Malenna Saunders grabs her ROTC and Air Force experience by the horns when she leads intense indoor and outdoor boot-camp or fitness classes. Warrior boot camp prepares patrons to slay unwanted fat during a 60-minute romp through plyometric and cardio conditioning melded with strength training and calisthenics routines, and Bowery Babes boot-camp sessions cater to moms or three toddlers standing on one another's shoulders dressed as a mom. Meanwhile, kettlebell workouts and functional exercises tone everyday muscles.
Certified instructors helm other group fitness classes, such as Vinyasa yoga and Zumba cardio-dance classes, within studios fully stocked with workout-enhancing props. Patrons of all fitness levels shimmy into Zumba sessions to hip-shake away excess poundage, mastering easy-to-follow Latin dance moves, which can add spice to tired chimney-sweeping routines.
Exercise experts transform left feet into deft dancers during group fitness classes. Customers reduce corporeal circumferences while breezing through dance routines taught by one of ten different instructors, each with their own unique flair. The dim, disco-style lighting and booming stereo system contribute to a nightclub feel, helping students feel like they're out on the town instead of exercising in a studio. Classes incorporate rhythms and steps from across genres and continents—styles in the mix include Bollywood, hip-hop, salsa, Middle Eastern, and African. Workouts include a combination of stretching, strengthening, abdominal and cardio movements meant to firm, sculpt, and tone the entire body. A collection of fun, graceful, swirling tricks are designed to suit all skill levels are combined with a sophisticated selection of sensual movements, all performed in a safe environment.
Todd Chen, director of Rise Dance Company, stepped into salsa serendipitously: after a disastrous party that found him standing at the sidelines as more experienced dancers twirled his date around the room, he began to apply his hip-hop experience to Latin beats. Instead of hoarding his newfound sultriness, Chen recruited a team of seasoned instructors, who break each move into simple steps that are easy to learn and practice. The company's dynamic group Zumba workouts pair Latin-inspired dance steps with vibrant world music. As with training a parrot to rap, both Zumba and traditional salsa classes revolve around repetition to build up a repertoire of steps that translate to dance floors everywhere, helping students internalize the moves as they melt stress and calories.
Zumba classes at M Dance & Fitness provide a hip-shaking workout so engrossing that, according to Time Out New York, students barely notice its rigor until they’re sore the next day. Set to music that ranges from pop to reggaeton, classes work the whole body through simple dance steps from schools such as salsa and merengue.
The studio’s Masala Bhangra class replaces Zumba’s Latin flair with Indian moves. Masala means “spicy” in Hindi; the routines are thus a “spicy,” or Bollywood-inflected, take on Bhangra, a traditional Indian folkdance. Studio founder Misty Clark and her team of instructors helm other dance fitness classes as well, with focuses such as ballet, kick-box dance, hip-hop, and ab work.
Since its original founding in the Bronx, ASL Sports has expanded its mission to encompass a huge roster of physical pursuits for individuals and groups. Activities include season-length basketball, softball, flag football, and indoor-soccer leagues for adults of varying skill levels. Additionally, ASL Sports offers fitness programs designed for casual visitors as well as athletes looking to improve upon their game. Dance-based Zumba classes and aerobic workouts elevate heart rates, while Vinyasa yoga places emphasis on breath control and postural alignment. ASL Sports even hosts boot camps that combine calisthenics with body-weight exercises, which build strength, speed, agility, and stamina over time.