The instructors and staff members at Peninsula School of Performing Arts all share a common goal: teaching students the art of dance. Children and adults alike flock to their studio, eager to learn dance styles ranging from classical ballet to tap, jazz, and hip-hop steps. More advanced dancers can even find placement––not to mention another creative outlet––on one of the school's dance companies.
For more than three decades, locally owned Spectrum Athletic Clubs have aimed to create a resort-like experience for patrons with upscale perks and personalized care. After workouts, gym-goers can avail themselves of unlimited towel service and change in comfortable locker rooms. Other amenities include saunas, steam rooms, healthy cafes, specialized workout areas, and complimentary Internet access.
In addition, racquetball courts let athletes improve their game independently, and patrons can sweat solo on cardiovascular equipment with individual viewing screens. Group classes, more than 1,200 of which are held daily, include Zumba, Pilates, Body Combat, and CXWorx sessions and enable trainees to draw motivation from each other or from each exercise studio's complimentary tank of moxie. The Spectrum Kids Club gives kids a place to play while adults work out and hosts such events as pool parties and pizza parties throughout the year.
As a working actress, Judie Aronson was always working out. She moved from one workout modality to the next, but it wasn?t until the fitness devotee came across a fusion of Pilates, cardio, and strength training that she knew she?d found an exercise formula that wasn?t only effective, but engrossing. Wishing to share her discovery with the community without investing in a 20-ton megaphone, Aronson opened her RockIt Body Pilates studio, which garnered a plethora of enthusiastic press, including the accolade of Best Workout Trend and Best Personal Training 2011 from Southbay magazine. She and her team of trainers introduce clients to dynamic, challenging, and fun workout sessions that target a variety of muscles using specialized Pilates equipment.
RockIt Body's two locations, in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, have become successful enough to garner commercial attention from a television camera. Aronson's many clients have included Bill Engvall, who used the studio when preparing for Dancing With the Stars, and Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Soni, who is now a trainer at RockIt Body Pilates.
At the end of a fruitful career that led her from the Cincinnati Ballet to the Sacramento Ballet, Jennifer Williams funneled her dance savvy into creating the barre-inspired exercise system taught at Pop Physique, a 2013 CityVoter finalist for Best Gym. Her fleet of handpicked and personally trained instructors pairs graceful ballet moves with other low-impact exercises in order to chisel cores without injuring muscles. Deep stretches further preserve tendons and leave each student more relaxed than a tortoise moseying past a state patrolman with a radar gun. Sessions run multiple times a day, seven days a week at an expanding network of SoCal locations. The roomy studios are lined with sprung dance floors and design accents that lend each location a distinct personality and a chance to forget its past as a storage room for defective food processors.
Center for Health and Fitness's facility spans 17,000 square feet and harbors everything members need to embrace wellness. The cardio space beckons exercisers with Matrix treadmills, stationary bikes, and stair climbers, as well as arm-cranks and seated NuStep elliptical trainers, which go easy on joints and aid in injury rehabilitation. A complete kettlebell set stands out among the abundant strength training equipment, which also includes Hammer Strength machines, free weights, and a squat cage. Functional training equipment is also available, including foam rollers, medicine balls, and Thera-Bands for building giant rubber-band balls.
Each of the center's personal trainers and medical exercise specialists boasts a health-related college degree, as well as certifications from the ACSM and other organizations. They teach group exercise to cultivate fitness camaraderie—classes such as belly dance, body sculpt, and cycling are included in basic memberships, and unlimited memberships open up a wide variety of Pilates and yoga sessions on the studio's wooden floors. Instructors also lead classes that focus on meditation, weight management, and nutrition.
To reward bodies after a workout or for not spontaneously combusting, massage therapists infuse Swedish kneading with techniques including shiatsu, deep tissue, and reiki. Staffers replenish stacks of freshly laundered towels so members can wick away sweat or towel off after using the locker rooms' showers, stocked with shampoo and conditioner.
Studio Pulse, a Mad Dogg?licensed studio with 30 Spinner NXT bikes, specializes in hybrid cycling classes that gun for a full-body burn. Up to 30 exercisers climb aboard stationary bikes for 50-minute spin sessions, which keep legs churning and toast calories with interval training. SpinSculpt blends 30 minutes of cardio with 30 minutes of strength drills, and SpinStretch unfurls limbs into balance-boosting poses after cycling. Torsos clench throughout SpinCore's medley of tummy-conditioning moves that tighten abs both on and off the bikes. As adults pedal in the spin studio, youngsters can flex into fun moves in an adjacent room, practicing stances that mirror trees, animals, and their favorite pasta noodle.