"No matter what you do with your dancing always be sure of one thing," writes Jersey Dance owner Jennifer in her dance blog. "The process of learning to dance should be the most enjoyable part." The longtime competitive dancer lives and teaches by that principle, as does her team of instructors. Their nonjudgmental vibe pervades the studio, creating a space where soonlyweds can get help choreographing their wedding dance from an encouraging professional. Likewise, groups of beginners can experience the thrill of learning the steps they see on dance-competition shows while skipping the part where they're given scores and spanked by the ghost of Fred Astaire. One-on-one sessions, meanwhile, offer private pointers on the complexities of the quickstep, the dagger-sharp footwork of Argentine tango, or enough floor space to safely attempt West Coast swing at its jitterbuggiest. Whatever is being taught that week, Jennifer and Co. tailor in-studio socials that give dancers a party setting to show off everything they've learned.
Israeli Krav Maga teaches law enforcement officers, military trainees, and ordinary citizens to use combat skills originally developed for the Israeli defense forces and modified for civilian self-defense. Having trained under krav maga founder Imi Lichtenfeld, Grandmaster Haim Gidon now oversees the instructors he has trained and certified. Some of Gidon's instructors––who have military and law enforcement experience––have been featured in USA Today and on NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News, and have even trained celebrities such as John Mayer, whose guitar has been known to pick fights with him. These faculty members teach krav maga with a focus on empowering students while helping them to develop awareness, and life-saving skills.
Christine Donahue started her yogic practice at age 8, learning at the knee of her first mentor, her mother. She has since journeyed to India, been certified to teach by swamis, and been granted the honorary name Girija, which means daughter of the Himalayas. Throughout all her journeys, the main pillar of her yogic practice has always been community. Now, at her own Higher Power Yoga, she strives to tailor her teachings to suit the community that surrounds her. Christine invites both longtime and new practitioners to sample her variations on classic Vinyasa yoga, such as hot and spicy yoga and urban yoga, in which students reach for the skies in the skyscraper pose and just-reelected mayor pose.
The instructors at Northeast Academy of Martial Arts reveal the keys to self-improvement by way of karate and mixed-martial-arts programs, as well as through a variety of fitness classes. Karate lessons are divided by age and ability level, challenging kids, adults, and cowardly lions with total-body workouts designed to build both mental and physical toughness. The academy's MMA training blends elements of Brazilian jujitsu, muay thai kickboxing, and other disciplines into one well-oiled program. Drop-in fitness classes, meanwhile, such as aerobic kickboxing and cardio training, provide change-of-pace workouts on a weekly basis.
Seventh-degree black belt Barry Black has been practicing martial arts for nearly four decades. With Barry as its cornerstone, Master Black's Martial Arts launches students into their own martial-arts journey with classes for kids and adults. Whereas children's classes focus solely on the martial arts, adult classes also encompass fitness boot camp and kickboxing.
Cardio and strength-training equipment clangs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Urge Fitness. Within training studios, fitness instructors lead energetic circuit-training workouts, lively hip-hop classes, and revitalizing yoga sessions. Guests can unwind after workouts at the onsite smoothie bar, sipping specialty shakes and coffee while enjoying free Wi-Fi.