Angelina Spector may have been a certified personal trainer since 1994, but according to her, she's actually in the business of making dreams come true. "Physical transformation begins with a dream," she says on MindBody Connection’s site, referring to the secret hopes her clients hold for what their bodies might be able to do or look like. She keeps these hopes in mind when constructing individualized regimens that build muscle and burn fat through group exercise workshops or personal-training sessions.
With the aid of six other teachers, Angelina slims physiques with a selection of name-brand exercises, such as Pilates, Gyrotonic, and the Nia Technique, a combination of martial arts and dance used to fight off the rhythm when it inevitably comes to get you.
When Katy Cryer asked her friends for help in creating Square One Yoga, she had one important mission: to make yoga accessible to the community through low prices, work-trade scholarships, and an unpretentious ambiance. In an expansive studio with high ceilings, smooth hardwood floors, and a flood of natural light, Katy and a cadre of highly trained instructors hold a weekly schedule of classes and specialty workshops to promote calm and bodily harmony. Covering several disciplines, including prenatal and Vinyasa yoga, the classes offer a deep cleansing of body and spirit without the drenched feeling you get when riding a bicycle through an automatic car wash.
Kevin Allen earned his personal training certification in 1989, but he didn’t stop there. Instead, he layered more expertise and experience onto his resume with every passing year, finally founding Namaste Personal Training to share his wealth of fitness knowledge with as many clients as possible. Now the gym has been named Oakland magazine's best gym in the East Bay in 2012 and 2013, a title Allen and his team of four trainers uphold by addressing patrons’ individual fitness goals in one-on-one personal training sessions, or obliterating bucket loads of calories in group fitness classes. They also tailor introductory fitness courses exclusively to beginners, lowering class size, shortening duration, and eliminating exercises that involve flaming jump ropes.
Grace and self-confidence are learned skills at Allegro Ballroom. The nonprofit, volunteer-operated dance studio teaches students of all ages and skill levels how to master the footwork of various American and international ballroom dance styles. Instructors lead group and private classes in everything from the Viennese waltz and the tango to the rumba and the cha-cha, meeting in one of the three ballroom practice spaces that range in size from 800 to 3,000 square feet. Whether visitors are looking for an introduction to the fundamentals of ballroom dancing or a more in-depth study of a particular style, the instructors are available to provide engaging and informative insight intended to help people navigate a dance floor with ease.
At Sobekick, a boutique boxing studio, wrapped-knuckle students wallop a partner’s punch pads, pummel punching bags, or high-kick invisible targets. Despite all of the aggression in the air, the atmosphere remains friendly as professional fighters and certified trainers help exercisers of all skill levels achieve their fitness goals. To do this, they use personal-training sessions, kickboxing routines, and "wildcard" workouts that could consist of hardcore cardio drills or sincere apologies to bruised punching bags. Sobekick slows things down with yoga classes and tones bodies with specialized classes designed to tighten abs and derrieres.