The best way Angela Williams can tell her life story is through dance. In her 20 years of experience, she has practiced disciplines such as jazz, tap, and ballet, placed in several gymnastics competitions, and performed in musical theatre. She earned a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies, holds an Ontario Gymnastics Coaching certification, and has spent her summer months overseeing Zodiac Camp’s dance and performing arts programs for kids.
Bringing all of those experiences together, Angela formed Groove School of Dance, where she and her team of teachers demystify the art of bodily expression. The school’s uncompetitive environment creates a familial atmosphere where kids and adults alike can try their feet at ballet, hip-hop, tap, and Zumba. Groove School’s lessons also cater to students with special needs, such as autism, downs syndrome, and visual and hearing impairments. Their dance-themed birthday parties excite youngsters with performers dressed as princesses, clowns, or superheroes, and can include snacks and a cake with Baryshnikov hiding in the center.
Body + Soul Fitness strives to help patrons stay or get into shape via modern equipment and an elite team of trainers who regularly hone their skills through in-house continuing-education programs. Clients looking to slim down or bulk up can receive one-on-one physique-moulding instruction from one of the gym's friendly fitness buffs, who use their expertise to map out a safe, effective program tailor-made to each individual's goals, abilities, and grunting capacity. The sleek, chic establishment also welcomes individuals eager to sweat out their calories without a trainer on a well-maintained fleet of treadmills, weightlifting machines, and stationary bicycles, among other body-bolstering equipment. Body + Soul maintains a commitment to the earth's well-being as well, employing recycled building materials and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems.
For more than 30 years, certified personal trainer Oksana Dejneha has conquered grueling physical challenges. She's tested her mettle in Canadian rowing championships, competitive cycling, and triathlons, which she hopped into without undertaking any special training. Her lifelong dedication to athleticism—and a recently blossomed love of obstacle courses—led her to helm Fit City Workouts to help others reach their peak physical condition.
Her Urban Warrior boot-camp programs transform Toronto's manmade and natural landscapes into varied fitness equipment, whipping patrons into shape without the confines of a gym or endless repetitions on sterile machines. Instead, exercisers engage in strength, resistance, and cardio training while scaling flights of stairs, hurdling fallen logs, and competing in foot races with heckling squirrels. She also holds one-on-one personal-training sessions, tailoring workouts to suit each client's fitness level and goals.
Extreme Fitness sets Toronto's calories ablaze at the 13 renovated, multimillion-dollar locations peppered throughout the greater suburban area. Each facility hosts a menagerie of group fitness classes, which can be taken à la carte or bundled into a gym membership. Muscles loosen up in hot-yoga classes or bulge into sinewy symbols of might in outdoor boot camps, where students soak up vitamin D or distill Capri Sun from the sun's rays. To make sure members get the most of the gym's myriad amenities, personal trainers kick off fitness journeys with their Smart Start program, taking BMI measurements and analyzing heart health and oxygen uptake to give patrons a clearer picture of how much and what types of exercise they need to hit their goals.
After working up a calorie-blasting sweat, members can retire to the steam rooms or whirlpool tubs to soothe sore muscles. The internet business lounge lets people catch up on email while sipping a rejuvenating smoothie from the juice bar, and the basketball courts host pick-up games where adults can show underdog teams of fifth-graders that it takes a little more than pluck and an adorable animal sidekick to win games.
A full-time yoga teacher since the 1960s, Axel Molema of Body Mind Soul Yoga was a pioneer for the now-prospering Toronto yoga scene. After studying for four years at the very first studio ever opened in Toronto, Molema completed his teacher training and dedicated himself to turning this passion into a full-time endeavour. He now conducts yoga classes in various churches, community centres, and university athletic clubs throughout the area. Molema has studied and worked alongside many notable yogis over the years, drawing much of his inspiration from Swami Sivananda, the founder of Integral yoga, who believed yoga should promote social engagement, spiritual transformation, discipline, and wisdom.
Today, Molema continues to teach 15 classes a week, guiding students in hatha yoga and breathing techniques that aim to enhance flexibility, coordination, strength, and inner peace. During his classes, he shepherds students through athletic and therapeutic positions, as well as delves into yoga philosophies that students can employ practically in their everyday lives to help them manage stress, personally grow, and effectively imitate pretzels in games of charades. He regularly lectures on healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits, also offering private coaching sessions where students can seek his counsel on applying yoga philosophies in their work or scholastic endeavours.
Heat seems to emanate from Fireflow Yoga’s cozy confines. It could be the soft lighting or the warm tones of the hardwood floors, but the studio’s teachers swear it’s the energy flowing through the students in their signature Ashtanga classes. Here, yogis of all levels rehearse poses that summon sweat while they stretch and strengthen muscles throughout their bodies. The instructors, each of whom possesses at least three years of teaching experience, also lead classes for specific populations such as athletes and moms-to-be. The staff keeps its routines up to date by regularly welcoming renowned master yogis to the studio to share their sage knowledge of body-mind alignment and what sound a tree in the forest makes when performing downward dog.
After class, students can peruse the studio’s boutique, which teems with sporty, stretchy fashions created by indie designers. Though most classes are designed for adults, the studio hosts kid-friendly activities such as yoga-themed birthday parties and play sessions filled with animal-inspired poses.
The skilled instructors at Spynga The Yoga and Cycling Studio's north and south studios whip patrons of all ages and abilities into lithe, limber shape while draining worry from stress-bloated minds with schedules of cardio and yoga classes. Online schedules for both studios provide class times and online signup. A one-month unlimited pass unlocks four weeks worth of kinetic sessions including signature spyngaFlow classes, which unite the muscle-stretching moves of yoga with the quad-bolstering peddling and stationary wheelie popping of indoor cycling. Awash in the glow of candles and sweat, students in the one-hour spyngaFlow by Candlelight class power static velocipedes during a vigorous 30-minute cycling session before retreating to their mats for a 30-minute yoga flow and cool-down session.