At the Aerobics Room, exercisers of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels gather to work out in a variety of ways. Trainer Dawn Strozier leads classes in Zumba, a Latin-inspired "fitness party;" body pump, Crossfit, abs, buns, and thighs classes unfold elements of various martial arts into each routine, and kickboxing, which folds elements of various martial arts into each routine. Additionally, the class schedule includes specialty classes such as Kids Zumba and Senior Fitness, plus classic fitness options including boot camp and yoga. There's at least one class—usually three or four—six days a week, except for Sunday when the earth closes its single giant eyelid to rest up for the workweek.
Feeling as though her life lacked direction, Kar Lee Young took up yoga some years ago. Quickly finding new meaning in the practice, she decided to bring yoga to her community, opening Crenshaw Yoga and Dance in 2004. In its three studios, students follow the center's experienced teachers in all-level classes that cater to neophytes and veteran yogis alike. The weekly schedule also includes dance fitness classes and kids' classes that help young'uns express themselves through movement, stay active, and overcome deep-seated fears of wall-to-wall mirrors.
Sri Dharma Mittra has been honing his yoga practice for more than 50 years. It's safe to say that he enjoys it, but that isn't quite the point. His philosophy is based around altruism and acceptance, the pillars of a style called karma yoga. His devotion to tutoring others has earned him the nickname of "Teacher's Teacher," and his signature style aims to awaken the benevolent spirit within the practitioner.
Sonya Enchill Kendall takes this selfless method to heart at Dharma Yoga L.A. She and her certified staff have all studied with Sri Dharma Mittra, and they now lead classes that encompass his poses, flowing sequences, and inversions. The lessons are grouped according to skill level, with gentle classes for beginners and advanced levels for those who can balance on a beginner's head without them noticing. Enchill Kendall's overarching goal is to impart the benefits of yoga to anyone who seeks them, especially those in underserved communities. Accordingly, several classes and open-meditation sessions are donation-based.
Regardless of dress size or dance background, each woman who enters one of The Secret Pole Dance Studios becomes a part of a supportive community. At both the original Culver City studio and the brand new Hawthorne location, instructors dish out compliments as they guide women through choreographed fitness routines, empowering dancers to overcome inhibitions and let loose along the way. During the Pole Diva and Sensual Movement classes, instructors also encourage camaraderie, occasionally breaking participants into groups and have them perform for one another. Though it may seem intimidating, this opportunity to show off in front of a nurturing audience provides students with the opportunity to build self-esteem.
In addition to boosting mental fortitude, the studio's sensual fitness routines also build physical strength; pole-dancing classes sculpt arms and cores, and chair-dancing classes firm up glutes, quads, and newly emerged dorsal fins. Classes unfold in the studios or on location, but the fun doesn't necessarily end once the imaginary bell rings; groups of gals can even reserve the spaces for private dance parties.
Founder Linda Taix has one mission: to help clients achieve the ultimate positive change in body, health, and spirit––without half- hearted crunches. Employing a team of certified personal trainers and former military personnel, Linda's civilian-style fitness boot camp was featured on Good Morning America. Linda modeled her six-week boot-camp sessions after a real military boot camp, with an enlistment phase to gauge fitness levels and one- hour classes that blend military exercise drills, resistance training, and plyometrics with cardio activities such as obstacle courses and double-dutch jump-rope contests against local youths.
Cutting out traditional boot-camp yelling and huffing, the team fosters a supportive and motivating environment for students of all skill levels. Furthermore, Extreme employs nutritionist and fourth-degree black belt Jake Nelson to guide clients with diet advice and personal consultations on how best to break a board with a honey-glazed ham.
Personal trainer Nicole Williams founded Allure Dance & Fitness Studio to bring clients closer to their health goals through fitness classes, personal-training sessions, and intense, empowering pole-dancing lessons. Having dubbed the pole "the new dumbbell," Nicole now draws on more than 10 years of experience training everyone from housewives to celebrities as she brings full-body pole workouts to the masses. Nicole and her coterie of instructors specialize in pole dancing, but also lead personal-training sessions and classes that incorporate kickboxing, plyometric, and cardio techniques. Along with classes, Allure hosts private pole parties to sprinkle some spice into birthdays, bachelorette parties, and routine training for streetlight cleaners.