Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
Bruno Melo, known internationally as Mestre Esquilo, which translates to Master Squirrel, is North Carolina's only capoeira master. At The International Capoeira School, Mestre Esquilo draws on his 24 years of practicing the Afro-Brazilian martial-art form that blends music, dance, acrobatics, and martial arts. He's traveled to more than 20 countries for capoeira, and settled in North Carolina's to found the school in 2013. Pupils of all ages and backgrounds study the rich history of capoeira as they perform hypnotic combos and dance-like kicks to drumbeats and Brazilian rhythms. The dance side of things is more thoroughly explored in Brazilian Rhythms classes, where Glau Santana instructs students in twirls, shimmies, and shakes. All levels of dancers are welcome.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates in cardio routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
In an environment suitable for the whole family, The Body Bar’s encouraging team of fitness coaches and trainers empowers exercisers to reshape their bodies and stay physically fit through group workouts and one-on-one sessions. Visitors seeking full-body transformations can torch calories with intense boot-camp classes and personal-training sessions and complement exercise with a variety of nutrition plans. The studio’s schedule replaces boring workout routines with exhilarating, heart-pumping classes such as pole fitness, Zumba, and hip-hop for kids.
Mel Markowski believes in the power of dance. To her, dancing is more than an art form—it’s a way of life. To that end, she has dedicated herself to helping others dance their way to health. Her cardio hip-hop classes pair high-energy dance moves with infectious music, enabling students to get their heart rates up while enjoying themselves. Mel demonstrates easy-to-follow moves first, allowing slow-footed students or overeager centaurs to follow along and let loose.