Studio Booseh owner Souzan Mills grew up in Iran, surrounded by the performances of lifelong belly dancers. Since arriving in America, she has competed in the Miss Belly Dance competition, performed alongside Persian and Arab celebrities, and obtained her personal-training certification. Today she blends her passion for dance and her background in fitness into Studio Booseh, a women-only boutique gym.
Inside her classrooms, Souzan and a team of international instructors lead eight kinds of dance classes, including belly dance, Bollywood, and flamenco. They also offer fitness-focused dance derivatives that burn calories and build long, lean muscles, including Zumba, barre fitness, and pole dancing.
On 4 Steps 2 Fitness’s website, there is a picture of owner Tomeka Wray triumphantly flexing both of her arms. For her, the triumph stems from the moment when she broke the futile yearly cycle of joining a gym—only to quit—and making a list of New Year’s resolutions she would never complete. This moment occurred when she stepped into her first Zumba class. Since that day, her passion for the Latin-inspired dance-fitness workout has fueled her to become a licensed Zumba Basic and Aqua Zumba instructor who now teaches classes of her own, inspiring others to reach their fitness goals and have fun doing it.
Dance classes at Born 2 Dance Studio cater to the nightclub and the ballroom alike, with more than 60 weekly lessons for adults and more than 40 for kids as young as 3 years old. Adult lessons are broken into three categories—dance fitness, performance, and technique and choreography—so students can better choose a class that fits their interests. Within those categories, styles covered range from belly dancing to hip-hop to ballroom to jazz. Kids also have myriad classes to choose from, including break dancing, Zumba, and bollywood. In addition to regular lessons, children can participate in recitals, enroll in dance-centic summer camps, or celebrate birthdays with a hip-hop dance session and party.
The instructors at Follow Yoga believe that their students should incorporate wellness programs into their daily lives, which is why they offer a variety of class options including yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. During each session, instructors help students reach their goals, whether they want to relax or strengthen and tone their muscles.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person’s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.