Lisa Bienia Cunningham—the owner and trainer of Silver Fox Equestrian Center—began riding horses at the age of 7. In the years that followed, Cunningham managed to earn numerous competitive accolades as well as AS and BS degrees in equine studies. Today, she calls upon her wealth of experience in English-style techniques as she educates students of all levels during private and group lessons. Her facility—which also happens to be the home of the Suffolk County Community College equestrian club and the Silver Fox Equestrian IEA team—accommodates year-round whispering with indoor and outdoor riding areas.
At Brickhouse Cardio Club, an open floor space sets the stage for Zumba classes every day of the week. The floor—designed to ease joint and knee maladies—is merely one aspect of the club's comfortable and supportive atmosphere. At the club, patrons find a combination of dancing and aerobics classes that will help them with weight loss or body toning in the midst of a fun environment.
When she was 15, Heather had already been dancing for a decade, and she vowed to one day open her own studio. Later, while in school for interior design, she took her first-ever pole-dancing class and found it was love at first twirl; she installed a pole in her own home that very afternoon. Though she worked for a while as a professional designer, she felt compelled to step away from decorating other people's homes to pursue her teenage dream, swathing her newly opened studio space in hot-pink paint and floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Today, it's a go-to hub for novice dancers of all ages, sizes, and experience levels and for barber's poles looking to switch careers. While Heather and three other instructors teach belly dance, aerial technique, burlesque, and fitness classes, though Heather's main passion still lies with pole dancing. She finds it rewarding to watch as students—who currently include spinners in their 60s—break past mental blocks to do moves they never thought possible. She grins each time her students report that they're feeling stronger and healthier just doing everyday tasks, like buying anvils at the grocery store. "I don't feel like it's a job," she says, noting the supportive environment created by her students and the joyous bachelorette and birthday parties—where, she maintains, the older guests always turn out to be wilder than the 20-somethings. "It feels like I'm hanging out with friends."