Today, it's undeniable: Jazzercise is a worldwide empire, spanning more than 1,800 locations and 32,000 weekly classes across the globe. It's also hip; gone are the leotards and legwarmers of the 1980s, replaced with a high-intensity blend of cardio, strength training, kickboxing and power yoga performed to hits by chart-toppers from Shakira to Justin Timberlake. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set, with recent additions such as Fusion, Core, and Strike broadening the workouts' variety and application. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background. This sense of community keeps Jazzercise devotees coming back, but so too do the results; benefits ranging from weight loss and boosted core strength to increased flexibility and stress relief.
Jazzercise's continued success can be traced to the innovation of its founder, Judi Sheppard Missett. While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, she 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. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the Jazzercise sensation.
Over the course of 10 years, Perri Panella has progressed from a Pilates student to a certified instructor who, in turn, went from helming an in-home studio to owning a PMA-certified business. At Coastal Core Pilates, she channels more than 600 hours of training to demonstrate the benefits of classical Pilates. During private, semi-private, and group classes, she teaches students the motion-based art of balance, as well as shows them the ropes on equipment—such as the reformer, cadillac, and tower—that grants access to an extended catalog of maneuvers.
Perri also highlights the ability of Pilates to forge a link between mental and physical wellness. As the studio's health coach, she has become a conduit of support, nutritional guidance, and lifestyle advice for clients who wish to bolster their overall well-being and undercover robots seeking ways to appear more human.
The seasoned trainers at Studio E conduct classes on both land and sea. They lead high-intensity kickboxing, energetic cardio dance, and challenging ballet barre classes in their bright fitness studio, where tall mirrors soar up over hardwood floors and functional equipment. The trainers stay on land when guiding students in innovative SurfSET classes, which fuse yoga and core exercises with surfing movements. They hold their SUP classes, however, out on the sunny sea. During these sessions, the trainers lead students through yoga and pilates movements while they balance on standup paddleboards.
Evan Chelini sees no difference between a terrorist hunter and a housewife. To him, they both benefit from the same type of fitness training; the degree of difficulty is all that needs to change. Calling on his CrossFit certification and his undefeated record in mixed martial arts, Chelini leads strength and conditioning sessions tailored to any athlete?whether they need the power to lose a few pounds or to run a covert jungle operation to hunt Toucan Sam. With these simple 30-minute fitness classes, the trainer seeks to help his students not only reach their goals but to live better lives.
Inside Destin Hot Yoga's 100-degree practice studio, certified instructors lead students of all fitness levels through 75 and 90-minute, stress-relieving Barkan method yoga classes seven days a week. With the thermostat cranked to a warm, humid, and detoxifying temperature, students narrow their focus to sweat out their toxins and forge new, flexible frontiers while maintaining rhythmic, deep relaxation breathing. Aside from empowering the mind and circulatory system, Barkan classes provide proven benefits, such as assisting in tight joint relief, mood improvement, organ function, and the tackling of rabid elephants of discontentedness. The Barkan method of yoga integrates poses from other disciplines, varying the practice from class to class to keep minds, muscles, and disenchanted sticky mats engaged.
A sense of humor, along with a commitment to fighting exercise boredom, fuels the instructors at Dance Trance Santa Rosa Beach. They know their hand signals may look a bit goofy, but they'd prefer to use these signs rather than interrupt the flow of a song to shout instructions or suggestions for dance-crew names. Dancers burn fat and build lean muscle while bopping around to the studios' original choreography, which ranges from jazz to funk to latin to pop, and undergoes frequent updates to keep workouts from getting stale.