Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
Whether he’s practicing chiropractic or conducting health lectures, Dr. Josh McMillon never loses sight of his ultimate goal: to guide his patients toward a renewed sense of “hope and vitality.” This lofty mission, which Dr. McMillon shares with his staff at Proactive Health & Wellness, serves as the philosophical foundation of his chiropractic program. His knowledge of human anatomy and mastery of technology-assisted therapies such as portable ultrasound and the Graston Technique allow him to measure nervous-system functions and break down fascial restrictions to ensure optimal health.
These chiropractic services represent only one aspect of the center’s program for holistic health. Massage therapy soothes tension and coaxes toxins out of muscles, potentially fending off disease. Similarly, yoga classes relax the mind and body with poses that improve one’s abilities to breathe deeply and slither through drain pipes. Proactive Health & Wellness maintains a commitment to the community that extends beyond its flagship trifecta of therapies; the center’s outreach programs include free health lectures and quarterly food and clothing drives.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
Crossfit Winston Salem's owners, Kevin and Renee Boyles, both of whom are Level 1 CrossFit–certified trainers, lead a diverse team of certified instructors who motivate trainees to reshape their fitness regimens and lives through the CrossFit program. Drawing from impressive collective experience—including Olympic weightlifting, soccer, and gymnastics—they develop varied routines that target endurance, strength, balance, flexibility, speed, and coordination. Their anaerobic exercises marry with aerobic workouts—body-sculpting and mind-sharpening Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics alternate with functional movements such as squats, dead lifts, and changing the tires on a monster truck. Helmed by these supportive instructors, each CrossFit training session, personal-training session, and CrossFit Kids class pushes muscles through intense workouts while maximizing the release of hormones to the brain and adrenaline into the circulatory system. The dedicated trainers also help their clients develop successful dieting strategies to overhaul unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Erica Dixon recognizes that not everyone is a professional dancer, including herself. During her Zumba classes, she motivates students to break a sweat with aerobic choreography that dancers of all levels can catch on to quickly, leaving the pro moves to the tiny ballerinas trapped in jewelry boxes. In addition to Latin styles such as salsa, merengue, and samba, she infuses routines with moves from some of her favorite styles, including hip-hop, African dance, and belly dance.
Erica's passion for helping others get a handle on their health is inspired by her own life. Though she'd always been active, when she started working near a fast-food restaurant before her senior year of high school, she packed on 25 pounds. Despite knowing that if she didn't get fit she was at risk for developing type 2 diabetes?like her father did?she continued to gain weight until she saw him injecting insulin into his stomach. Terrified by the thought of having to use needles, she became dedicated to new habits: eating fruits and vegetables, walking laps around the track, and counting calories. She left college 10 sizes smaller than when she enrolled.
To continue pursuing fitness, Erica convinced a local gym manager to give her a membership in exchange for cleaning treadmills for three hours a week. She reveled in the fit-centric atmosphere and realized she wanted to make helping others get into shape her career, so she signed up to be a Military Recreation intern in Sicily. When she returned home, she earned six gold medals at the USA Jump Rope Nationals and helmed her own fitness center for two years. She's now the proud owner of e-Fit4Life, LLC, where she inspires students to shimmy off pounds in her five weekly Zumba classes. She also serves as a Zumba choreography specialist, traveling as far as Hawaii to train instructors and teach both Zumba and Afro-Caribbean master classes.
Heather Rossio thinks confidence is sexy. That’s why she founded Studio X Pole Fitness—to help women to feel comfortable in their own skin. Here, experienced instructors show students of all levels how to move their bodies with power and grace. Intro to Pole sessions acquaint first-time twirlers with metallic dance partners through basic stretches, grips, and noninvasive icebreakers. Students can then move on to Beginners Pole courses that teach simple spins and transitions, as well as strength training and calorie-torching floor work. The staff recommends that attendees take at least two basic courses before graduating to Intermediate Pole's lessons on climbing the pole, sitting on the pole, and prepping for upside-down inversions. Advanced Pole classes—at the top tier of the pole pantheon—ready tricks, inversions, and spins for gravity-defying routines or actual moonwalks. Additional classes include Chair X-Fit, which tightens the core, hips, and thighs in 50-minutes sessions, and cardio-packed, dance-heavy Zumba classes. To glide and shimmy effortlessly and comfortably, guests are encouraged to don form-fitting shorts and tank tops.