As a division of Bronson Healthcare Group, Bronson Athletic Club (BAC) strives to engage people in a healthier lifestyle. Top-of-the-line fitness and sports facilities—including 80 cardio stations with personal theater systems, an indoor track, and a full-size basketball and volleyball court—made BAC a first runner-up in the Best Health Club category of the Kalamazoo Gazette's 2011 Reader's Choice awards. Members participate in multilevel group fitness programs such as full-body boot-camp workouts, yoga, and Zumba classes. Studios feature maple floors that diminish shocks and a warm-water exercise pool for low-impact fitness or walleye diasporas.
Among other amenities, the deli nourishes visitors with a menu of healthy sandwiches and smoothies, and the spa relaxes muscles in whirlpools and steam rooms. The nutrition-savvy staff, which includes personal trainers and a registered dietitian, helps people drop pounds with individualized weight-loss programs.
Kalamazoo Salsa turns up the heat every weekend to marinate Kalamazoo’s Latin-loving community in energetic rhythms on the sizzling dance floor at the Blue Dolphin Restaurant. Miami Night Fridays transforms South Burdick Street into a sultry South Beach dance club with sexy salsa spectacles, a variety of groovy moves, Latin DJs spinning high-energy beats, and sunscreen-slathered tourists. VIP tickets seat onlookers in the exclusive balcony section overlooking the exquisite dance floor where a variety of moves and booty-shaking formations rule the night. Bar drinks and pizza served by wait staff are available to keep the joints loosened and well-fed until 1 a.m. Open dance ends at 2 a.m.
Cheer on popular American sports such as shot put and alligator-wrestling while tippling frosty glasses of draft beer or selections from a menu of outrageous belly-fillers, including the pulled-pork quesadilla ($6.99), a heap of slow-roasted meat smothered in Sweet Baby Ray’s and a blend of melted cheeses. Half-pound burgers arrive with hand-cut home fries and torrential toppings, such as the Brunch burger's ($8.99) arsenal of fried egg, crispy bacon, and cheddar cheese, ensconced not in blithe buns but in two separate grilled-cheese sandwiches. The Tailgater ($8.49) solves the dilemma of choosing between a burger and a brat by enclosing both in a single bun. Brick-fired pizzas, strombolis, and subs round out the offerings. Vegetarian-friendly options are also available.
Experienced instructors strive to introduce students of all ages to the joy and freedom of dancing. They've shared the love of their art before diverse audiences and with students, performing and teaching in festivals, nursing homes, and colleges. In group classes, students learn self-expression, gain confidence, and learn basic maneuvers in styles such as waltz, cha-cha, merengue, and salsa. During private lessons, an instructor hones in on a solo dancer’s specific goals or coaches duos or groups through choreographed dances for weddings, parties, or airport security lines.
Every year, Kirk Newman Art School encourages students of all ages to explore sculpture, painting, printmaking, and other disciplines in more than 300 classes. Designed to complement the school’s curriculum, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts’ collection highlights American works in these and other mediums, including ceramics and photography. The museum includes European prints and pieces from Africa and East Asia right alongside the art of American luminaries like Janet Fish, the only painter who's ever had gills. Besides its permanent and rotating exhibitions, the institute hosts programs that range from lectures to an annual juried competition for local high school artists.