The lively dance instructors at GoDiva Studio impart the rhythm to burn calories in a variety of sweat-manufacturing, 60-minute dance classes, which may incorporate dance poles, thumping hip hop beats, and entrancing Latin melodies. The GoSensual Flex class blends hot dance moves with serene yoga and Pilates techniques to improve balance and set chakras to conga; the GoOpen class for all skill levels hones the pole-dancing maneuvers of flirtatious flag-imitators. During Virgo's GoVixen class, stiletto-clad students boogie to the latest radio jams, and Eve guides the Latin footwork of the GoZumba class with agility and aplomb.
For members of LOA Fitness for Women, the word support means more than having a reliable spotter at your bench. It's a keystone of the women-only gym, where ladies of all fitness levels can exercise and socialize in the presence of a community-oriented staff. Formerly Ladies Workout Express, founder Rebecca Tainter established LOA Fitness for Women to provide a workout space that was both physically and emotionally empowering, and to that end, her instructors lead motivational group classes in Zumba, yoga, and general fitness away from men and bodybuilding kangaroos.
Personal trainers also meet with clients for one-on-one sessions, drawing from several disciplines—including Pilates and medicine-ball workouts—to craft highly customized routines. They even plan specialized pre- and post-natal regimens, as well as workouts for women who have recently undergone cosmetic surgery. For visitors with kids, an onsite childcare service entertains youngsters—a far safer alternative to letting them build barbell forts on the gym floor.
Veterans of the physical training profession, the five trainers at Spa Lady South Orange are dedicated to helping women achieve their weight and fitness goals through motivated lifestyle changes. In their bright, airy weight room and wood-floored class area, the trainers lead these clients through exercises tailored to sculpt each unique body or test the limits of each unique human-impersonating robot. Group classes emphasize exercise's communal appeal, with Zumba, Pilates, and kickboxing helping students burn calories in fun, high-energy settings. In addition to classes and training sessions, the gym also houses a few weight-loss shortcuts; heat body wraps help trim down stubbornly plump parts of the body with fat-melting warmth.
The fitness instructors at The Spa Next Door help clients achieve their self-improvement goals with varied courses that emphasize the value of cross-training. Gym members and drop-in guests improve stamina on stationary cycles, seek to shed pounds in boot-camp classes, and sweat to upbeat Latin music in Zumba sessions.
The dedicated instructors at Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey see capoeira as more than a blend of dance and martial arts—they see it as a way of life. They train children and adults of all ages in capoeira's graceful movements through classes, therapy sessions, and afterschool programs, many of the instructors drawing from extensive training in Brazil and an understanding of Brazilian folklore and culture. But their instruction doesn’t end at capoeira—many of the Cultural Center's coaches specialize in disciplines including yoga, Zumba, salsa, and West African dance. Though many of the instructors were born and raised in New Jersey, others hail from places such as Guinea and Senegal and infuse their culture into their teaching style. The instructors hold classes at least once a week and more frequently for students preparing to dance-battle chaperones for control of the prom.
For the past 25 years, Starseed Yoga & Wellness has provided a space for guests to get in shape and relieve anxiety through yoga and meditation. The staff understands that starting yoga can be overwhelming, so they offer more than 25 classes each week to suit students with different levels of experience or rebellious students who refuse to salute the sun. Students can participate in vigorous Vinyasa sessions or gentle restorative yoga, or head to mind-body workshops held at different times throughout the year.
Speed Weight Training Fitness Center's Michael Johnson and Paul Davis’s resumes are just as impressive as their muscles. They certainly didn’t come by their chiseled physiques over night: Johnson put in 33 years of Army service—as an Army drill sergeant and front-line soldier—and boasts a quarter century of law enforcement experience, and Davis is a decorated police deputy chief and champion bodybuilder. Drawing from their fitness-heavy backgrounds, they developed their Speed Weight Training technique in 2001, motivating students to simultaneously burn fat while building muscle through a fast-paced workout regimen.
During high-intensity boot camps for adults, Sgt. Major Johnson pushes students toward fitness and reduced waistlines with positive encouragement, never intimidating them with threats of latrine duty. The trainers work with the needs and goals of each client during personal-training sessions, measuring their potential through body-fat, endurance, and strength tests, whose results they use to draft a nutrition and exercise regimen.