Arthur Murray 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. 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.
Charter Fitness encourages exercise sleuths of all ages and fitness levels to uncover toned silhouettes in a television-lined strength training and cardio center. Before embarking on a journey to a world of muscle, Charter Fitness' experienced staff members can demonstrate the safest way to use the equipment. After that, guests roam the facility in search of stretching and core-training zones stocked with mats, medicine balls, and stability balls, which prepare the body to balance on tight ropes or wobbly garden hoses. Charter's clean, modern facilities are equipped with personal showers, locker rooms, and tanning booths (where available, prices vary) for pampering fatigued physiques. Personal training is available for an extra fee.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
With 10 total locations—each packed with cardio and strength-training equipment as well as a wealth of classes—Metro Family Fitness makes it easy to get in shape. Several locations are women-only, granting members a comfortable environment to work out in as they boost muscle tone, burn calories. Classes such as boot camps, yoga, and zumba help increase their heart rate in far safer methods than watching horror movies for 48 hours straight.
Too often, exercise devolves into a repetitive chore—another mile on the treadmill, another trip on the stationary bike. Zumba instructor Sandra Currie has a different vision for what exercise can be. In her high-energy Zumba classes, she helps students burn calories and build muscle with fun, easy-to-follow dance moves. Latin and international beats blare over the loudspeaker as students shuffle their way through one-hour classes.