Roshelle “Rocky” Wilder, NYC Dance Arts’ founding director, began dancing and choreographing dance pieces when she was still in high school. She has performed with underground hip-hop artists such as Denzil Porter, Deena Jones, and The Future, and her students at NYC Dance Arts have performed on Broadway, earning mention from ExpertsColumn.com.. With a team of teachers, Wilder guides students through the steps of contemporary hip-hop, classical ballet, heart-healthy Zumba, and other dance-centric classes.
Ballet classes boost students’ balance, concentration, and coordination while strengthening core muscles. Modern/contemporary dance rebels against the traditional aesthetic of classical ballet with abstract, emotive movements—or by cutting class, sneaking out, and taking the works of Jean-Paul Sartre very seriously. Break dance 101 introduces students to urban street dance, focusing on inspiration and creativity. Yoga fitness classes combine a cardio workout with deep-breathing exercises and yoga poses. In addition to regular classes, NYC Dance Arts offers special workshops with visiting choreographers and professional dancers, and organizes dance flash mobs—groups of dancers who meet in a public place to perform a dance routine.
At New Body Bootcamp & Wellness, personal trainer Aja Davis hopes to inspire two types of change in her clients. The first is visible: a fitter, slimmer physique resulting from her signature interval workouts. The second is philosophical: a lifelong awareness of how to preserve and pursue health. This model of "lifestyle implementation" encompasses nutrition as well as exercise while avoiding temporary fixes, such as fad diets and foam muscle suits. Instead, Aja's program uses challenging and varied routines, the motivational power of teamwork, and individual attention from a fitness expert.
At one-hour boot-camp classes, Aja leads groups through cardio and resistance maneuvers that employ stretchable bands, kettlebells, and TRX suspension cords. The routine has won the title of Best Post-Holiday Rescue in GO magazine, which also lists New Body Bootcamp & Wellness as one of its three favorite fitness venues. Aja aims to spark camaraderie as much as she does weight loss and toning—using partner drills to prompt campers to rely on one another—and even outside of class, patrons can run local races as part of the New Body team or tag-team wrestle the local mall Santa.
When Ray went to college, he followed in his father's footsteps and studied for a career that would have kept him at a desk all day. But Ray has always been active, and he realized he needed to find a career that would allow him to interact with people. Initially, he trained in physical therapy—but when he discovered athletic training, he knew he'd found his true calling. For more than 13 years, he's dedicated himself to helping people achieve their fitness goals. Now, as the fitness-programming director at Seek Fitness, Ray is passionate about helping members get results with an effective training system. But even as he and his trainers encourage clients to push themselves, they still aim to make classes fun and a little crazy.
Seek Fitness focuses on three types of classes. During Zumba, trainers pump up Latin music, '80s and '90s throwbacks, and current dance hits, then throw themselves into easy-to-follow choreography that gets everyone sweating together as they party away calories. The trainers change up boot-camp routines for each class; on any given day, students might be swinging kettlebells or using TRX suspension bands. Energy-packed Fusion classes are designed to keep students moving for a full 50 minutes, whether they're taking jabs at focus mitts, pummeling punching bags and piñatas, or going through kickboxing combinations. At the end of class, trainers want everyone to be tired and sweaty but liberated from stress and proud of their workout.
Sandy Mannella of Bodyshaping by Sandy oversees a posse of fitness instructors and muscle architects who teach classes that can incorporate weights, floor work, cardio, and dance. Pilates Fusion tones cores without building up bulk, while a Zumba class incorporates Latin dance moves into its hour of instruction, much like an overzealous high-school Spanish teacher. Bodyshaping 20-20-20, which requires its charges bring a 1–3 lb. weight and a floor mat, offers equal amounts of cardio, resistance training, and floor work, and it’s a fun, safe workout alternative to racing up the sides of office buildings and grain silos. The one-hour classes meet at multiple times a week at various nearby locations.
In "Understanding CrossFit," founder Greg Glassman says CrossFit?s ?specialty is not specializing.? Flower City CrossFit's dedicated instructors certainly follow that philosophy, providing their members with a slew of constantly changing exercises that incorporate everything from bootcamp?style cardio and body-weight routines to Olympic lifting, climbing, throwing, and basic tumbling. Classes are held multiple times per day, and might feature the Workout of the Day, focus on athletes prepping for the CrossFit Games, or help children prepare to face another week of extreme recess. But exercisers will rarely see the same workout twice. In fact, some classes introduce completely new techniques, such as self-defense seminars, dodge-ball tournaments, or the occasional Barbells for Boobs event, which supports low-income and uninsured women in need of breast-cancer prevention screenings.
Nicole Damaris knows what it means to battle with weight. She started modeling as a child and struggled to keep her body slim through excessive diet and exercise plans. At the young age of 19, she began suffering from health problems, leading her to research healthier ways that she, along with others, could maintain a sleek frame. The result of her efforts is NDG Fit, a ladies-only fitness studio that pairs aerobic exercise and strength training with a fun, sexy atmosphere. With the motto "health is beauty," Nicole's well-trained staff helps students feel beautiful from the inside out by working to whittle their bodies into healthy shape—which isn't always a size 2.
In the open, sunny studio, groups of 4–15 ladies torch calories and build muscle while wearing 3- to 5-inch heels. During this 45-minute Stiletto Workout class, high-heeled students strut through exercises that leverage body weight to build core strength, increase balance, and build conditioning for business-casual Olympics. Other sexy fitness classes such as pole dancing and one-on-one personal-training sessions send exercisers hurtling through a full-body workout that leaves pulses tap-dancing.