As she watched the dancers of Canopy Studio Repertory Company twirl and flip using a long cord of aerial silks during their evening performance, Amy Powell knew she wanted to do the same. Less than a year after joining the studio and taking classes, she was asked to perform in one of the company's shows, drawing from former gymnastics training and a natural affinity for high-flying dance to hone her abilities. More than a decade later, she now helms Chattanooga Aerials, located inside Scenic City Dance Center, as the director and head instructor and passes on her skills on silks, slings, and trapezes to all levels of students and budding telephone-company workers under the high ceilings of Scenic City Dance Center.
Amy instills students with a solid aerial foundation while also working to advance abilities toward graceful dancing and strength conditioning. She starts exercises at the lowest possible height to assuage first-timers before teaching dancers to work in tandem, using each other's bodies to perform coordinated moves. She and her fellow teachers can pinpoint the root cause of many of their students' physical limitations and inhibitions and often revise the curriculum or help students with their fears directly, perhaps by doing floor work that translates to the air. Muscles that have grown accustomed to more traditional workouts awaken in each class, and Amy's Something New workshop challenges students further with hybridized methods including aerial yoga and outdoor sessions using trees as aerial gear. When not teaching, she and her staff frequently perform for the community in programs for the children's Creative Discovery Museum and for Nightfall, a downtown concert series.
The trainers at STAT Fitness sculpt bodies into beacons of strength and endurance through intense workouts during boot camp classes held twice a week. By capping sessions at 10–15 exercisers, the one-hour classes can focus on the particular needs of varying levels of fitness from beginners to robust athletes to Norse gods on Earth as punishment for their hubris. Students follow the instructor’s lead through an array of cardio, strength-training, and core development exercises to fortify the body from head to toe. Brick walls and large mirrors give the clean gym an industrial feel, and the natural light streaming in through the windows silhouettes forms in the throes of doing pushups, lifting weights, or high-fiving their reflection after bench-pressing reps.
Owner Heather Simmons Alexander applies her 11 years of certified experience to personally educate students about the fitness-boosting art of Pilates. Designed to strengthen the body and increase flexibility, Pilates consists of a series of strengthening movements and low-impact resistance exercises. During 55-minute individual lessons available Monday–Friday by appointment, students tighten cores while keeping an astute, corrective eye on form. Since Pilates focuses on control and body-weight exercises, impeccable form helps students build muscle and increase their fitness with swifter celerity. Individual lessons are built to bestow individuals with a sturdy foundation of skills before they graduate to one of Heather’s semi-private mat classes, in which they may continue to build balance, flexibility, and strength with up to six others.
B.U.S.Y. Body Fitness founder and police officer Tonya Ransom tones, tightens, and toughens bodies of all shapes and sizes with challenging, motivating, and supportive boot-camp classes. In each one-hour class, which is limited to 25 students, certified B.U.S.Y. body trainers lead boot campers through spontaneous, creative, and playful workouts, such as impromptu high-five competitions. Tone muscles with full-body resistance training, burn calories in cardio drills, dodge through obstacle courses, race through relays, and beat your best time in personal challenges.
Equipment: Yoga mats, barre, balls, towels, yoga straps
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 11–25 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Metered street parking
Pro Tip: We don't require registering for a class, but that is the only way to guarantee a spot.
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
Throughout the class our instructors will encourage the clients to re-set the pose if they feel themselves falling out of it. Form is very important in our classes.
What is a typical session of your program or class like for a student?
We start with a warm-up, go into arm work, then thigh and seat work, floor work, under the barre work, abs, and stretching.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We do not have full-time desk staff, so our studio is only open 15 minutes before and after each class. We lock the doors 5 minutes into the class to ensure our clients get an uninterrupted workout. This means we cannot allow you into class if you show up more than a few minutes late.
Fitness studio owner and licensed Zumba instructor Monica James wants to share her passion for Zumba with everyone she meets. Having lost 60 pounds with Zumba and gained renewed energy and a zest to help others along the way, she opened JIGY Monica's Fitness Studio, where energetic Latin beats fuse with simple-to-learn cardio dance moves to make each Zumba class feel more like a dance party than a workout. During each session, clients dance off calories and unwanted inches in a vibrant, party-like environment of nightclub. Students can take classic Zumba, or parents can bring kids ages 4–12 to ZumbAtomic sessions for introductory fitness sessions. Little ones may also sit on the sidelines and explore the Kid Cave area while parents bring on the burn. Within viewing distance of the class space, the Kid Cave brims with toys, games, and puzzles to keep them occupied throughout parental workouts. All students are reminded to wear comfortable workout clothes and bring plenty of water to class.