Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
At RBF Fitness and Nutrition, sweat and stamina are the price of admission for shaping a stronger and healthier body. Kickboxing classes tone muscles and jump-start metabolism, and Elite boot-camp classes include variable workouts such as box jumps, climbing ropes, and working with oversize tractor tires. Trainers also operate Bridal Fit boot camps to prep ladies for their big day, so they can slip into that perfect dress before they ceremoniously deadlift their new spouse.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
Fitness trainer Paul Dexter knows that actions speak louder than words. That’s why the former Bally’s Total Fitness director became nationally ranked as a natural bodybuilder, proving he had the goods to transform his body and the bodies of others. To give his clients a more personal experience, Paul left Bally’s and teamed up with his wife Laura to open Dexter Training Concepts.
Along with a team of certified trainers, Paul and Laura lead personal-training sessions that approach fitness using a three-pronged philosophy: strength training, cardio exercise, and nutrition. They put these fitness pillars into practice inside a 5,000-square-foot gym, which holds training sessions as well as yoga, Pilates, cardio-kickboxing, boot-camp, and aerobics classes. Free weights and machines occupy most of the gym floor, a juice bar fuels athletes in between sessions, and an onsite licensed massage therapist soothes aching muscles with practiced strokes and whispered sweet nothings.
Equipment: Blocks, bolsters, blankets, zabutons, straps, yoga mats for rent
Students should bring: Loose, comfortable clothing, yoga mat, water bottle if you want
Average class length: 75-90 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Free parking on-site
Rhode Island Fitness's Johnston location holds fitness classes throughout the week to ensure members can commit to their routine no matter how hectic their schedule. Participants of all fitness levels work through a series of movements under the watchful, encouraging eye of their expert instructors. Inside the massive, open studio, exercisers can tackle an indoor obstacle course, monkey bars, rock wall, climbing rope and cargo net. In addition to adult classes, kids can also learn fitness basics alongside peers as their instructors focus on instilling discipline and concentration while giving kids a outlet for their energy. The studio is used as a training site for 5Ks and other races as well as police and firemen academies.