As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby, trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Though she was a university-educated professional and a proud mother of two, Chantel Waite was troubled when she looked in the mirror. At 132 pounds, her healthy frame didn't mirror the picture-perfect bodies of women depicted in the media. Searching for a boost in self-image and esteem, Chantel took up a pole-dancing class and was immediately hooked. She marvelled at her fellow classmates—strong, full-figured women who appeared so beautiful and powerful as they danced. As she continued to practice the art form, she began to appreciate her own body, embracing the awareness that beautiful women come in every size.
Today, Chantel shares her newfound sense of empowerment with fellow women, conducting pole-dancing classes at her own private studio, Allure Fitness. Amid soft carpets and curtained mirrors, Chantel guides ladies of all sizes through twists and turns in workouts designed to enhance flexibility, tone muscles, and boost confidence. Chantel always begins each course by simply having her students practice walking in an uninhibited way, encouraging them to dispel prior insecurities with their bodies and sexuality. Through group classes and parties, Chantel aims to create a supportive community among her students, free of competition, judgment, or aggressive thumb-wrestling tournaments.
Oxygen Yoga & Fitness guides guests toward mental and physical wellness with hot-yoga sessions, meditation classes, and fitness boot camps. In addition to its adult programs, the studio also offers kids' yoga classes that pair basic yogic poses with singing and creative activities.
Certified personal trainer Katelyn Brown first immersed herself into the fitness industry in 2008. Since then, she's trained clients privately, has led groups through sweaty boot camps, and has even worked with hockey players off the ice, coaching them how to walk in public without checking pedestrians into walls. At Perseverance Fitness, she puts this experience to use helming signature BootyCamp sessions—all-women fitness classes that use body-weight movements to tone troublesome areas such as the arms, core, and backside. Katelyn, who is also a certified TRX suspension-training ambassador, also captains TRX boot camps, which allow participants to perform hundreds of exercises by leveraging gravity against body weight with a series of specialized straps and bands.