Najia has inspired audiences with her sensual Middle Eastern dance in Egypt and Jordan, as well as in restaurants, nightclubs, and Pearl Jam?s preshow. Building her diverse dancing resum?, she pilgrimages to the Middle East for two or three months each year to continue researching dances, garner inspiration for her Philadelphia Bellydance company, and make her passport more colorful. She calls upon all of her twirling know-how to lead series of four weekly classes, in which students learn to shimmy, hip drop, and send veils fluttering through the air or weave together basic moves for complex choreography. On the fifth week after class sessions, students meet for a confidence-inspiring Goddess Night that awakens inner beauty through dance workshops, vegan treats, and performances as guests mingle bedecked in veils, gems, and outer adornment.
The crew at Sangha Space connect students to each other and the community through the art of movement. As the instructors lead classes, lively rhythms, bluesy swing tunes, and the names of ancient yoga poses echo throughout the spacious dance hall, bouncing off the exposed beams on the vaulted ceilings and ricocheting into a welcoming fireplace. Visitors peering over the second-story balcony may spy Lori Coyle and her partner demonstrating the passionate steps of the Argentine tango. Sangha's dance workshops and classes don?t require a partner, and regular social events let students practice new moves, make new friends, and wear down the dangerously sharp point of their new dancing heels. In addition to other dance and cultural classes led by visiting teachers, yoga instructors Pamela and Emily stop by several times a week to conduct yoga sessions focused on proper movement and form for beginner or advanced practitioners.
Starting in 1998 in the Philadelphia suburbs, the women behind Art of Exotic Dancing have strutted and hip-rolled their way to the forefront of a surge of interest in fun, sensual movement. Dedicated to fostering a comfortable space where all participants feel safe, the certified instructors proffer encouragement and reassurance as they teach dances that emphasize self-expression, personal power, and natural movement. Women learn to dance to a full song during the 90-minute CoreMoves class, while the Signature Workshop fortifies confidence via flirtatious techniques such as sensual walking and slow-motion winking.
Certified acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner Adriane Dourte wields drug-free techniques to vanquish pain and alleviate a range of health complaints. A Philadelphia native, Adriane received her masters in TCM before deepening her knowledge through an externship at Zhejiang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Hangzhou, China. There, she received hands-on training with doctors at TCM hospitals, as well as lectures from top professionals in the field.
Adriane's treatments employ TCM techniques from acupuncture with sterile, disposable needles to moxibustion, during which a carefully selected blend of herbs burns on or close to the skin. Using knowledge of each patient's medical history, she can customize sessions to address a range of conditions as diabetes, anxiety, or neck pain from watching out for falling asteroids.
Long before she founded The Pilates Connexion, Jeanna Vanni fell in love with Pilates through her practice as a strength and conditioning specialist. The women who would one day compose her staff, meanwhile, developed a passion for the fitness medium through dance and injury rehabilitation. Their different experiences speak not only to the wide-ranging applications of Pilates, but also to the eclectic backgrounds that feed into their teaching styles in the studio.
At The Pilates Connexion, they work with clients to personalize each program,, building core strength and long, lean muscles. This occurs in group Pilates mat classes, where students use their own body weight as resistance, or sessions on the reformer and low chair, where they work against the power of springs. Private classes use Pilates to help with injury rehabilitation, pre- and post-natal fitness, athletic conditioning, and any number of other goals.
Southern Chester County Adventure Boot Camp is captained by Phil Nicolaou—a certified trainer with a PhD in fitness training and more than 10 years of experience under his belt. Phil leads classes at parks and outdoor locations across town, guiding students of all athletic abilities through challenging routines designed to slim physiques and tone muscles. Phil varies the workouts each session, shifting from kickboxing and jumping rope on one day to obstacle courses and sports drills the next. He also provides his students with nutritional counseling, as well as pre- and post-camp physical assessments.