The viewers of Evening Magazine had 131 choices for Western Washington’s best fitness instructor of 2012, but Sheree James and her team at Shake It Off Dance Fitness came out on top. It’s no surprise, considering the staff turns dance fitness into full-on festivals of fitness, spurring on rooms full of exercisers through Latin-inspired Zumba dance classes, as well as hip-hop and urban striptease aerobics. It’s not all about cardio at Shake It Off, though; instructors also lead Zumba toning, during which students shimmy and shake while holding a weighted bar or a maraca made of cement so that they simultaneously forge muscles.
Founded in 2010 by a group of veteran badminton players, including former head coach of Team USA Wendy Carter, Seattle Badminton Club provides plenty of space and opportunities to enjoy the fast, exciting sport. Ten regulation-size courts host bouts between players of all skill levels during drop-in matches and organized leagues. The gym also offers lessons for children and adults, imparting both the basic techniques to make proper shots and the competitive skills to wrestle birdies away from hunting dogs' mouths.
Tami Jones was a dancer since she was 2 years old, but an injury in college prevented her from pursuing it as a career. She turned to Pilates for physical therapy and in it discovered a renewed love of fitness. Later, Tami fused her favorite exercises?dance and Pilates?to create The Union Method, a fitness-focused program that seeks to unite mind, body, and soul while building lean bodies. Now, she and her fellow instructors teach yoga, Pilates, and barre classes to students of all experience levels.
At SNAP Fitness 24/7's network of gyms, members can work out in the morning, the evening—or even at 4 a.m. Per the gym's name, it's always open, and stocked with top-of-the-line cardio and strength-training equipment. Its team also hosts yoga classes, Zumba dance parties, and Pilates sessions that can help build long, lean muscle. Online workout plans and meal plans complement the brick-and-mortar facilities, providing clients with customizable guidelines for how to live a healthy life.
Kickboxing classes deliver a knee to the face of fat, burning up to 860 calories an hour with the high-energy striking moves of martial arts and boxing. All four limbs get in on the bag-bludgeoning action at iLoveKickboxing as each class (a $15 value per class) provides a full-body workout that tones arm, leg, and tentacle muscles while tightening the body’s core and improving balance. Hitting the heavy bags won't skin your knuckles once you don the included boxing gloves, which also double as excellent spring-loaded props for re-creating Three Stooges gags. Classes take place Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.; and Saturdays at 9 a.m.