With professional experience in jazz, ballet, and modern dance, Jacqueline Valdez could have gone off to audition for Broadway musicals. Instead, she pursued pole dancing. Backed by accolades that include a finals appearance at the Florida Pole Fitness Championship, and as a creator of the ballet-infused Infusion Remax and Vertical Arabesque classes, Jacqueline now shares her passion for pole dancing?as well as Pilates, burlesque, and other forms of dance-based fitness?at her all-women's dance and fitness studio, Elegant Body Pilates with Jacqueline Valdez.
Understanding that dance and fitness are as much about gaining self-esteem as losing weight, Jacqueline maintains small class sizes so that she can give clients personal attention and maintain a safe, supportive atmosphere. In addition to classes and workshops, Jacqueline organizes pole-dancing and burlesque parties designed for all manner of celebrations, from bachelorette parties to Supreme Court swearing-ins.
No two bodies are alike, which is why the National Academy of Sports Medicine– and International Sports Sciences Association–certified instructors at Solo Pro customize their personal-training programs to suit each patron, tailoring plans for body builders and athletes, men and women, and teens and seniors alike. Working to help guests to meet their fitness goals—whether they want to lose weight, train for a marathon, or grow a prehensile tail—the trainers lead them in heaving dumbbells or buffing up on TRX suspension bands and Rom cross-training machines. They also elucidate advice on nutrition and living a generally healthier lifestyle to accelerate the shedding of excess pounds. In addition to training individually, clients can come with a pack of friends for a small-group training session or attend a small-group fitness class. The trainers lead all-female classes, stretching and bodybuilding sessions, and therapeutic training for rehab and post-rehab clients.
Comprised of dieticians, physiologists, and personal trainers, the fit staff members at LifeStyle Wellness all share the same belief: prevention is the best medicine. That's why they anchor their philosophy on the benefits of regular exercise, pairing their expert nutritional counseling with yoga, Pilates, and group fitness classes. The well-roundedness of this approach is evidenced in fitness expert Laura Acosta's Living Lean program, an eight-week class exclusive to LifeStyle that combines customized meal plans with personal training and group support. By eschewing a one-size-fits-all approach to any of their programs, LifeStyle's staff members are able to provide personalized attention and custom-made programs for every client. Additionally, each group fitness class is capped at about five students to ensure instructors bestow each pupil with individualized tips and a pair of monogrammed workout socks.
At Global Mixed Martial Arts Academy, a team of skilled instructors teach karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques to groups of youngsters and adults. Classes include fundamental, general, and advanced jiu-jitsu, as well as yoga and kickboxing.
Ethnic Dance Expressions teaches students how to shake and shimmy their hips, imitating belly-dance styles that have enraptured the Middle East for centuries. The school's classes progress from moves for beginners to more advanced techniques with veils and improvisation. Solo coaching caters to students who want to perform or compete, and costume-sewing workshops help fill out performances with sparkling and jangling outfits.
After battling his own demons, Anthony Korahais found a new life purpose through the practice of qigong. After quitting his job as a network engineer in Manhattan, Sifu Anthony moved to Florida and established Flowing Zen as a place to share the healing potential of Eastern philosophies. Sifu Anthony’s classes cross-pollinate elements of qigong with tai chi, kung fu, and guided meditation. They can also help students find balance and heal their bodies from the inside out.