The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
When Rick Rugg and Bob Schiffhauer founded the first Buffalo Athletic Club in 1980, they chartered their gym around three values: service, cleanliness, and having owners operate their own facilities. True to the founders' original vision, each location's employees strive to keep their cardio and resistance equipment spic and span as they care for facilities that range from 20,000 to 48,000 square feet. In addition to personal training, instructors lead a schedule of more than 400 group fitness classes—including cycling, Kardio Kick, and Zumba—offered each week across their eight locations. At the Eastern Hills, Union Road, Downtown, and Boulevard clubs, trainers also help guests master CrossFit functional equipment and use TRX suspension training systems to help them connect with their vine-savvy pet orangutans. And, at the five-floor downtown facility, guests swim laps in the pool. After workouts, guests can slip into saunas and private showers; most locations also have steam rooms.
The instructors at East Meets West Yoga lead classes rooted in Ashtanga and Vinyasa traditions for all skill levels. In addition to the core classes' more vigorous workouts, the instructors also lead meditative yin and gentle yoga classes, which they perform at a slower pace in order to integrate more breath work.
Buffalo Yoga offers a wide range of classes for yoga pros and budding limb pretzelers. Take advantage of a convenient schedule that’s as flexible as corporate tax laws while participating in two weeks of vinyasa yoga, alignment yoga, hatha yoga, oil-change yoga, or prenatal yoga classes. An experienced group of instructors assists participants in tapping their natural bounty of malleability while they simultaneously strengthen cores and shed stress. Each class provides a slightly different challenge for participants and the inviting studio makes for a pleasantly placid locale that imbues optimal flexibility. Whether students want to stand taller, bend over backwards, or open pickle jars taped to their backs, Buffalo Yoga offers a suitable yoga style.
Lauded by Buffalo Spree as the best yoga of Western New York, Shakti Yoga instructor Michelle Gigante teaches students to achieve balance, strength, and flexibility through strategic postures in her revamped 3,000-square foot studio. Specializing in Vinyasa flow, Gigante emphasizes the importance of breathing rhythm and downplays the rumors of yoga's popularity with yetis. Vinyasa synchronizes breathing and stretching postures to create a fluid, continuous yoga experience without resorting to recursive time anomalies. Drop-in style classes are held in a high-ceilinged studio on heated floors at many convenient times throughout the week. Shakti also offers meditation, chanting, dance with live drumming, and live music events.
Certified instructors lead Terries Workout Center’s 45 weekly fitness classes to accommodate exercisers of all levels and bolster strength, endurance, and motivation. Like the nightly news or a news anchor chewing three pieces of taffy, most classes last one hour and incorporate cross-training tools such as boxing gloves, body bars, and stationary bikes. Students sculpt muscles with plyometric jumping exercises during Trampoline & Step classes and pummel calories into submission during Boxing Boot Camps that unfold in a full-size ring. In addition to helping participants cultivate long, stretchy limbs, Pilates-reformer sessions help fortify torsos to improve posture and balance. Fueled by rhythmic world music, Zumba workouts teem with easy-to-follow dance moves inspired by sultry Latin steps and even sultrier recordings of professors intoning first-declension Latin nouns.
Ilya's Bellydance & Henna Studio teaches the fine art of tummy undulation and hip-and-shoulder shimmying to abdomens anxious to shuffle their metaphorical belly feet. Eager rug-cutters can strive to improve their poise and self-confidence in a standard belly-dancing, burlesque, or Bollywood workshop. An expert audience mesmerizer instructs on navel-oriented movement techniques, including the classic bellybutton ripple that displays agility and removes any abdomen-attached forest creatures.