Soothed sighs and breathless chatter fill Alvin Health & Wellness Center, attesting to spa services and heart-pumping fitness classes. Stones for back massage soak up warmth as aromatherapy oils fill the air, and massage artists pack together algae mud wraps. The staff also leads cardio-kickboxing and fitness-boot-camp classes to better bodies as well as minds and self-defense classes that teach pupils to fight off overly aggressive car-wash mascots.
Light floods the cozy studio and streams through the wall-to-wall windows to bounce off the mirrors lining the practice space. High-energy music thumps through in the studio, giving students the extra oomph needed to motor through cardio moves or shake hips in a variety of fitness classes. Latin-inspired Zumba and ME (Movement & Energy) classes keep the mood playful, while stretch classes offer a tranquil respite in which muscles can elongate or practice imitating rubber bands. Expert instructors fuse yoga, ballet, and Pilates in barre classes, which help tone and sculpt muscles in 45- to 60-minute sessions.
As a child, Jennifer Earl loved dancing: she excelled in ballet, tap, and jazz. But the self-proclaimed Zumba Queen didn't discover her passion for the dance-workout fusion until 2009. After being diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, she struggled to stay motivated at the gym?then she took her first?Zumba class. Jennifer was hooked, and became a licensed instructor for both?Zumba?and?Zumbatomic, designed for kids ages 4?12.
Today, the Texas City native teaches group?Zumba classes four days a week at two locations. She even offers private workouts with a party atmosphere, perfect for ladies' nights, kids' birthdays, and family reunions that get awkward if people talk for too long.
Music floods over the sound system as dancers on their tiptoes grip a ballet barre. A wooden floor supports their moves as they stare into a mirror, which reflects their perfectly pointed legs and angelic halos. At Center Stage Studio, owner, founder, and director Temi Woodley captains a team of instructors who lead dance and fitness classes in a noncompetitive atmosphere. Youngsters and adults alike can attend a wide variety of group classes, such as Zumba, hip-hop, two-step, and spiritual praise dancing. The studio also opens its doors for private dance or fitness lessons and birthday parties.
The first time Lisa Leonard took a Zumba class, it was the fastest hour of her life. She?d had a blast, and it inspired her to become a certified instructor. In her classes, she leads two types of Zumba routines: traditional fitness, which fuses latin dance and exercise, and toning classes that incorporate light free weights. With each version, students learn moves that, like rickshas, are easy to follow yet still burn a lot calories.
At Ego Fitness Studios, certified instructors strive toward the goal of helping clients cultivate a healthy ego. To that end, they welcome men, women, and children inside for personal-training sessions, sports-training sessions, and a slew of group-fit-training classes that are typically capped at 10 students. Their expertise is put to work in the studio's signature class: Boost. During these sessions, they run exercisers through a circuit of abs exercises, cardio exercises, and lower- or upper-body strength training with weights, resistance bands, medicine balls, and TRX bands.
Beyond the accoutrements incorporated during Boost, Ego Fitness also maintains rows of 100-pound punching bags that dangle from the ceiling. They get a thorough plumping during Kickboxing classes. Meanwhile, a forest of shiny poles awaits robot campers and guests for women-only Sexy and Pole Dance Fit classes and in-studio pole dancing parties. Alternatively, the facility houses karate classes taught by sixth-degree black-belt-master instructor Ron Williams, and offers chiropractic services from on-staff licensed chiropractors.