The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary dancer 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. 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.
LA Boxing’s fight-centric gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, LA Boxing sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
Seven days a week, Studio M Dance Fitness invites patrons to let go of inhibitions and hone health and wellness through joyful dance workouts such as Zumba, Polynesian hula, and sweat-inducing step classes. Before settling down with her husband and three daughters in Westport, Cook Islands native, Emm Koteka-Wiki, spent 16 years trotting across the globe with her family, teaching dance and fitness classes in each country through which she passed. Today the certified Zumba instructor takes the studio's center stage to guide students of all ages and abilities through workouts that disguise their traditional cardiovascular-exercise qualities with smile-educing dance moves. An inspiring mix of Latin and international beats spill from the sound systems, causing fists to pump, hips to shake, and feet to glide their way over the 3,600-square-foot floating dance floor. For a well-rounded regimen, Studio M Dance Fitness also hosts soothing yoga classes and heart-pumping boot-camp sessions that strengthen muscles and prevent boredom with a mixed syllabus of resistance moves, running exercises, and motivational compliments shouted from megaphones without anyone behind them.
Bikram Yoga Norwalk shepherds students through the 26 rigorous postures and two breathing exercises of traditional Bikram yoga, staging the 90-minute classes in a studio heated to 102–107 degrees. Each Bikram class accepts pupils of all abilities, as individuals may proceed at their own pace through the intensive sequence during one of the more than 30 classes scheduled each week. Heat aids the attendees by facilitating deeper stretches, boosting circulation, and detoxifying the body as it jettisons unwanted cellular contraband out the nearest sweat gland. Regular practice can strengthen and tone muscles while improving flexibility and relieving the aches and pains incurred while arm wrestling statues. Classes convene as early as 6:30 a.m. on select weekdays, and evening sessions shed the day's stress.