The experienced instructors at Ruth's Robics and Dance Co. guide groups of fitness-seekers through body-strengthening, Pilates, and step aerobic, and strength-training classes while stressing improved balance and muscle control. Body-strengthening sessions pit complacent fibers against an emotionless trio of weights, resistance bands, and balls, which sculpt toned torsos and prompting shy curves to emerge from epidermal covers. Flat surfaces form the foundation for most buildings and for step aerobics classes, which begin with an upbeat cardio routine before transitioning into floor exercises that target major muscle groups. Link your brain to your body through breathing exercises during Pilates classes, which focus on core conditioning to fortify postures, strengthen abs, and help trainees achieve a leaner, healthier look.
The talented team of resident instructors at Absolute Ballroom guides nimble feet across 2,500 square feet of dance floor during a series of group Latin-dance classes. Groups of approximately 40–70 students converge inside the studio for one-hour classes that allot space to learn an array of introductory skills, including how to perform basic Latin steps, or piece together clues to find a dance partner. Gliding guests perform the romantic lilting motions of bachata or the complex and majestic movements of the merengue, and cardiac systems get in a workout while learning the energetic and rhythmical cha-cha or hip-swiveling salsa. The classes build upon skills introduced from the first to the last class, and focus on the Latin social styles that will equip dancers for a night out at the club. Students can show off their new rug-cutting moves and r-rolling abilities during Sunday night salsa dances beginning at 7:15 p.m.
Movement Matters guides students through a muscle-toning medley of fitness classes including pole-dancing workouts held in a gym bedecked in kaleidoscopic hues and DJ-quality sound and lighting equipment. Alluring and enjoyable, pole dancing cultivates strength and litheness with exercise that tests the mettle of every muscle in the body. Those looking to foster flexibility and basic pole precision climb up during the Pole Fit session, which imparts the foundational grips of bar work and readies pupils for more difficult maneuvers on the pole, such as parallel parking. After students complete one instructed drop-in session, they can sharpen their skills during Open Pole, a free-for-all forum ideal for practicing lessons from previous classes and perfecting impressions of billowing flags.
At Pittsburgh Heat Hip Hop, veteran choreographer Brenna Jaworski and her staff of friendly, experienced instructors guide dancers of all levels through hip-hop and break-dancing classes. In each one-hour class, seasoned steppers expound move-by-move instruction at a comfortable pace, allowing students and maladroit shadows alike to keep up. Age-specific sessions cater to various levels of experience, including break-dancing for kids ages 5–12, beginners hip-hop for ages 9–adult, and open hip-hop sessions for all ages.
In 1949, Charles “Chick” and Elda Mae Bruckman founded Bruckman School of Dance as a center of education for dancers of all ages and skill levels. A lifelong devotee of dance, Chick began his career at 6 years old and remains the school’s artistic director to this day. Along with a team of instructors, the Bruckmans introduce students to dance styles including tap, ballet, jazz, pointe, and hip-hop. As they lead students in mastering choreographed routines, they also teach dance history, imparting the origins of ballet and how NASA scientists made the moonwalk a dance craze in the early '70s. In addition to conventional dance classes, they host dance-inspired fitness classes, such as the Hip Hop Hustle and Turbo Kick, to get cardiovascular systems pumping.
Although Anya Lasko began her career as a classically trained dancer and choreographer in Belarus, she was driven to found a studio based on "the three principles of holistic well-being, healthy exercising, and performing arts education." To accomplish this, she and her staff of instructors lead a combination of instructive and recreational classes for all skill and experience levels, helping students develop the physicality required for artistic expression through music and dance.
Dance classes explore a number of different styles—including ballet, belly dance, and hip-hop—and instructors address the needs and learning styles of different age groups by teaching separate lessons for children and adults. For a muscle-toning approach, the fitness sessions can emphasize low-impact workouts with Pilates techniques and ballet barre exercises, whereas yoga classes' mindful movements and guided meditation generate more focus than the Hubble Space Telescope's contact lenses.
Stephanie Babines had to fight to open her pole-fitness studio. The battle pitted her First Amendment rights against zoning regulations, and was featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today when the ACLU took on the lawsuit to get her permit. Stephanie's passion for self-expression has not faded, and today she and her instructors teach dance- and cardio-workout classes six days a week to help ladies of every age and build express themselves and achieve a sense of empowerment.
It's no surprise that Stephanie is serious about her craft. She has trained under the same choreographers who have coached Beyonce, Rihanna, and Britney Spears, and holds certifications in Advanced Pole and Hoopnotica dance. Her studio boasts amenities such as a spa and a dressing room fully stocked with towels and cosmetics. When they aren't twirling from the studio’s five onsite poles, she and her team might be throwing private bachelorette parties or fantasy photo shoots.