The studio fills with the pitter-patter of little feet; only those feet are pitter-pattering with grace and rhythm. At B*Dazzled Dancers, enthusiastic instructors guide students aged 3 and older through dance classes that build coordination and fitness. Classes run the gamut from jazz and tap to tumbling, hip-hop, and ballet. Adults can also take many of these classes, as well as fitness dance classes that boost athletic ability and endurance.
Through the towering windows of In the Groove Studios, pedestrians catch glimpses of bodies swaying, stomping, and somersaulting across a spacious wooden dance floor. The downtown Oakland studio, founded by four Bay Area hip-hop artists who share a passion for dance, booms with thumping bass that energizes dance classes throughout the week. Pieces from local artists speckle the walls of their two-story pop-and-lock academy, where professional instructors—including the former artistic director for Culture Shock Oakland and the founder of Groove against the Machine—lead students of all experience levels in styles such as hip-hop, jazz funk, and contemporary. Other days, they conduct fitness-focused Zumba classes and weekly specialty workshops. In the Groove's two spacious dance floors are equipped with stereo sound systems and full-length mirrors, making the space ideal for hosting private functions or revealing to your roommate that you've shaved off his eyebrows before apologizing with a karaoke rendition of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”
The trainers at Underground Fitness II inspire their guests to conquer their fitness goals—big or small—through high-energy group workouts in an encouraging atmosphere backed by heart-pumping beats. They also integrate plyometrics, which typically focus on non-weight workouts such as box jumps and squat jumps. During Zumba and U-Jam classes, the instructors transform the studio into a club scene, as patrons bust a move powered by pulsing Latin or hip-hop tunes.
To help patrons recover from vigorous workouts, a team licensed physical therapists stand at the ready to massage muscles, making more relaxed than a sloth tubing down a tryptophan river.
Whether contorting their muscular limbs around unforgiving poles or manipulating their bodies around fabric in midair, the studio's team of talented instructors demonstrates that pole dancing is no longer just for flirty firefighters and penguins. Within the mirrored practice space accented by splashes of lavender, patrons of all fitness levels learn impressive vertical tricks and choreography designed to build strength and flexibility. Colorful suspended silks allow students to reach new fitness heights both literally and metaphorically during aerial classes. Expanding its reach to the mind along with the body, Phoenix Aerial Art and Pole offers a slew of martial-arts classes, such as qi gong, xing yi, and yi chuan.