A night of dancing can easily turn into a workout—minus the boring, repetitive exercises and the feeling that you'd rather be doing something else. Zumba fuses hip-shaking, Latin-inspired dance moves with music from around the world to recreate the exuberance of the dance floor at any time of day. To that end, the instructors at Zumba Fitness lead their students through easy-to-follow steps while music blasts from a boom box manned by a tiny DJ.
The trained instructors at Urban Acrobatics run, tumble, and dance their way across a 14,000-square-foot gym that welcomes guests of all skill levels. Inside the creative movement room, padded obstacles and landing mats help students learn the unconventional gymnastic art of parkour before taking their skills to FreeRunning City?a course that simulates an urban environment with building structures and construction pieces to spring from. The 5,000-square-foot fitness room features wood flooring and a wall of mirrors that reflects classes ranging from yoga to break dancing led by instructors who bolster a community feel in the gym by equally engaging newcomers and familiar faces.
At Mile High Fitness, a staff of certified trainers across a variety of disciplines—from strength conditioning to Pilates and yoga—helps clients build their self-confidence muscles with classes and one-on-one personal training. Members slim down with fun, engaging Zumba dance workouts, or maintain a holistically healthy lifestyle with corporate wellness-challenge programs or fitness assessments.
Nobody should have to suffer through a workout, say the fitness pros who helm Studio Thrive. So, to make exercise as enjoyable as possible, they design group classes that are fun, social, and suitable for all skill levels. Most instructors bring an extensive dance background to the classroom, filling classes such as Zumba and TRX. Personal-training sessions often center on functional-training tools such as TRX suspension straps and kettlebells, both of which foster flexibility and core strength. In addition to designing highly customized workouts, certified personal trainers perform body-composition analyses and fitness assessments to track their clients' progress.
When they're not leading classes or personal-training sessions, Studio Thrive's staffers host private Zumba parties in the spacious studio, lined with oversize mirrors, a polished wooden floor, and a cobalt-blue ceiling. Upon request, they can also bring Zumba sessions to offices, apartment buildings, or painfully quiet libraries.
Gym-goers at Off the Wall Fitness may also be off the floor, as they swing on the adult-size monkey bars nicknamed the Green Goliath. The Green Goliath's 16 rungs are suspended from the ceiling by rope, forcing those who take it on to compensate for it shifting, building muscle and stamina as they swing. Group fitness classes and one-on-one personal-training sessions are also elevated beyond the typical workout through exercises based on last night's football game and the month-long Shred-a-Palooza challenge.
As a teenager, Master Mauricio Zingano studied under members of Brazilian jujitsu's founding family, the Gracies, including Grand Master Helio Gracie himself. Nowadays, at Zingano Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he and his seasoned staff—which includes his wife, UFC fighter Cat Zingano—relay the Gracie family's teachings to students young and old. Although their main program is Brazilian jujitsu, they also fit mixed martial arts, muay thai kickboxing, and youth martial arts classes into the jam-packed schedule.