Vanessa Valentin knew her own health and happiness increased through practicing dance and fitness, and she wanted to help other people feel the same way. She opened RhythmX to make it happen, a fitness and dance studio focused on Latin and hip-hop grooves.
Here, Vanessa and 10 other instructors conduct three types of Zumba classes, including Zumba, Zumba Toning, and Zumba Sentao, along with Latin hip-hop sessions. Unlike most hip-hop classes, which teach students a set routine, their sessions work to arm students with a core set of moves, helping them feel more comfortable on the dance floor.
For trainer Katherine Castillo, nobody said fitness couldn’t be fun. She exemplifies this philosophy during her signature Zumba classes, motivating students of all skills and sizes to shimmy, twist, and twirl themselves through invigorating, Latin-flavored beats. Although physically challenging, her classes are easy to learn; students watch her and do what she’s doing. If someone misses a beat or falls behind, it’s OK. As long as they keep a stream of constant motion, calories will continue to fall from the body and collect on the floor in stacks of Twizzlers.
Fusion Fitness founder Ealiane Joseph isn't looking to be tough on her clients. She views fitness as a means to pursuing a happier, healthier lifestyle, so she approaches each person from a supportive, encouraging frame of mind. She believes strongly in mixing it up, so as to avoid the boredom that comes with too regular of a routine. In that spirit, her gym's offerings include everything from 5K races to personal training sessions and group classes, including aerobics and boot camps.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
When the instructors at JB Studios Dance and Fitness turn up the music, their welcoming space transforms into a full-on party. Black lights wash students in a cosmic glow as they twist, turn, and sweat to contemporary and Latin beats, taking their cues from the clearly visible instructor on the elevated platform.
This energetic scene is inspired by the studio’s head instructor, Jhon
Benavides. Drawing on more than 20 years of Latin dance experience, he stirs Latin-flavored moves from salsa, samba, and merengue into rigorous Zumba fitness classes. Each hour-long Zumba session can burn up to 1,000 calories—twice as much as one hour spent saying “Zumba” over and over again. Jhon’s team of certified dance and fitness teachers also share their expertise during boot camps, kickboxing sessions, belly dance lessons, and power yoga classes.