Channeling a background in dance, event planning, and fitness, Deanna Gonzalez knows how to make a workout feel like a party. She founded Miami Dance House as a way to synthesize the supportive atmosphere of exercise and the creative expression of a dance studio into a single venue. There, students banish calories and inhibitions with a curriculum of classes that caters to nearly any taste. Instructors of each class hope to build their students' rhythm and confidence—regardless of each person's experience level.
The passionate mastermind behind Kitty Kat Pole Dancing instructs small groups in the sensual arts of pole dancing. Within the red-walled studio lined with billowing white curtains, she helps women to chisel profiles in a variety of pole-dancing classes, during which students tone upper arms by hoisting themselves up to the ceiling and activate abs by slowly twirling back to the ground. Groups can also host sexy parties at the studio, strutting to energetic music and dancing with more grace than a swan quoting Shakespeare.
These days, pole dancing isn't just for sultry seduction and crosswalk guarding. The physically challenging exercise is also an effective way to get fit while gaining confidence and fresh moves. At SoBe Pole Dance Studio, the teaching staff includes dancers from all over the world who lead classes such as the thigh-tightening Body by Pole and Conditioning for Pole for flexibility. But fitness isn't the entire curriculum here. Students can also explore the art of dance and burlesque in the Pole Divas class or step away from the pole entirely in Zumba and Sexy Chair dance classes.
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.
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.
Instructors teach salsa—a lively, social Latin dance—at Salsa Fever Miami. Students can come solo or with a partner, and classes are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Once students are divided up, instructors customize lessons to their needs and abilities. Dancers can then show off newly learned moves during the slow bits of their kid's school play, or at Yuca Restaurant's nightclub, which features live music and drink specials.