While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Within CrossFit MettleWorks, wooden crates and ropes are neither junk nor decoration, they’re part of the workout. Classes make use of everyday objects to challenge guests with full-body functional exercises that change every day. The coaches at CrossFit MettleWorks pride themselves on creating a community of like-minded guests who are passionate about fitness.
At JR Fitness Factory, exercisers never get trapped in a stuffy gym. Instead, instructors take to the great outdoors for each fitness class. The fresh air fuels clients through boot camps and cardio classes inspired by the fitness regimens of football players and the NYPD. Along with a healthy dose of plyometrics, the different modes create a workout that blasts through calories efficiently.
World Gym maintains its 25-year legacy of body-sculpting know-how at its West Babylon location, jump-starting workout routines with cardio equipment, free weights, and an expert staff of personal trainers. After running, jumping, lifting, or stretching, exercisers can linger at the smoothie bar to slurp up chilled energy before retiring to the locker rooms and hitting the showers. Beyond the fitness equipment, members can make use of the gym's other amenities, including tanning services and chiropractors who wrestle tension out of knotted muscles.
The slogan “Non-Stop Body Rocking” is emblazoned high above the heads of the hard-working boot-campers at Silly Rock Boot Camp as they sweat their way through high-intensity sessions. Priscilla Compono is the company’s passionate and experienced personal trainer, and she leads students of all fitness levels through challenging sets of push-ups, burpees, and suspension workouts during her one-hour boot-camp classes. She can customize her workouts to accommodate the skill level and fitness goals of the students in her classes. To do this, Priscilla draws on an artillery of weightlifting routines and exercises that rely on short bursts of intense cardio, including running obstacle courses or running from the company’s patented motivation-inspiring tigers.
Jackie Morrison founded the Long Island Center for Yoga in 2003 to create a beacon within the community, one that would draw individuals seeking healing as well as spiritual and physical growth. To accommodate this range of interests, the schedule embraces a variety of yogic styles. Vinyasa and vigorous yoga classes build strength and endurance with dynamic asana sequences. Restorative yoga, on the other hand, incorporates deep, sustained stretches aided by supportive props. Yoga nidra, meanwhile, encourages introspection with time-honored meditation techniques.
Regardless of the style, self-discovery is a common theme at the studio. Unlike many practice spaces, Long Island Center for Yoga doesn’t hang any mirrors on its walls. This forces students to closely monitor their own form and technique, with instructors on hand to recommend modifications. The studio's Pilates, tai chi, and belly-dancing sessions similarly teach students to recognize the inherent connections between their minds, bodies, and untapped telekinetic abilities.