When discussing the teaching philosophy at Tucson Pole Fitness, founder Jessica McCain explained to reporters of Tucson Weekly, “Our goal is not just to teach you fancy tricks. Our goal is to help you lose weight and get fit. Along the way, you learn new things.” Among them, fancy new tricks. Jessica and her staff of fellow instructors conduct a variety of fat-blasting, fitness-infused pole-dancing classes on the towering gold poles of their private studio, interspersing routines of spins, tricks, and climbs with high-intensity strength and conditioning exercises. Other classes focus more on the pure artistry of the form, creating routines and honing technique. In addition to Tucson Pole Fitness’s bread and butter, the instructors lead lap-dancing sessions and striptease workshops, ideal for injecting a little spice into relationships or seducing your favorite football team’s mascot.
For more than 20 years, Yoga Connection's classes have focused on stretching, strengthening, and breathing techniques?but founder and director Priscilla Potter isn't afraid of yoga's more holistic side, either. When she's not teaching, she's an astrologer and a meditation instructor, and her multifaceted perspective on yoga shines through in the studio's schedule. Sessions range from bouts of yin yoga to chakra yoga, which explores the body's seven energy centers.
Named the Best Place to Take a Dance Class in 2012 by Tucson Lifestyle magazine, Shall We Dance boasts experienced instructors that help instill dancing wisdom and undeniable rhythm in people looking to twirl and sidestep across the studio’s hardwood floor. Students pair up during group dance lessons or work one-on-one with instructors during private lessons as they are shown how to gracefully execute an arsenal of dance steps in styles such as salsa, Argentinean tango, swing, and waltz. The studio also offers weekly dance parties (held Friday nights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.), which provide a casual setting for students to practice with different dance partners, ready couples for weddings, or prep solo dancers for musical housecleaning sessions.
Jarrod Lash is the instructor, practitioner, and owner of Descending Dragon Health Center, a member school of the North American Tang Shou Tao Association (NATSTA). With the mission of preserving traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts, Jarrod uses his extensive studies and training to introduce these concepts to clients. He corrects bodily imbalances with jin shou tui na, one of world’s oldest known forms of bodywork—and uses acupuncture needles to both unblock energy pathways and joust with toothpicks. Having earned a fourth-degree black belt in kajukenbo, he demonstrates his martial-arts prowess by instructing students in the traditional forms of taiji quan, bagua zhang, and xingyi quan.
A health-and-fitness club specializing in self-defense and martial arts, X1 mentors budding grapplers in the ways of personal protection with an emphasis on physical fitness. Kids' classes in self-defense and MMA hip-throw mat rats ages 5–14 into a safe, friendly environment where they can exercise, sharpen motor skills, and practice finishing moves on mannequins and scarecrows. Through the guidance of professional trainers, youngsters learn techniques from multiple disciplines, including kickboxing, muay thai, and wrestling, while experiencing cardio-training programs adopted by top MMA fighters. Kids can dropkick into any of the classes, which run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The gym supplies all necessary equipment, such as pads and a stadium full of cheering stuffed animals, and this Groupon covers the $40 initiation fee.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.