putting excessive stress on the joints.