Designed by the pro freerunners of Team Tempest and by X-Games ramp builder Nate Wessel, Tempest Freerunning Academy houses more than 7,000 square feet of parkour and freerunning obstacles. Freerunning distills parkour, a physical endeavor that consists of running and jumping as a means of moving from spot to spot efficiently, into combos of acrobatic moves choreographed to please the eye and give gravity a self-confidence complex. A staff of professional freerunners facilitates athleticism in classes that gradually progress from Parkour 101, which focuses on building strength and balance, to the invite-only Trü Freedom, which emphasizes flowing safely through creative maneuvers.
The colorful indoor facility emulates a playground with a 10'x14' Aussie Bed trampoline and a six-foot-deep pit of foam. Budding athletes vault from a spongy gymnastics floor like Olympians piggybacking on kangaroos toward 32-foot ceilings or scale a 14-foot warped wall before the eyes of seated spectators.
Rusty's Rhythm Club's founder, the hyperqualified Rusty Frank, took to dancing at the tender age of 6, and has been light-tripping professionally since her college days. Since then, she has been inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame and has performed in locations from the Hollywood Bowl to Disneyland and other worldwide locales. Rusty is joined in instruction by her effusive teachers, who bear multitudinous dancing awards as well as an actual portal to 1920s-1940s America.
They impart the dancing skills of the 1940s at both Rusty's Rhythm Club, a weekly swing dance emporium, and Lindy by the Sea beginning-class series, a dance school for all experience levels. Rusty's Rhythm Club sharpens soles with an all-ages dance fest accompanied by the tunes and Prohibition-era conversational topics of live bands in the air-conditioned Westchester Elks Lodge in Playa del Rey.
Those who learn to dance the sensual Argentine tango from Ilona Glinarsky may find they learn more than just rhythm and footwork. That's because Glinarsky, a dancer and musician since the age of 4, believes that through tango, dancers can learn to live in the moment and communicate more effectively with their partners. At Living Tango—winner of a 2012 Best of Redondo Beach Award for adult education—groups learn to read their partners' movements as they lead or follow, letting their bodies speak to each other through dance.
Fitness classes that incorporate suspension-training gear allow patrons at A.R.E.A. 44 to tone muscles left slack by less-advanced gym equipment, and kickboxing or CrossFit classes burn through calories. Students can also opt for a specialty workout, such as pole dancing or Buti fitness, which combines the influences of Brazilian funk, hip-hop, urban Miami dance, and African tribal dance. Personal trainers, some of whom draw from fitness techniques they learned while serving in the Air Force or the US Coast Guard, help clients to get in shape with one-on-one attention.
Founded in 1996, Seaside Shotokan gives students of all levels the opportunity to learn from the expert yoga and fitness instructors. Within a 1,500-square-foot studio with sprung hardwood floors, these trainers oversee a variety of fitness classes with sessions for power yoga, Zumba dance fitness, and stretching classes for martial artists and out-of-shape Koosh balls.