No men, no makeup, no mirrors. It's a philosophy that?s helped members of the Curves community since 1992. Part fitness center, part community center, Curves is a women?s only club that takes a streamlined approach to health, fitness, and weight loss. Curves has teamed up with health and fitness coach Jillian Michaels to develop full-body, 30-minute workouts that kick-start weight loss, combining strength training, cardio, and stretching into sessions that torch fat, build strength, boost intensity, and prevent plateaus. These workouts are enhanced further by the Curves Complete Program, available for an extra fee, which is rooted in Curves' method for effective weight loss in that it supplements efforts at the gym with personalized meal plans and weekly one-on-one meetings with a certified Curves coach.
Unlike a student sleeping in class, when someone falls asleep at Healing Touch Wellness Center, the therapists know they are doing their job right. The popular relaxation massage welcomes clients to drift off into a slumber as therapists gently glide their hands across backs, calves, and arms. Tiny knots break apart at the therapists? touch, releasing tension in the body. Clients can also opt for a more rigorous kneading session, where therapists use deep-tissue techniques that work the deeper muscle layers known to horde lost coins and cause chronic pain.
Amateur and professional fighters and martial artists comprise the staff at Perez Fighting Systems, led by Gene and Derek. Along with striking coach Ken Harding, they focus on fitness in classes, clinics, and sparring sessions for students of all ages and ability levels, with special courses designed for women and kids.
Internationally acclaimed dancer Amaya isn't regretful of her romantic impulse to run away and join the circus, a decision that sparked her notable and diverse career. The passionate performer was awarded Dancer of the Year by the International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance in 1998, and her documentary Gypsy Fire—which explores Spanish gypsy dancing—earned Amaya a Giza Award. Now, she channels more than 30 years of teaching experience and knowledge of several international dances, including Mexican folk, African, and a rare form of hot potato, into her dance classes. During these sessions, she overhauls boring cardio routines with basic belly-dancing techniques and Danza Mora moves—a marriage of Arabic and Spanish gypsy dance—which she infuses with cultural insights, inspiring philosophies, and nutrition advice. She also hosts women-only dance retreats to distant locales, during which she grants participants one-on-one dance training, spiritual guidance, and other opportunities such as the chance to observe a private Native American ceremonial harvest dance.
Amaya also believes in empowering young girls and women to reach their full potential. A portion of her DVD sales benefit The Girl Effect, a charity dedicated to empowering women and fighting for equal rights across the globe.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers?with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers?are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Certified massage therapist and healing artist Kerry Leigh traces her specialty in core synchronism back to the system?s developer, Robert Stevens, who first trained her to assist nature with techniques that promote inner-organism harmony. Kerry honed her massage skills as a backstage therapist at rock concerts, as the founder of the Odwalla Juice Company's on-site massage therapy program, and with the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health before starting her own practice at Actualize Your Health.
These days, Leigh and a team of therapists connect minds and bodies with cellular nutrition, aromatherapy with essential oils, and natural flower essences selected for their health-giving vibrational energy. Their background in athletics gives them a firsthand look at what hardworking muscles and spirits need to recover after grueling workouts or fisticuffs with inner demons.