Whenever Amber Roberge was feeling stressed, sad, or lonely, she would slip into her dancing shoes and head to Zumba class. Once the lively latin rhythms began to play and Amber began to dance, she would forget her troubles and feel her energy soar. Hoping to spread Zumba’s grin-inducing effects with her community, Amber went on to spearhead a Zumba studio of her own—On The Move Fitness & Wellness.
Amid the bright-colored walls of the warm space, Amber and her team of fellow licensed instructors lead students through energetic Zumba workouts. Lively latin and international gospel music fills the air as the group tackles various steps, spins, and body-sculpting exercises. When describing the classes to reporters from South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Sentry, Amber explained, “It is not about getting the moves down perfectly. I only have two rules for my classes. One: keep moving; and two: have fun!” Amber and her instructors welcome students of all ages and experience levels, even offering specialty classes for seniors and kids. Dedicated to fostering healthy habits beyond the classroom, the staff stocks the studio with nutritional products and hosts wellness workshops to discourage unhealthy habits, such as eating processed foods or insisting that your goldfish is your only friend.
Intensity Fitness Dance Studio’s owner Vickkie Parent turned to Zumba after the tediousness of regular gym workouts started to bore her. At her studio, she helps her students avoid these types of plateaus with classes—such as dance-inspired Zumba, cardio kickboxing, and jump-rope-infused cardio—that mask a workout behind a fun activity. All of the classes that she and her fellow instructors teach can be modified to challenge veterans or ease first-timers into exercise.
The hip-hop and international beats that bounce off the walls inside Kraze Fitness also help guide students’ arms and legs through Zumba steps, turns, and jumps. Each of the five Zumba instructors has their own teaching style – some teach hip-hop or traditional moves at a fast pace while others teach class in the dark. They also ensure participants break a sweat during turbo kickboxing classes at the studio.
The bright, modern ABSolutely Fit Center facility is staffed by a team of certified fitness professionals who keep themselves busy throughout the day by leading personal-training sessions and aerobics classes. The staff’s expert coaches oversee boxing and kickboxing-infused workouts, whereas its seasoned dance instructors guide students through forms and techniques in Latin, ballroom, and swing dancing classes. When they aren’t conducting classes, staffers stand by to offer clients assistance with the gym’s extensive selection of advanced exercise equipment, including free weights, rowing machines, and ellipticals.
Wonder Mountain Family Fun Park sternly rebuffs boredom with two mini-golf courses and a challenging human maze. Adventurers can negotiate the twisting turns, dead ends, and elevated checkpoints of the Treasure Trap ($5/person for ages 5+) in less than 10 minutes to enter weekly drawings for cash and T-shirts or to outrun overzealous Pac-Men. Alternatively, opt for a round of mini golf ($10/adult; $8/senior or child ages 5–12) on one of two courses strewn with lush foliage, flowing waterfalls, and muttering streams. Send dimpled balls spinning across the Mountain Mania course, recently rebuilt with five new hole layouts, or test your mettle on the Nautical Nightmare course, whose challenging holes may be better suited for teens and adults than youngsters or those who depend on holes-in-one for life force.
The teachers at Nataraja School of Yoga certainly acknowledge and harp on the importance of alignment, posture, and breath. But, to them, the ability to reconnect the mind and body is yoga’s most powerful tool. All of the instructors have passed Iyengar-influenced training in both poses and philosophy, though they lead such class styles as beginner yoga, Very Gentle yoga for seniors, and advanced practice for descendants of the Gumby family. The studio also hosts Zumba classes, a faster-paced dance-cardio workout that sometimes includes weighted sticks for added toning.