Regardless of dress size or dance background, each woman who enters one of The Secret Pole Dance Studios becomes a part of a supportive community. At both the original Culver City studio and the brand new Hawthorne location, instructors dish out compliments as they guide women through choreographed fitness routines, empowering dancers to overcome inhibitions and let loose along the way. During the Pole Diva and Sensual Movement classes, instructors also encourage camaraderie, occasionally breaking participants into groups and have them perform for one another. Though it may seem intimidating, this opportunity to show off in front of a nurturing audience provides students with the opportunity to build self-esteem.
In addition to boosting mental fortitude, the studio's sensual fitness routines also build physical strength; pole-dancing classes sculpt arms and cores, and chair-dancing classes firm up glutes, quads, and newly emerged dorsal fins. Classes unfold in the studios or on location, but the fun doesn't necessarily end once the imaginary bell rings; groups of gals can even reserve the spaces for private dance parties.
Multiple classes in a variety of dance disciplines are available seven days a week. Start the week off with 5 p.m. yoga booty ballet, a bouncy, stretchy fusion of body-friendly natural movements, or go straight for the sweat stuff with a 7 p.m. cardio class. Your Neighborhood Studio also offers hip-hop, cardio ballet, ballet fit, and jazz classes. View a complete monthly schedule here. Dance classes run 55 to 75 minutes, and yoga sessions last 75 to 95 minutes. All classes except tango are drop-in, appeasing busy bees, wishing wells, and the commitmentphobic.
With courses geared toward toddlers, kids, tweens, and teens, the instructors at Zooga Yoga caters to kids in addition to its eclectic mix of adult classes. They believe that in addition to yoga’s physical benefits, an early practice is a powerful instigator of happiness, overall well-being, and enhanced ability to focus. In family classes, the staff gives parents and kids chances to connect and find ways to de-stress together more effectively than games of Break the Vase.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.