At the Latin Dance Factory, Christian Franco Gutierrez teaches students rather than a set of rigid moves. A native of Peru, Gutierrez emphasizes the importance of personal flair when dancing?but he also emphasizes the importance of repetition. Instead of teaching entire routines to beginners, he builds their dance repertoires with simple drills, ensuring that his footloose charges master the basic steps of their chosen style.
The studio's dance styles run the gamut from salsa and merengue to cumbia and kizomba. The lesson formats are similarly eclectic. Students can hone their skills in hour-long group lessons, four-hour intensives, or private lessons. For a more social atmosphere, newly minted two-steppers can practice at "date nights," candlelit dance lessons with wine and cheese spreads.
In Body Evolution's recently renovated gym, rows of traditional cardio machines whir alongside an updated aerobics room and an indoor basketball court. To inaugurate their new square footage, the trainers kicked off a variety of classes, which include Zumba, boot camps, various forms of yoga, and cardio salsa. When not leading personal-training sessions or doling out nutrition advice, the staff keeps the doors unlocked 24 hours a day for all-night access to the circuit- and strength-training equipment. Ramping up results, the staff plugs patrons into a machine-assisted metabolism test that helps make nutritional recommendations such as, "Stop trying to eat this machine." To get families fit together, the gym's Kidz Zone incorporates play and health into programs such as the Wii Fit workout.