Lilian Raven Clothing outfits customers in a collection of stylish shoes, jackets, dresses, and t-shirts. Shoppers can lend some spiritual support to themselves, onlookers, and their own reflections with a t-shirt emblazoned with a spiritual message such as "Count Your Blessings." Purchasers inspired by the lineup can also learn to fashion their own fashions in a two-hour sewing class, covering topics such as sewing by hand or on the machine and making alterations.
Sweatfit LA’s co-owners, Brian Tucker and Sam Lopez, both hold personal-training certifications, which they use to create workouts that blend both exercise theory and fitness training. During personal-training sessions and small-group training classes, they design workouts that incorporate dynamic, stationary, and ballistic movements to maximize caloric expenditure and help clients achieve a sculpted body. The rest of the Sweatfit LA team rounds out a full menu of classes that includes cardio kickboxing, Zumba, yoga, and Pilates.
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.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Capoeira, an African-Brazilian art form, combines dance, martial arts, music, and acrobatics. All of these elements come together in a circle known as a roda, where capoeira's participants perform improvised movements. Omulu Capoeira Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization, welcomes all types of students into its roda, regardless of age or fitness level. By teaching capoeira, instructors help their students lose weight and build strength, in addition to learning to play musical instruments and sing traditional songs in Portuguese.
Master Raymond Abrigo is a fourth-degree black belt with extensive experience in the competitive arena. For the past decade at his studio, Abrigo Martial Arts, he's been passing the torch to children and adults who are eager to master kickboxing, tae kwon do, hapkido, and other disciplines. His team of skilled instructors lead dynamic group classes, but they also offer one-on-one coaching, with a special focus on children with autism.