Josefina Garcia and Lisa Martinez have been studying dance since they were each 5 years old. Together, they started J and L Dance Center in 1992 to pass on their know-how and instill a strong sense of self-worth in each of their protégés. These days, they usher students to win awards and recognition at showcases and competitions throughout the country. Newbies of all ages train under these masters and a crew of skilled instructors who specialize in a range of genres including ballet, tap, hip-hop, flamenco, and jazz styles. Wood-sprung floors in all three dance rooms cushion the fall of toes and feet in flight, and wall-to-wall mirrors throughout the space enable students to dance-battle their reflections.
La Femme Fitness & Dance was created by women as a flirty alternative to monotonous fitness regimes, helping their fellow ladies unleash their inner vixens while whipping them into shape. The studio’s supportive instructors conquer inhibitions and liberate muscles with workouts that unite pole dancing, sensual movement, and fitness techniques to strengthen both minds and bodies. Through classes including pole dancing, butt-shaping booty camp, and exotic-dance classes, they help women hone their self-confidence and sculpt fitter frames in all the right places—upper bodies, waists, and thighs—without losing their curves. The instructors disguise elements of yoga, Pilates, and resistance training within their sultry dance routines, which are inspired by techniques from ballet, belly dancing, and the re-shelving motion of librarians.
In addition to flirty fitness classes, the instructors host pole-dancing parties, livening up bachelorette parties and girls night out. They encourage partygoers to don stilettos, costumes, and props as they slink around poles and light fires of desire with exotic dance moves. In addition to flirty fitness classes, the instructors host pole-dancing parties, livening up bachelorette parties and girls night out. They encourage partygoers to don stilettos, costumes, and props as they slink around poles and light fires of desire with exotic dance moves.
East Coast Fitness’s 20,000 square feet house separate rooms for martial arts, spinning, group workouts, massages, and general exercise. On the main floor, strength-training machines, cardio machines, and free weights occupy separate areas, with additional room sectioned off for stability ball exercise and a herd of eight punching bags. Certified trainers and instructors also lead more than 15 classes that range from spinning and Pilates to yoga, kickboxing, agility training, and Zumba. In the lobby, a juice bar refreshes hungry athletes and a separate room offers free childcare.
The bold red and black hues of CKO-Edgewater's fitness facility inspire intensity in exercisers pummel hanging heavy bags with kicks and punches. In each class, students burn calories and tone physiques under the tutelage of an enthusiastic instructor and their sidekick, an actual side kick. Or, students can work with staff one-on-one in 30-, 45-, or 60-minute personal training sessions that can incorporate weight training as well as kickboxing techniques.
The early morning sun cascades off the Hudson River, sending beams of dawn dancing across the wooden dock where students flow through Vinyasa-style poses in tandem with the rhythmic sound of waves. Against this scenic backdrop accented by the silhouettes of distant skyscrapers, certified instructors demonstrate postures as the class makes its way through the tapestry of asanas. This is how most mornings begin at Casa Vinyasa Yoga, setting the tone of calm and serenity that carries throughout the day. The studio, which boasts panoramic views of New York City in the colder months and dock-top classes in the spring and summer, houses a collection of passionate instructors who collectively put their 200–500 hours of training to use leading classes for students of all fitness levels. Each of these teachers found yoga in their own way, some turning to it in the midst of a lonely marriage, others using it to find sanctuary from unfulfilling corporate jobs or lackluster games of Twister. They channel their distinctive passion for the practice in each of invigorating classes, which range from yoga fundamentals to more rigorous sessions such as Forrest Yoga that aims to build core strength.
CrossFit Giant, in its fully equipped studio, challenges guests with high-energy workouts that change daily. The CrossFit technique, used by military special ops and police academies, is scaled by intensity and load. This allows the staff to accommodate students of all fitness levels, challenging the whole body with jump roping, squats, and sprints, the three of which should never be combined into one simultaneous maneuver.