After performing traditional Greek folk dance for celebrities, politicians, and even Greek royalty, Rozalia Aravantinos Xidias opened Asana Yoga + Dance. There, she helms a staff of instructors who perform Greek folk dance at weddings, christenings, and building demolitions. They also teach yoga, dance, and fitness classes to both adults and children, ensuring all classes are capped at a small number so each student receives personal attention. Inside the state-of-the-art facility, kids learn hip-hop and jazz moves and grown-ups glide peacefully through Hatha and Vinyasa poses or trim their waistlines during energetic Zumba classes. Girl Scouts can also visit the studio for a one-hour folk-dance lesson, which culminates in a folk-dance merit badge.
Helmed by women who share a passion for encouraging others to improve their daily lives, Gaia Fit draws its strength from personal training, nutrition counseling, and fitness classes. Through these efforts, the owners emphasize the importance of building a sense of support and camaraderie that they call Sisters in Sweat—bonding through pushing your own body to its limits while motivating others to work harder. Classes cater to myriad needs and abilities, and nutrition counseling spurs patrons toward weight loss and energy gain with plans tailored to their lifestyles, working to eliminate detrimental habits.
With decades of martial-arts experience between them, sensei Mike Mackintosh and master John Ralph Shihan have mastered combat techniques from all over the world. In their own classes, they teach a form that makes use of a variety of styles. Known as Kojukai, the eclectic technique borrows from a variety of training styles: judo, muay thai, karate, and the Israeli system of Haganah. The instructors introduce children and adults to techniques from each of these disciplines, leading pupils through striking, throwing, and defensive maneuvers while practicing real-world scenarios.
Within a vibrant, yellow-and-blue-walled workout space, a fleet of free weights, treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical trainers populate the floor. Group workouts take solo regimes a step further, cultivating a sense of community as students perform step aerobics, kickboxing moves, or deeply held yoga poses in a heated studio. Additionally, personal-training sessions allow clients to work with a fitness guru who will custom build a workout that incorporates functional-training tools such as jump ropes, medicine balls, and dip bars, as well as motivating tools such as encouraging words of wisdom and large gentlemen with chainsaws standing behind the treadmills. Guests can drop tots off at the childcare center, which welcomes kids with games, toys, and a television. After workouts, grownups can replenish energy reserves with fresh-fruit smoothies at the adjacent café, where they can also play chess or surf the Internet between weight-lifting sessions. To promote wellness inside and out, they can visit an onsite spa or stop and see the resident chiropractor, who can treat their sports injuries and chronic pain with a range of holistic therapies.
National Yoga Alliance–certified instructor Ginna Turnamian began her lifelong love of fitness under the mentorship of her aunt, a certified personal trainer. She experienced the positive effects of yoga and fitness first hand, and as a result Ginna dedicated herself to sharing her experience with others.
At Hot & Soul Yoga, located within Cirius Fitness, Ginna leads a team of experienced and caring instructors who help students of all ages and skill levels, from advanced to novice, improve their bodies and relax their minds. In studios saturated in a careful balance of heat and humidity, instructors lead noncompetitive hot yoga classes to boost balance, strength, and flexibility while aiming to flush toxins from the body, helping clients safely go deeper into their asanas. The studios also host traditional yoga classes, and each room is outfitted with antibacterial, antiskid Zebra Mat flooring to keep students from falling mid sun salutation and incurring the wrath of that notoriously short-fused star. Hot & Soul Yoga also offers kids’ yoga classes and childcare services in a play area outfitted with toys and games.
Dance directors Christina Penatello and Ken Hansen have trained underneath champions such as Dancing With the Stars contestant Louis Van Amstel, whose new dance fitness classes, LaBlast, has become a staple of the studio’s schedule. LaBlast classes share schedule space with instruction in cha cha, tango, swing, and other social dances. To sample the studio’s wares, budding dancers can follow in instructors’ rhythmic footsteps during 30-minute introductory sessions, which traverse various modalities with a speed-teaching method. As part of the renowned Fred Astaire franchise, instructors also host social dance parties and choreograph wedding dances for couples who want their first dance to look as effortless as tossing a flaming bouquet.