When Teresa Colon walked into her first pole-dancing class, she was nervous, anxious, and a little heartbroken—a painful breakup had left her miserable and insecure. Seeking something to take her mind off her ex-fiancé and restore her confidence, Teresa discovered pole dancing. Though she found the workouts challenging, she continued to take classes and practice in her spare time and came to love the sense of empowerment it instilled in her, as well as the newfound physical strength.
Now a certified pole-fitness instructor, Teresa conducts classes at her own studio, Tease Time Pole Fitness. Amid funky, colorful walls and towering chrome poles, the skilled dancer leads groups of no more than eight women through spins, techniques, and move combinations, striving to simultaneously strengthen students' physical well-being and confidence levels. The new, freshly renovated studio booms with lively music and glimmers with disco lights, much like a nightclub or the inside of any refrigerator once the door is closed.
Zumba instructor Alexandria brings the energy to her classes at Dance Attitude. Here, she teaches Zumba, a popular Latin-dance-inspired cardio class. Each dance routine is set to a fast-paced, international beat, and the party-like atmosphere that Alexandria creates in each session helps keeps students motivated.
Valentina knows the rhythms of Zumba by heart. Born and raised in Uruguay, she spent four years studying the traditional dances of her home country and two additional years learning candombe, a cultural dance of the Afro-Uruguayan community. Latin dance remained a major part of her life even after she moved to the U.S., where she studied salsa and merengue. Valentina fell in love with Zumba when she realized she could combine all the styles of dance she enjoyed into one intense cardio workout.
Today, Valentina brings her extensive knowledge of traditional dance styles to all her classes, teaching alongside another dancer, Madi Di Cara. They demonstrate dancing styles and techniques in ballet, hip-hop, and salsa, as well as teaching slower Zumba Gold classes and leading age-appropriate dances in Zumbatomic kids' classes.
At Premier Athletic Club, a large team of instructors lead classes ranging from intense barbell-focused BodyPump to soothing restorative yoga. Barre workouts use easy-to-learn ballet techniques to help tone bodies, and boxing boot camps teach striking fundamentals while building strength and agility. Club members get access to indoor and outdoor pools as well as class discounts.
Medicine balls, barbells, tires for flipping, and other strength-training equipment is packed into Adrenalin Gym. Seven days a week, its trainers assist clients as they work their way through the gym. Personal-training programs may incorporate pull-ups, dead lifts, or clean and jerks depending on whether clients wants to bulk up or throw their old car into the sea.
At New City Yoga, programs for adults and children alike focus on challenging the mind and body with a mix of modalities including yoga, tai chi, ki gong, and energy healing. Yoga classes focus on physical well-being with strengthening and toning work, and they also benefit students emotionally by introducing techniques that can improve emotional health by breaking unhealthy habits, including how to get the Cookie Monster off your speed dial once and for all. Along with meditation classes and private healing-massage sessions, the center also hosts energy principle and other meditation-based workshops.
A pioneer of brain education and president of the Korean Institute of Brain Sciences, Ilchi Lee folded his studies into the design of his own Dahn Yoga, equal parts traditional asana and neuroscience research. A typical session begins with a simple tapping of the lower abdomen to gather chi energy that would otherwise get absorbed by Bagel Bites swallowed whole. Sessions launch into an exercise routine that combines aspects of yoga and tai chi to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. Next, yogis cool down and focus energy during an active form of meditation called Brain Wave Vibration, the studio's specialty, that harnesses flowing movements in an attempt to align minds and bodies. After the physical segment, workouts shift into a meditative portion that infuses cardiovascular systems with a stream of purifying oxygen through deep breathing.