When the treadmill incline is at 90 degrees, your fingerprints are etched into the dumbbell grips, and you start talking to the exercise balls, it’s time to pursue a new way to challenge your body. The staff at VIP Women’s Dance invites ladies of all shapes and ages to fill that need with a dance, acrobatic, strength, and aerobic workout performed on a vertical pole. In their intimate studio, 11 brass poles line the hardwood floor surrounded by striped pink walls and black ceilings. During each 45-minute class, ladies try out new dance moves, spin on the pole, and do push-ups, all while learning to support their entire frame with their lower- or upper-body strength. In addition to group classes, the studio also hosts private classes and instructor-led private parties, divulging the sultry art forms of burlesque and belly dance.
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.
Waves aren't created equal—each rolls in differently than the ones preceding and following it, which explains why surfers often lie on their boards, studying the waters in anticipation of the next worthy wave. Reading the waves is one skill; popping up on the board to catch a wave is another. The instructors of Saltwater Cowgirls teach youth and adult, male and female students both skills in year-round private individual and group lessons. Students also learn basic through advanced maneuvers and board maintenance. The staff organizes weekday and weekend surfing camps, meeting up with students directly on the beach.
For the past five years, Boxing Bunnies has been run by owner and sole trainer Ann Marie Route?a boxer with over six years of experience and certification as a USA Boxing coach. Ann Marie believes so much in supporting healthy lifestyles for all that she personalizes her women-only boxing classes to suit each of her clients? abilities, fitness levels, and needs. Ann Marie strives to create camaraderie among her students as she challenges them with constantly changing routines filled with real boxing drills. To ensure her students are up to the test, Ann Marie holds optional sparring sessions.
After apprenticing with Jorge Limoeiro, one of Brazil's oldest board shapers, Marcelo Gagliardi can take on any type of surfboard repair. So in 2008, he opened MCG Surfboards, where he and his team not only repair boards but custom-make them as well. The shop also sells surfboard accessories, such as Fu-Wax surfboard waxes, and crests the Atlantic waves with students during two-hour comprehensive surfing lessons.