Many performers are already triple threats—experts in acting, singing, and dancing—but Emma Ridley decided to add one more line to her repertoire: fitness. At her alternative health studio, Goddess Fitness Dance, Emma and her instructors eschew the monotonous exercise regimens and carnivorous treadmills of traditional gyms, instead focusing on fun, flirty exercises such as sultry pole-dancing routines and belly-dancing classes—all infused with Emma’s passion for entertainment.
Though all the workouts still subscribe to the concept of repetitions in order to burn fat, Goddess Fitness Dance infuses each workout with an added element of fun. Studio classes teach specific moves that, with practice, can lend grace and allure to students’ dance routines, and the driving force behind every drill is always laughter, not grunts. "You don't need to be a pro to see the results," Emma remarks. "As long as you're moving, you're doing it right!"
Time 4 Class’s owner, Sandra Rieback, began dancing at age 7, but her career was cut short due to a debilitating back injury. Unable to keep away from the studio, she took matters into her own hands and got certified to teach fitness classes and work as a personal trainer. Shortly thereafter, Sandra opened her own studio, and she was once again immersed in the electrifying energy of group classes. Now, along with a team of instructors, Sandra leads classes for adults that range from cardio Zumba classes and yoga to boxing, boot camps, personal training, and nutrition counseling. Unlike those fitness classes that meet inside R-rated movies, kids can also join the fun with classes such as ballet, kids Zumba, and musical theater.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with an instructor as the teachers assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.