Lifelong dancer Carmen Garson chose the goddess as the symbol of her fitness studio and boutique because it represents a loving, feminine energy. She aims to channel that energy throughout each of her belly-dancing, flamenco, Bollywood, African-dance, and yoga classes, helping earn her establishment the Hollywood Gazette’s Best Place for Yoga award. Within the wood-floored studio decked out with creations by local artists, she and her team host 33 dance and fitness classes a week.
Garson also opens her space for monthly art and poetry events where women come to share their creativity and boast about how many arms their inner goddesses have. She stocks the on-site boutique with exotic clothing and jewelry, as well as with spiritual books, essential oils candles, and incense.
Miami Exotic Workouts Pole Fitness believes getting fit doesn't require spending hours in a gym and performing monotonous exercises. Through their pole-fitness classes, which range from beginner's to advanced sessions, and their alternative-fitness classes, such as Booty Aerobics and Sexi Flexi, they help ladies burn calories and strengthen muscles without lifting a single weight. That's not to say the studio's workouts aren't challenging. Classes such as Pole Kitten require students to suspend themselves in the air simply with their thigh muscles, and Sexy Chair Fitness & Pole combine a variety of exercises that test students' leg and ab muscles for a full 60 minutes. If the studio and a traditional gym do share one quality, it's the confidence that they instill in their clients. Miami Exotic members come away with a boost in their self-esteem, making it easier for them to confront the banana spider that's taken over their living room.
While training themselves to perform at local events and salsa congresses, Nuevolution’s founders discovered their passion for teaching dance techniques and routines, leading them to open their own studio to share rug-cutting wisdom with fledgling hoofers. With great enthusiasm for rhythm and self-expression, the studio's energetic team of instructors introduces students of all skill levels to a variety of Latin dance styles, including salsa, bachata, belly dancing, Argentine tango, and more.
Zumba, Yoga, and Tae Bo fitness classes motivate participants to shimmy off pounds and strengthen muscles so they can bend crowbars into clef notes. The kids' dance program gives younger students their first taste of lyrical, hip-hop or music theater jazz techniques in a fun, lighthearted environment. Nuevolution schedules classes six days a week and can spice up special events with fiery, professional dance numbers.
Oscar Ochoa's passion for salsa dancing sprouted at age 9, grew rapidly at age 18 when he began taking formal lessons, and blossomed at age 24 when he won first place at a salsa competition. Today, the founder of Miami Salsa Driven combines his dancing expertise with the physical discipline he's developed from years of practicing tae kwon do and Brazilian jujitsu to lead detail-oriented salsa lessons. His team puts a big emphasis on creating an environment in which beginners feel welcome and unintimidated by advanced dancers trying to show off complex moves, such as the iceless triple axel. Students have ranged from seasoned dancers to a first-timer police-department captain, who actually ended up joining a professional dance team. Located inside the Tempo Music and Dance Academy, Miami Salsa Driven's classes focus on improving students' self-confidence and fitness levels with hands-on instruction and practice. One of the studio's walls is completely covered in full-length mirrors, allowing dancers to adjust their posture to match the instructor's or enjoy uninterrupted eye contact with themselves.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
At Pole Dance Miami, honored as 2010’s Best Gym Alternative in the Miami New Times and featured on NBC Channel 6, dance poles host a dizzying array of spins and twists in more than 40 weekly classes that unite high-flying exercise with feminine sensuality. Passionate instructors lead one-hour classes in sundry styles for patrons of all skill levels, from the sultry sways of Beginner 1 to the Vixen class’s foxy spin combos. The fuchsia studio’s floor-to-ceiling wall of mirrors assists patrons in achieving proper form during mat stretches and twists, and its hardwood floors are tuned to make pitch-perfect music when struck with stiletto heels. Ladies can flock to the studio en masse for pole parties, during which instructors lead partygoers in basic moves to celebrate bachelorette parties, birthday parties, or high-noon tea parties.