With professional experience in jazz, ballet, and modern dance, Jacqueline Valdez could have gone off to audition for Broadway musicals. Instead, she pursued pole dancing. Backed by accolades that include a finals appearance at the Florida Pole Fitness Championship, and as a creator of the ballet-infused Infusion Remax and Vertical Arabesque classes, Jacqueline now shares her passion for pole dancing?as well as Pilates, burlesque, and other forms of dance-based fitness?at her all-women's dance and fitness studio, Elegant Body Pilates with Jacqueline Valdez.
Understanding that dance and fitness are as much about gaining self-esteem as losing weight, Jacqueline maintains small class sizes so that she can give clients personal attention and maintain a safe, supportive atmosphere. In addition to classes and workshops, Jacqueline organizes pole-dancing and burlesque parties designed for all manner of celebrations, from bachelorette parties to Supreme Court swearing-ins.
Laurie Scott-Reyes has bounced around for most of her life. She was born in Germany, grew up in Alabama, and graduated high school in Indiana. She even spent more than two decades with the US Army as a photojournalist. Today, Laurie continues to bounce around—as a writer, as an artist, and as a fitness instructor during Loca-Motion Dance4Fitness classes. During her classes, Laurie leads groups through high-energy workouts set to the beat of handpicked songs from around the globe. She carefully plans and executes each routine, ensuring every muscle in the body gets a workout.
Mary Hencher and her team of certified instructors lead Dance Trance classes that set high-energy dance moves to upbeat music. Because the classes emphasize the energy of the music, instructors don’t shout out commands; instead, they use a series of hand gestures and intuitive, easy-to-follow dance moves to guide students through the classes.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Fun sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment ideal for both beginners and hard-core core hardeners alike. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning caloric evidence with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Since the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimen by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
Pulse Fitness Center is owned and operated under the direction of board-certified physicians who know that nutrition is as critical for good health as knowledgeable staff and the latest equipment technology. A team of personal trainers?which includes a former professional football player and a former physical readiness instructor for the U.S. Army?guides fitness seekers toward their personal goals. The team counsels students on dietary habits and points them to machines with the Smart Key digital memory system, which, like a robot butler who has been around since childhood, remembers guests' personal preferences and physical activities. The center's TechnoGym equipment entertains patrons with personal TVs at each station, and an overhead sound system keeps the 10,000-square-foot space pumping with free weights and FreeMotion equipment.
Guests can drop kids off for childcare before classes ranging from TRX suspension training to Zumba sessions with dance moves set to Latin-inspired music. Licensed professionals at the medically directed center provide physical, occupational, and speech therapy at the in-house Harland Rehabilitation Clinic.
Just Fitness 4 U Jacksonville has equipped its three locations with myriad machines, amenities, and classes. Its group fitness classes shake up fitness routines as instructors model Zumba's Latin-inspired dance moves to the thudding base of global party hits and Hot Hula classes get hips swiveling to island rhythms.
The Baymeadows location's cardio equipment is equipped with cooling fans and personal screens that show high-definition cable TV. Guests also can refresh at the smoothie bar, pump up their muscles on Star Trac and FreeMotion strength-training equipment, and furiously peddle while admiring a vibrant graffiti-style mural by a local artist in the cycling room. Plush leather couches and a waterfall welcome members to the Mandarin location, whereas the Southside location summons guests to watch movies and chase after screen villains atop Cybex equipment.
All three locations entertain exercisers with either Cardio Theater equipment or a cardio cinema. The staff screens action-packed flicks such as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Man on Fire, and Avatar and promises not to weep openly during the emotional scenes.