Sculpting fit, healthy bodies is only one reason the certified instructors at Zensual Dance Fitness lead the studio's variety of sultry dance classes. Pole fitness does chisel svelte core muscles and build powerful upper-body strength, and many students have gone on to win competitions after training at Zensual Academy, but there's more to it than that. The foremost reason the instructors do what they do is the confidence the moves bring to their students. No matter their age, weight, or fitness level, the studio welcomes everyone to conquer their fears and discover their sexy sides with the studio's classes in pole dance, striptease, exotic dance, and other seductive techniques.
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While Lisa Carmen manages the day-to-day operations of The Burlesque Experience, her alter ego, Carmen Diablo, teaches women of all abilities to express themselves through movement during her esteem-boosting burlesque classes. She grew up practicing more formal styles of dance, such as ballet, tap, and jazz, which she now channels into her more sultry steps, demonstrating the art of seduction through teasing technique and choreographed group numbers. During her steamy workshops and parties, ladies learn to develop their own stage personas and tempt onlookers with a bit of skin and tongue-in-cheek dance steps that often elicit as many chuckles as they do blushes. The full courses culminate in a performance—complete with stage lighting and props—for which gals are encouraged to gather an audience of their friends and any jurors at their upcoming small-claims court hearings.
MoveStudio, an adults-only fitness and relaxation center, fills its 6,200 square feet of space with specially-crafted floating wood floors, soft lighting, and modern decor. Instead of pounding away on fitness machines, exercisers jump into more than 65 group classes designed to get bodies moving.
Pilates Core Fusion tones abs and backs, and the Raise the Barre! ballet workout strengthens even the smallest muscles. Energetic Zumba sessions combine fun dance moves with music to blast calories, as does belly dancing and the Burlesque Shimmy & Tone class. After an intense workout, exercisers head to the infrared sauna for relaxation and therapeutic heat.
In order to give its patrons some time away from the kids to work out and discuss TIF districts, MoveStudio only accommodates people 15 and older. Though there are no onsite childcare facilities, it does partner with a nearby gym and kids’ center to offer discounted childcare.
With hips like liquid and a confidence that fills even the largest performance hall, Dalida smiles throughout her performances, as her muscles move seemingly independent of one another. The winner of numerous international competitions and a frequent performer in a Nile Group Festival in Cairo, Dalida boasts unquestionable proficiency in the art of belly dancing. She passes on her knowledge through classes, using her 12 years of teaching experience to introduce students to dropping their hips, rolling their bellies, and communicating through snake sign language. To include a larger community, Dalida also hosts hafla parties and workshops that feature dance performances, traditional singers, and Arabian cuisine.
Earlier in her career, Makaia Gatson taught children how to dance at private schools, preschools, summer camps, and after-school programs. Today, her roots are firmly planted at her own dance studio, where both kids and adults can explore the art of movement and channel their creativity. She and fellow instructor Lauren Wetzel show students how to set dance floors ablaze with styles such as ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and lyrical dance, emphasizing the importance of imagination as well as form.
Even 3-year-olds can benefit from Makaia and Lauren's teachings during ballet and creative movement classes, which help develop youngster's body awareness and balance. At the other end of the age spectrum, line dance lessons for adults cover fluid, repeating steps that are meant to make large groups look even more impressive, so they can scare off territorial conga lines. Graceful Soles Dance Studio also hosts Zumba classes, which combine Latin dances, such as salsa and merengue, with an aerobic workout.
Husband and wife duo Tabora and Toy Laster, owners of Choice Training Group Fitness, electrify the studio with their characteristic energy. Whether they're dressing up in hokey hula shirts to promote Zumba fitness parties or bringing in guest instructors to host self-defense sessions, the two aim to create a gym that feels like an inclusive club.
Newbies and old hats jump into a diverse set of classes, ranging from group fitness and boot camp, to pole-dancing sessions in the Kandy & Krome room, a mirror-lined, pole-bestrewn sanctuary for flirty fitness. Alongside high-energy cardio classes such as Belly Dance Fusion, Absolute Abs, or Zumba, the studio hosts bachelorette parties, couples massage sessions, and workshops on effective methods for releasing stress.