Since opening in 1975, Candlelight Dance Club has chased a single, unwavering mission: to curate an appreciation for ballroom dance while teaching its many styles. Six instructors stand ready to lead dancers through training to conquer foxtrot, swing, tango, waltz, and rumba steps. By offering both private and group lessons, Candlelight combines one-on-one attention from an instructor with group sessions that provide more camaraderie than a firefighting team moonlighting as a cheerleading squad. A bright, wood-floored studio hosts classes as well as the club’s weekly dance parties, which allow participants to try out learned moves in real time before debuting them in public. Many dance enthusiasts note a handful of dance-inspired benefits as their confidence shines, stress fizzles, and cardio endurance boosts.
Since 2006, the staff at Fusion Fitness Center has fostered a welcoming space for their members to come and find fitness, challenging and encouraging them along the way. Rows of elite Precor cardio machines fill the floor of the main room, including treadmills, elliptical trainers, and bikes. Tucked around the corner in the group fitness room, trainers challenge members with 50-minute team training classes, where exercisers toss medicine balls, swing kettlebells and heavy ropes, and stretch TRX suspension bands until they cry uncle. The trainers limit classes to ten people so they can dole out ample individual attention.
The staff also helps members hone in on individual fitness goals, such as losing weight or running a marathon, during personal-training sessions. To fuel sweat sessions, staffers mix up smoothies filled with nourishing ingredients to help bodies recover or add resistance to tongue-curls.
Pam Andrews didn't stop setting goals after earning a membership to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and a certification in Red Cross CPR and first aid; she also created her own fitness program based on the principles of Middle Eastern belly dancing. Inside the bright yellow walls of Shake It! Fitness Studio, she and her team of licensed fitness instructors and a nutritional counselor engage exercisers in supportive programs such as group dance-fitness classes. They help students blend different dance-exercise styles, while experimenting with classic fitness methods such as interval training, cross training, and kicking down doors. They demonstrate aerobic choreography amid tropical Latin beats in Zumba Fitness, coordinate simple dance moves with Polynesian drumming and reggae in Hot Hula Fitness, and time belly-dancing moves to a blend of R&B, funk, and soul music in Belly Funk Fitness.
Christy, owner of Rhythm and Fitness, has always struggled with her weight. It wasn’t until she found herself running and walking in a half marathon, instead of cheering from the sidelines as she had intended, that she resolved to transform her body, and through that experience, her life. During her journey to better health, she dropped in on a Zumba class, and the rest was history. Christy fell in love with Zumba; she loved how it made her feel, how she lost weight after every workout, and how much fun it was. She resolved to share her newfound love with others and become a licensed instructor. Christy began teaching classes and ended up with more students than she knew what to do with. From there, Rhythm and Fitness was born.
Today, Christy sports a certification in weight management and nutrition, is working toward her PhD in health psychology, and helms a collection of instructors who lead a variety of fitness classes that focus on making cardio exercise enjoyable. They also teach ZumbAtomic classes for kids and host birthday parties complete with high-energy dancing and choreographed candle blowing.
The News Journal Readers' Choice Award winner in 2013 for Best Dance Studio, Take The Lead Dance Studio creates a fun and friendly environment for individuals looking to move. Students learn from a dynamic staff of instructors, many of whom have competed at the professional, international, and collegiate level. Teachers traffic in a variety of soft and silky moves, as students sample styles such as bachata, the hustle, salsa, and foxtrot. Couples can also collaborate with an instructor to learn a unique first dance for their wedding or other special occasion.