Flashes of neon light up the night during the Rock N Glow 5K, a glow-in-the-dark race by Hi5F, which donates a portion of the proceeds to Coconino Humane Association. As darkness descends on the host city, racers get into the glowing spirit by strapping on vibrant clothing, oversized sunglasses, wigs, and layers of glow-in-the-dark swag. Once everyone is geared up, the noncompetitive race begins, snaking through 3.1 miles of neon-soaked path soundtracked by energetic, heart-pumping music. And once everyone is across the finish line, racers and supporters cap off the night with a glowing after party complete with live DJs, dancing, food, and a cash bar.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Like a trip to the all-you-can-dance buffet, Jazzercise incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, and air-busting kickboxing. In 60 minutes of class, participants of all ages and levels will benefit from improving their cardio, strength, and flexibility while burning off up to 500 calories and improving their chances of impressing Kevin Bacon at a celebrity dance-a-thon. Dancing with the Stars two-time champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise’s improvisational workouts, but clients won’t need her encyclopedic knowledge of flashy footwork and spirit-fingered dance moves to get the most out of each class. Those prone to first-class jitters can review the basic moves before their shimmy session.
Giant Strides Fitness’ owner, Danielle Shaw, defines what it means to be an athlete. As a player, she competed in collegiate and professional soccer. As a leader, she held the title of assistant coach for the NC State Wolfpack soccer team. In her spare time, she has completed 10 marathons, and she coaches athletes at Giant Strides. She leads fitness programs that include boot camps and workouts that focus on specific body parts. She also specializes in marathon training and running programs to prepare clients for other events such as 5K and 10K runs.
At RoxStar Fitness, the choreographer, performer, and Pilates guru Natasha Brown transforms dance routines into high-energy workouts where women can have fun while getting in shape. She pulls dance moves from many genres—rock, pop, hip-hop, swing, and more—and ties them together in RoxStar’s calorie-torching classes. Besides providing a good workout, Natasha shares dance tips that students can put to good use while busting moves at a wedding or in the background of a White House press briefing. Clients can supplement spirited dance classes with flexibility- and strength-building sessions of yoga and Pilates, as well as one-on-one personal-training programs.
Brimming with cardio equipment, free weights, and professional trainers, Freedom Fitness helps people achieve virtually any fitness goal. Clients can maintain a healthy weight with routine exercise or get stronger in the 1,500-square-foot performance center. Here, trainers focus on sport-specific workouts that employ TRX suspension, battling ropes, and punching bags to help athletes jump higher and run faster.
While both the Cave Creek and Troon locations offer fitness classes, equipment, and personal training services, some of the amenities differ. The Cave Creek location has a childcare center, and the Troon location stays open 24 hours a day.