As a 23-year-old junior, Tom Hatten didn’t spend his evenings at the raucous parties or ice-cream socials associated with college life. Instead, he’d spend the waning hours of his evenings waiting by the dryer for the last batch of towels before collapsing into bed. In the morning, he would lug them to Mountainside Fitness, the gym he opened as a student that he has thrown all his energy into maintaining ever since.
Today, the humble 4,800-square-foot space has bloomed into nine gyms that average a sweeping 41,000 square feet. Tom’s vision of creating a friendly neighborhood gym that greets each guest with a warm towel underscores every decision he makes for the different locations, from the colorful kid-care spaces to the entertaining group fitness classes. Personal trainers plan regimens tailored to each client, helping them lose weight, build muscle, or target the muscles that will help build a better golf game. Clients can create their own routines with the help of cardio and weight machines, or explore the different amenities at each location, such as saunas, rock-climbing walls, and indoor basketball courts.
Local thespians Matt McAuley and Richard Vines banded together with the Dysart Community Education Department to conceptualize Ghostlight Theatre on the tenets of entertaining and educating the community with the dramatic arts. The theatre's live productions give members of the community an opportunity to flex their theatrical muscles through acting, designing costumes, and pursuing careers as prop trees. Meanwhile, Ghostlight Theatre’s summer camps prepare budding thespians aged 10–18 for their moments in the spotlight.
Equipment: Wool blankets and one-inch padded yoga mats
Students should bring: Bottle of water
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 60?90 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Just come as you are and leave as more of who you are.
We practice barefoot.
Eyes closed a lot.
Gina, the Kundalini yogi teaching at Long Time Sunshine Yoga, says that the most remarkable changes she sees in students are mental rather than physical. "Fear, anxiety, doubt, worry, depression," she says, "[The] biggest transformations are from unhappy and uptight [people] to happy and relaxed." In the classes themselves, she leads students through a series of asana, while incorporating breathing exercises, mantras, and meditation, She plays appropriately soothing music throughout, coaxing her students into a healthy, healing mindset where stresses melt away and they don't freak out that something just melted out of them.
In 1998, after 25 years operating health clubs across Phoenix, Kelly Bruce jumped at the opportunity to open his own club, Fitness 1 Gym. Today, Fitness 1 has expanded to locations across Phoenix, each and every one helmed by Kelly and his sons Chad, Richard, and Bobby. “We don’t just own them,” Chad proudly says, “we run them and we’re in the clubs everyday.” The amenities are certainly attractive, but it seems that what has really made Fitness 1 successful is the Bruce's dedication to their family-run enterprise. “I think that our members feel at home,” says Bobby. “I think [they] realize that it’s not a show… they're coming in here to get to work, to get results.”
Members—who are not forced into long-term contracts—can do just that thanks to an array of cardio and strength-training machines, free weights, and one-on-one personal training. The studio also offers members free fitness classes, such as Power Yoga, Chiseled, and Xplode—an interval-training class.
Knockout Fitness's instructors lead one-hour, kickboxing-inspired workout routines. They keep classes small, guiding students first through warm-ups and then stretching routines. Then, they hit the bags, quite literally. Each student squares off against a 150-pound heavy bag or an instructor holding pads, practicing fast-paced striking sequences that help build speed, strength, and endurance. Teachers incorporate ab exercises along the way and lead a cool down that's just as important as the warm-up.
Though fitness classes comprise a lot of what they do, the trainers also teach martial arts classes. In addition to boxing and kickboxing sessions, they lead jiu-jitsu training and MMA classes, where athletes mix all their skills together in one match. Every class focuses on developing technique and endurance, and many guests choose to supplement their training with the gym's weight-lifting focused programs, especially if they plan on fighting a barbell.
Since 2008, Dance Doctors has been committed to transforming students of all skill levels into confident, capable dancers. Dance Doctors’ professional instructors teach classes at two locations—a dance studio in Surprise and another in Mesa—providing easier access for students who have busy schedules or keep waking up in strange places. Instructors teach waltz, swing, and salsa steps to beginners and experts alike, and they also schedule Zumba dance-fitness classes that are set to upbeat latin music with a BPM of at least 1000.