As a pole-dancing student, Diana Watson didn't let the steel rods in her spine—put there to counteract her scoliosis—slow her down. When she heard that the classes she attended were in danger of ceasing, she signed her name on the studio lease, bought its pole equipment, and settled into the role of owner. Today, she urges all of her staff and students at Room to Move Dance and Fitness Inc. to challenge themselves similarly, whether they are mastering a basic spin or trying a pole inversion for the first time.
Both during and outside of classes, Diana and her instructors foster a sense of community in the space. They keep their pupils up to date on events such as parades and workshops, and solicit suggestions for future class offerings. On the studio's "graffitness wall," guests can post memories, ask questions, and mark off the increasing height of their high kicks for others to see. The tight-knit network welcomes newcomers of all builds and abilities, leading them through boot-camp routines, Zumba steps, and pole transitions with the same judgment-free attitude.
Fraser Valley’s yoga facility pioneering far-infrared classes, Beach Yoga & Wellness combines yoga and Pilates instruction with creatively themed classes that include Rock 'n Roll hot yoga and Hot Heat Happy Hips yoga. Veteran instructors help students stretch and lunge through poses in a hot-yoga environment enhanced by far-infrared waves that facilitate the release of up to seven times more bodily toxins than the average yoga session. The gentle radiation is known to improve skin tone by stimulating the production of collagen. By combing the infrared energy with the studio's steamy temperature, students experience an "artificial fever" that, like a real fever, ignites the body's immune system better than using jumper cables.
The team at Xclub fitness accommodates patrons of all fitness levels, whether they are seasoned athletes or stepping onto a treadmill for the first time. The staff comprises not only personal trainers and coaches, but kinesiologists, occupational therapists, and registered nutritionists who work together to motivate clients to lead healthier lifestyles. Within the 14,000-square-foot facility, patrons can carve chiselled physiques with cardio and strength-training equipment or bolster their mind-body connections in yoga classes. In addition to sessions of bending and stretching, the instructors lead spinning classes, boot camps, and dance-based fitness classes, such as Zumba and Danceology. Wee ones can romp or discuss string theory under the supervision of the staff as parents work on their figures. Post-workout, members can recharge with a protein shake or smoothie at the onsite juice bar.
Indoors or outdoors, the trainers of Realdeal Bootcamp find the best exercises to get hearts hammering against rib cages and build long and lean muscle. They spice up this traditional combo of cardio and strength circuits with group fitness games every class. Teams square off against each other in matches of tug of war, capture the flag, and ball tag, in which the ball is always it and the object is to never catch it.
As a kid, Michelle Ricketts could never sit still. She channelled her boundless energy into sports and scampering about outdoors, activities that trained her for a career in the fitness-and-recreation industry. After years travelling the world, Michelle circled back around to her home city of Vancouver, where she founded and continues to infuse her limitless energy into Storm Fitness Inc.
Within a variety of local parks and studios, Michelle and her team of fellow fitness aficionados conduct high-intensity full-body workouts. To train minds and restructure bad habits, they outfit programs with nutrition advice, meal plans, and grocery tips on which sugary foods to avoid and how to mould marshmallows into the shape of broccoli to reduce its calories. Through teaching proper fitness and nutrition models, the team spearheads a sustained mission to decrease obesity. Beyond that, 10 per cent of its profits go to Team Diabetes, an organization that promotes diabetes education, research, and services.