Lorean, Open Center Yoga?s seasoned leader, sits crossed-legged on the glossy wood floor, focusing her breath before leading yogis of all levels through her lineup of flexibility-building classes. She guides students in setting their intentions?points of focus to transfer from yoga to day-to-day life, such as calming one?s mind, becoming more adaptable to change, or harnessing enough will power to finally beat Donkey Kong?to connect spiritually to the practice. The classes can include visualizing chakras and channeling energy. Throughout the 75-minute sessions, students build muscle and increase their flexibility while flowing through the fluid postures, and workshops offer a more spiritual experience in which students meditate using deep, even breaths to quiet anxious thoughts and assuage tension.
Inside La Luna Dance Studio, students whirl like colorful tops, salsa dancing, tango dancing, or swing dancing atop a 5,000-square-foot dance floor as a crystal-clear sound system pumps tunes. Encouraging instructors stand nearby, breaking down the music and the steps of each style, as friends, partners, and the newly acquainted bond over each tap of their toes. While the studio specializes in these adult Latin-dance courses, junior-level programs welcome kids aged 3 and older, and all classes are scaled to beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels. In addition to their comprehensive month-long programs, the sashayers host special events and dance parties, such as BYOB Salsa Friday every second and fourth weekend, and an annual symposium on the safety risks of holding roses in your teeth.
At Step II Dance Center, the teachers help to transform their students into polished performers with an array of classes, laying the foundations for future dancers, singers, and actors. They teach students as young as 3 and as old as 82 to move their bodies in styles such as ballet, soft shoe Irish dance, and hip-hop, as well as in theater dance, which students put to use as they star in renditions of musicals such as 42nd Street and Annie. Independent filmmakers and companies such as Forman Mills have hosted auditions for commercials and movies at Step II Dance Center, giving students a chance to break out in the business without plastering their headshots all over a film producer's cartons of milk.
The professional staff and certified personal trainers at Optimal Sport Health Club, a popular chain of boutique fitness centers in Philadelphia, want to help their clients get into the best shape of their lives. The facilities have everything members need to reach their workout goals, whether they want to build lean muscle, lose weight, or simply get stronger.
Here, clients can work out with the cardio and strength-training equipment or head over to the group fitness studio to take classes in everything from Pilates to step class to yoga. Personal trainers are on hand for those looking to ramp up their fitness routines.
As a member of Black Belt Schools International, Karate 4 Kidz of Newtown offers kids, adults, and teens the latest in self-defense techniques and exercise science. Chief instructor Jay Cruz has been training internationally in martial arts for more than 25 years and uses his knowledge and experience to help build students' confidence and physical abilities. Cruz specializes in muay thai and other types of kickboxing, and he also offers resistance-band classes, karate for kids as young as 3, and sessions designed for special-needs children.
Laura Rothstein co-founded Yogasphere in 2005 with the goal of making yoga accessible to everyone. These days, Laura, co-owner Elle Kaplan, and their team of instructors follow through on that mission by hosting an array of yoga services, from vinyasa yoga classes to six-week prenatal yoga workshops. To gear up for the workouts, students can check out The Boutique at Yogasphere, the studio's on-site shop that sells yoga apparel.