During her time as a fashion model, Donna Michelle D'Aurio knew the importance of staying in shape. But, when she became a trained fitness instructor, she quickly learned the importance of being both fit and healthy. With this philosophy in mind, Donna established Bella Fitness as a mobile fitness company in 2006. Since then, the company has grown into a fitness business where a staff of personal trainers, dance instructors, sport coaches, and nutritionists designs customized fitness plans for everyone from kids to senior citizens.
Within the studio, clients can work up a sweat in semi-private Pilates, Barre, Zumba, TRX, and dance cardio classes that reflect Donna’s own group fitness certifications from the Arthritis Foundation, SilverSneakers, PiYo, and YMCA. For younger clients, kids' yoga and Zumba classes are also available. At the other end of the spectrum, personal training sessions provide one-on-one attention as exercisers focus on mastering specific fitness routines or strengthening their levitation abilities. Bella's facility is also equipped with a Korr Reevue breathing test, which determines resting metabolic rates, as well as plenty of space to host training courses on CPR and fitness instruction.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with an instructor as the teachers assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
“Dance has altered every aspect of our lives in the most positive ways,” declares Sergio Leal, lead instructor and owner of Latin Dance Pro, on his bio page. Through his Latin dance classes, such as salsa and cha-cha, he hopes to instill that positivity in his students. In beginners' classes, he teaches up to 70 pupils at a time, creating a vibrant social setting for people to learn the sensual hip swings and intimate eyebrow flexes of the bachata. Whether strutting the Argentine tango or twirling dance partners during the cumbia and merengue, Sergio and his team of dancers, which includes Armen Way from Dancing with the Stars, bring humility to the environment that allows for a unintimidating, casual atmosphere where everyone can enjoy learning new moves at their own pace. Aside from group lessons, they also provide professional choreography, private lessons, and entertainment. Additionally, Sergio has his own line of dance apparel.
Throughout the day, Fitness For Life’s dance studio fills with upbeat music. One hour it’s classical, folk, and funk during Bollywood class, and the next it’s Polynesian drumbeats and reggae during Hot Hula class. This varied selection of music is needed to create the appropriate mood for the studio’s equally varied selection of dance-fitness classes, which includes yoga, Zumba, and boot camp. And in addition to being entertaining and expressive, the group workouts are also effective. They are designed to improve the body as a whole, which means developing cardio, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, flexibility, and the ability to taste protein in marshmallows. The studio also offers personal training and a relaxing lounge area with free Wi-Fi, apples, and lemon water.
DanceGardenLA was created by Zahra Zuhair and Jenna, who have been belly-dancing since childhood and have travelled the world accumulating impressive professional credits. Zuhair has trained in traditional folk and Eastern styles?including Lebanese, Turkish, Moroccan, and Tunisian?but her specialty is Egyptian belly dance, which she has studied with some of the top teachers in Cairo. She has also been featured on the cover of Zaghareet! magazine and has written, directed, and choreographed productions as the artistic director of the Ghazella Dance Company and Po Na Na Dance Theatre. Jenna acted as a goddess bellydance instructor on an episode of Sex and the City, and made appearances on The Tyra Banks Show and the Food Network program Aarti Party. She has also starred in several bestselling belly dance-instruction DVDs.
Thanks to their more than 50 years of combined teaching experience and a talented team of award-winning instructors, the studio was named the Best Place to Learn the Art of Bellydancing in 2012 by LA Weekly. The site recommended instructor Princess Farhana's "witty repartee (and Hollywood rock-scene anecdotes)," and described the predominantly female atmosphere as "always encouraging, never intimidating." The crew teaches classes including classic and tribal-style bellydance, Bollywood, and cutting-edge dance fitness such as Bellyquake and E5.
The aim of instructors at PopRock Academy is to translate kids' enthusiasm for the performing arts into a disciplined, authentic practice. They do this by drawing upon deep reserves of knowledge gained by attending top schools such as Juilliard and Northwestern, and performing with top artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Buble, Smokey Robinson, and Kanye West. During classes, workshops, and camps, they cover a range of topics including film acting, instrument playing, popping and locking, and even music theory. At the end of a curriculum or camp, kids can showcase what they've learned for family and friends during a live show.