After obtaining a bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology, Kristen Nicole Hall seemed destined for a medical career. But after 14 years of competitive cheerleading and gymnastics, she couldn't shake the desire to share empowering, rhythmic routines with others—and an aerial-dance and flirty-fitness studio provided just the right venue to share her dream.
More than 15 classes are scheduled per week at Studio Goddess, including pole- and flirty fitness workouts that help participants bolster confidence and climb up trees quickly when confronted by a prowling wolf pack. Sessions such as Pole-Lates and Shake Your Abs blend dance and muscle-toning movements, and various pole-fitness levels progress students from basic spins to upside-down high-fives. Private pole parties teach small groups to twirl around the studio's 14-foot poles while celebrating special events or simply helping to "unleash the goddess" in each woman.
The certified personal trainers at Anytime Fitness teach clients how to magnify their muscle mass and purge excess pounds. In each one-on-one 30-minute session, fitness gurus help exercisers set new fitness goals, revise and personalize workout programs, and correct their form during strenuous pinkie lifts. A gauntlet of cardio and weight equipment assists trainers in shaping and molding their students. Fitness seekers can ascend a stair climber, burn calories on an elliptical cross-trainer, or prepare for a marathon on a treadmill equipped for iPod and iPhone adaptors. In the free-weights area, patrons can pump up biceps to prepare for mud wrestling an alligator.
The fleet-footed instructors of National Dance Clubs shepherd students of all skill levels through a variety of dance styles and techniques. Aspiring hip-swivelers can acquire the moves necessary to woo passersby into impromptu swing sessions with an introductory dance package, which includes two private 50-minute lessons to get the dance ball rhythmically rolling. Solo dancers—who will be paired with an instructor—and cha-chaing couples take to the 2,000-square-foot dance floor, learning the steps, dips, and secret handshakes of American, international, and social dance disciplines, including bolero, fox trot, rumba, waltz, and tango.
At the helm of Cargo Fitness is Carlos R. Gonzalez, a former track athlete at the high-school, collegiate, and international levels and a former strength and conditioning coach with the Tampa Bay Rays baseball club. Gonzalez draws upon this experience to provide a variety of training programs for those looking to lose weight, build endurance, and improve their health. His group fitness classes welcome exercisers of all skill levels to engage in full-body workouts, working to burn fat, tone muscle, and jump high enough to finally get that raccoon out of the top cupboard. Meanwhile, his strength and conditioning programs use individualized exercises to steer athletes toward their goals. Finally, he also offers online workout programs that augment personalized plans with weekly feedback sessions via phone or email.
Shea Brock is the fun-loving tour de force behind Boro Hoops, where she leads invigorating hula-hoop exercise classes. If you get into hooping in a big way—and chances are you will—you can buy one of Shea's custom hoops suited to your size and color preferences.
At each Gold's Gym, temperature-controlled group exercise rooms host yoga classes, and exercisers in a nearby cardio cinema room pedal and jog while watching full-length films. A cycling room and functional training equipment such as ropes and kettlebells afford further options for varied workouts. Alternatively, Gold's Gym personal trainers can guide workouts, ensuring clients are using proper form and getting the most out of their exercise regimens.