With high-energy, dance-infused routines, Envision Dance Academy's Zumba classes whittle waistlines and blast away calories within a fun, aerobic setting. Marble-sculpted instructors craft a schedule of easy-to-follow Zumba routines, drawing on choreography from Latin dances, such as salsa and merengue, for a high-octane cardio workout that trounces exercise apathy and nullifies excuses for remaining seated at wedding receptions. Set to fast-paced Latin music, each 60-minute fitness fiesta (a $5/class value) welcomes exercisers of all ages, sizes, and skill levels to whirl around the studio floor like a highly caffeinated Taz.
Classes at Dance It Off keep beginner and intermediate dancers moving to diverse beats. For instance, Zumba, cardio dance funk and musical theater Broadway dance pay homage to two American-born genres. The new cardio world class pulls dance moves from countries all over the globe to create its fusion routines. And in addition to dance, the studio also offers strictly fitness classes such as yoga flow, Piloxing, and barre fitness.
Chi Chi Randolph has choreographed routines for hip-hop artists including Nelly and the Black Eyed Peas. Kari Lehman has 15 years of ballet training experience. Viviane Bressan turned her love of belly dance into a career, traversing the globe while teaching and performing the ancient art. At Dance Austin Studio, these three number among more than a dozen dance instructors whose dazzlingly diverse backgrounds enable an array of classes for everyone from preschoolers to grownups and fitness buffs to serious students of dance.
Zumba combines fast-paced cardio choreography with dynamic Latin rhythms, and the 18-and-older Sexy Stiletto Fit class uses high heels to tone calves and build confidence. Students can choose to learn fundamental positions, steps, and vocabulary during structured ballet, lyrical, and jazz programs, or they can develop video-ready swagger during hip-hop classes. The studio’s sense of fun occasionally spills out into the community—it recently teamed up with the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to spark a flash mob at city hall, held to raise awareness of emergency preparedness and help officials practice what to do if invaded by dancing aliens.
Peace, Love, and Unity: these are the pillars upon which this studio stands. Designed as an alternative to big, impersonal gyms, the family-owned-and-operated center fosters fun and mind-body-spirit harmony alongside fitness. A women-oriented self-defense class, Divas in Defense, adds an empowering edge to a class catalog that includes yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. Those seeking positive inner health may consult with a life coach or practice mediation. Soothing massage therapy and reflexology keep bodies from posing as bread dough to receive a proper kneading.
Classically trained and culturally diverse, Ballethnic Dance Company blends traditional ballet with the artistic influences of ethnic cultures. Its classes include ballet at all levels, hip hop, and jazz, along with more unique offerings such as African and ballethnicize, an original dance style developed by cofounder Waverly Lucas.
No one has ever trained for the lead in Swan Lake just to tighten their abs, but dancers, choreographers, and Atlanta Zumba Dance instructors Faaridah and Nahari both agree that it comes with the territory. That’s why they’ve channeled their experiences in the performing arts into a platform for dance-based fitness instruction. Faaridah was particularly drawn to Zumba because of her Caribbean and Hispanic heritage, and Nahari has been a student of Middle Eastern dances for nearly a decade, so their curriculum of Zumba and belly dancing was a natural fit.
Students can shed pounds and throw on their shiniest layer of sweat during Zumba classes, a 60-minute dance-based aerobic workout with easy-to-follow choreography performed to a soundtrack of Latin rhythms. The dance moves are an amalgam of styles that includes elements of salsa, cha-cha, merengue, flamenco, and tango. Classes at Atlanta Zumba Dance always begin with a warm-up, followed by intervals of faster and slower tempos. Visits conclude with a cool-down and stretch session. In addition to group classes, patrons may rent the studio for a private-lesson Zumba party or to spin around in an office chair without anyone telling them that they’ll get sick.