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.
At the helm of Equilibrium Fitness' studio is Annabelle Rosemurgy, an equestrian and former Olympic athlete whose performances required enough core strength to pull off a handstand atop her horse during competitions. In her studio, she helms a team of certified instructors that leads a host of amped up Pilates routines and RealRyder indoor cycling classes.
Fifty five-minute SPX Pilates classes initiate novices into the intense practice, designed to keep on incinerating calories hours after the sessions end. The studio’s bread and butter, however, are the SPX and Systeme Dynamique classes—variations on the Pilates method—that use circuit training to target extra weight in the hips and thighs and isolate muscle groups all over the body to sculpt, tone, burn fat, and increase flexibility. Even the studio's indoor cycling sessions target core muscles, strengthen the upper body, and torch calories, getting legs pumping on RealRyder bikes that allow riders to steer and lean, simulating the real cycling experience of avoiding potholes and the maneating Sarlaccs that live inside them.
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.
With locations in San Ramon and Lafayette, internationally recognized Itrim helps members lose weight quickly and keep it off by combining healthy meal plans with a specialized exercise center. Unlike other weight-loss programs that stop when clients have reached their goal, Itrim recognizes that most people still need guidance when it comes to maintaining their svelte figures. So their health coaches and staff take the time to provide hands-on support and give members tips for incorporating healthy eating and exercise into their daily routine. By following these tips and the rest of the program, Itrim says members can lose an average of 25 pounds in the first 12 weeks.
The careers of a veterinary technician and a real-estate agent don't typically overlap—unless you're Patricia Lincourt, who holds both jobs. Having scoped out 10 acres of tree-shaded property, Patricia oversees a team of horses on the verdant grounds, now known as Lincourt Stables. She channels her third title—that of a licensed "L" dressage judge—to train students of all skill levels in hunter, jumper, and dressage disciplines. Though many of her lessons focus on competitive technique, others instruct students who saddle up solely for pleasure or to finally intimidate a much taller sibling. Regardless of the goal, all of the sessions strive to build confidence and poise in a calm, family-friendly environment. Students steer their mounts in one of six arenas with sand footing, two of which boast full jump courses. Accompanying turnouts and grassy expanses allow horses to roam freely as visitors recline in a picnic area.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.