On the surface, Susan Hilferty appeared to be living the American dream—a promising position as a pharmaceutical rep, plus an upcoming marriage. But for a woman who grew up studying at The School of American Ballet and dancing on stages including Lincoln Center, selling pills felt empty at times, and Hilferty found her need for physical expression growing stronger. While visiting a friend in Los Angeles, she took her first pole-dancing class, and almost immediately, her life took a new direction.
Though she faced resistance from friends and family, Hilferty saw in her classes how pole dancing transformed women—giving them new confidence, encouraging them to overcome insecurities, and helping them heal from past traumas. She called off her wedding, continued taking classes, and eventually opened Pole Fitness Miami. Today, she and her team of trained ballerinas lead pole-dancing and dance-based fitness classes at two locations. Ranked on CBS Local Miami's list of Best Places For Unique Workouts, the boutique surrounds saunterers with purple walls, subdued lighting, and gauzy curtains to create a sultry atmosphere. Additionally, Hilferty and her crew help students obtain pole-dance certifications, as well as arrange pole-dance parties so groups of damsels can strengthen their bonds or celebrate becoming volunteer firefighters.
Synergy Yoga holds small gatherings of passionate yogis as they stretch and build muscles in 1 of the 50 classes offered each week. Various styles of yoga, including traditional Hatha flow, focus on deep breathing, and more rigorous classes, such as hot core Vinyasa or hot power yoga, combine the sweat-inducing powers of a heated studio with moves that can makes tummies tighter than an elf's shoes on a pro basketball player.
A wrought-iron gate opens into an alley wall lined with bright verdant foliage and skinny trees. This greenery snakes onto a stone path, which leads to Synergy Yoga’s curved red doors. The first thing that hits visitors inside the yoga sanctuary is the color: mustard-yellow and two-tone green walls, red accents up the stairs, and crisp white moulding. The main studio swims with light filtered in from high windows set in the towering two-story ceilings, light that bounces off the white walls and cascades down to the wood flooring.
Focused on supporting the community, Synergy Yoga aims to include all walks of life. Kids' yoga invites youngsters to develop their flexibility, and very advanced yogis can turn their passion into a living with teacher training. Healing arts such as psychic medium reading, meditation, or massage soothe guests in need of some extra care.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
It's hot and humid in Bikram Yoga Miami's studio—the temperatures reach 105 degrees—but not because the air conditioner is broken. Here, the heat and humidity coax muscles to sink deeper into the stretches and cause students to release toxins via beads of sweat during Bikram yoga classes. Certified in the yoga style's 26-posture sequence, the instructors lead students through the poses, helping them increase their strength, flexibility, and range of motion, which comes in handy when one gets the urge to backwards-crabwalk up a wall. Within the balmy studio, sun streams in from the windows and bounces off the full-wall mirrors, illuminating the rows of students as the instructors offer adjustments to the postures to accommodate varying ability levels.
Featured on CNN's HLN Morning Express, the energetic troupe of professional dancers at Salsa Mia infuses their students with the instincts to set dance floors ablaze during a schedule of Miami-style salsa classes. The studio’s lively classes encourage participants varying from beginners to advanced dancers to frequently switch partners as they practice salsa’s energetic fusion of rhythm, footwork, and diced tomatoes. Students come to learn solo, with a partner, or with a group of friends. Friday-night instruction transforms into a dance party, where participants can sip Cuban mojitos, mingle with their peers, and dance deep into the night to live music.
Miami Beach GYROTONIC® combines the flowing exercises of GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® methodologies, which are both designed to strengthen and stretch the body through three-dimensional movements and breathing patterns. The GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® uses combination pulley tower units and other specialized equipment, while the GYROKINESIS® exercise method emphasizes spinal movement through the use of a mat, a stool, and various rhythmic, undulating movements.