All Zumba instructors claim to create a party-like atmosphere, but Raquel Call delivers on the promise by taking her routines all the way into the club. During evening classes at Vice Ultra Lounge, the lights dim and the beats resonate as though Raquel and her students are kicking off nights on the town. Special events incorporate themes and costumes, such as retro leggings for an ‘80s bash or sweatpants designed by Betsy Ross for Independence Day. Raquel also pays homage to her Brazilian roots with Carnival celebrations and Brazilian Nights, where she showcases her background in samba while dancing to live South American music.
Amid all the gyrating, it's easy for her pupils to forget that they're burning calories. However, Raquel's testimonials and weight-loss stories speak to the benefits of her classes. Her expertise enables her to host master classes with established guest instructors, and earned her Diablo magazine's Best of the East Bay award for Best Zumba Class in 2012. By helming additional classes in yoga, samba, and Zumba Toning, she helps her guests pursue their fitness goals with a combination of poise and pizzazz.
Sedusa Studios' women-only studios sport expansive dance spaces with a dozen 20-foot dance poles and a troupe of highly experienced instructors. Step lively in a 60-minute muscle-toning Introductory Sensual Dance and Pole Dance class, which demonstrates basic moves, positions, and firefighter lingo to spark dancer/pole camaraderie. The Video Vixen Dance Workout class helps students build strength by teaching choreography inspired by the moves in current music videos. Booty-pop like the stars during the one-hour class while whittling thighs, abs, and glutes down into a seductively statuesque form. Additionally, The Pussycat Workout Dance class aims to shape up clients with previous pole experience, as they tone and learn new moves.
Both classes, guided by experienced female teachers, combine fitness and flirty dancing in a comfortable, nonjudgmental atmosphere, lending ladies the knowledge and know-how to tempt a partner, enjoy a night at the club, or spice up an upcoming PowerPoint presentation. Check the schedule for class times; more may be added based on demand.
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
On the winding dirt trails that snake through Mount Diablo’s nearly untouched terrain, the sound of cars disappears, and riders can imagine they have been transported back to the 18th century. Nestled in the mountain’s foothills, a 20-stall horse ranch and equestrian center teaches fledgling equestrians the art of trotting down those trails. Arabians expert Nancy Dupont has spent more than four decades presiding over Castle Rock Arabians, where instructors boast accreditation with the Certified Horsemanship Association and many of them have claimed championship titles.
The center’s lessons welcome children as young as 2 to join a Tiny Riders program, whereas older pupils who have conquered the basics can learn advanced techniques, such as jumping through bank-vault walls. In addition to hosting classes and trail rides for students, the center organizes camps and hosts parties for birthday celebrants or pegasi celebrating the sprouting of their wings.
The fitness instructors, personal trainers, and nutritionists at ClubSport wield the foundations of total-body wellness: detailed knowledge and cutting-edge equipment. Group classes such as cardio kickboxing, cycling, and circuit training showcase routines for all fitness levels, seven days a week. Personal-training sessions, meanwhile, bring help exercisers develop their own fitness plans and face down the imaginary knight that guards every piece of weight-training equipment.
ClubSport also transforms bodies outside the fitness studio and weight room. A self-described resort-style aquatic center features several lap and exercise pools where swimmers can fine-tune their breaststrokes and favorite shark calls. At an on-site spa, massage therapists ease muscle tension with modalities ranging from hot stone and prenatal to trigger point and reflexology.