Reformers, Wunda Chairs, Cadillacs, and Ladder Barrels. While it might sound like a line from the classic novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it is in fact a list of the Pilates equipment within Chi Balance Center. Each bizarrely, wonderfully named device performs a different function, helping bodies to engage their core more deeply as they build muscle throughout. The staff offers far more than just Pilates, treating ears to the Latin rhythms of Zumba, spines to Chiropractic ministrations, and musculature to therapeutic massage.
Though Dan Campos has been playing baseball and other sports most of his life, after high school he knew he could still be in better shape. After losing 65 pounds, he decided to enter a natural-bodybuilding competition and fell in love with the sport. Today he’s a professional bodybuilder and spends his downtime training others at Dan Campos Fitness. While bodybuilding is his focus, Campos's training methods range from individual training—onsite or in-home—to group boot-camp classes. He even provides online nutritional counseling, which includes tips for eating healthy and downloadable restraining orders against cake itself. Campos's flexible approach has created some loyal clients, including one whom he helped to lose 200 pounds over two years.
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.
Christine Donahue started her yogic practice at age 8, learning at the knee of her first mentor, her mother. She has since journeyed to India, been certified to teach by swamis, and been granted the honorary name Girija, which means daughter of the Himalayas. Throughout all her journeys, the main pillar of her yogic practice has always been community. Now, at her own Higher Power Yoga, she strives to tailor her teachings to suit the community that surrounds her. Christine invites both longtime and new practitioners to sample her variations on classic Vinyasa yoga, such as hot and spicy yoga and urban yoga, in which students reach for the skies in the skyscraper pose and just-reelected mayor pose.
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.