Why is the studio's schedule so packed with fitness-tinted dance classes? "Because sweating is fun," explains its slogan. Between yellow-green walls, professional dancers teach kids and adults how to cut rugs and stay fit at the same time. Classes like Zumba, Pilates-infused burlesque, and hip-hop dance classes let on-staff choreographers showcase skills they also employ for special events—customers commission them to polish their wedding and quinceañera dances.
Mary Bastos and Fanny Gonzalez want exercise to be fun. That's why they lead high-energy Zumba classes at Corazon Latino Dance Studio, the business they founded together after meeting in 2009. By setting easy-to-follow dance steps to infectious Latin rhythms, the duo helps participants burn calories and tone muscles while having fun and staying motivated. Bastos and Gonzalez also offer up personal training sessions along with nutritional guidance, both of which assist guests in reaching goals such as increased endurance and weight loss.
Balance Dance Studios owner Kathy Dupuy understands the importance of balance—it’s a necessity for a mother of four who is also the owner of several businesses and member of area boards. So when beginning her studio, the longtime dancer wanted to create a space where students of all ages could connect their bodies, souls, and minds in order to center themselves in the face of everyday distractions such as work-related stress or malfunctioning jazz hands. Dupuy, her partner Kristin Nicolaisen, and their expert staff begin each class period with a moment of gratitude and recite an inspirational reading each week that helps adults focus during and after dance class and teaches children about the importance of teamwork.
Named for Charles Lindbergh's feat of leaping across the Atlantic with a plane strapped to his back in 1927, the lindy hop shook the foundations of many an American dance hall in the 1920s and '30s. During those roaring decades, the dance blended unrestrained new forms of movement, including jazz, tap, breakaway, and the Charleston. The dance became synonymous with swing, requiring of its dancers athleticism, enthusiasm, and a bit of training. Today, in an era of popping and locking, or programming robotic shoes to dance for you, the instructors at The Lindy Project keep the art form fresh, imparting Austin's two-steppers with the skills and fitness to perform this slice of Americana.
They lead group classes twice a week for couples and solo artists, or expedite the process with private lessons taught by an instructor schooled in a wide range of styles, such as balboa and shag. The art's many influences leave room for individualization and improvisation in dance styles, with some instructors incorporating more lifts and twirls while others perform tap moves while wearing scuba flippers.
The trainers at Movin' It Studios strive to offer the variety of classes that might be found at a big gym, but in a more intimate atmosphere at their cozy south Austin studio. This smaller setting allows instructors to share tips on form and motivate members to pursue their goals, whether they want to get in better shape, lose weight, or collect sweat for a science experiment.
Since 2004, Todd Gibbs has grown his team of enthusiastic instructors from one to seven, and collectively they take a fun approach to fitness. The instructors incorporate motivating music into their Pilates, Barre and yoga classes. Their robust, seven-day schedule features morning through evening classes that they cater to students of all skill levels by demonstrating modifications that make the exercises less or more intense. Todd's classes in Pilates are designed to tone the entire body, placing emphasis on conditioning the core to help people protect their fragile chandelier centers.