Amateur Sports: Five Ways to Dance Yourself into Shape
A 2012 Albert Einstein College of Medicine study found that dancing once a week can improve brain functionality, which is why it is no surprise dance fitness has become one of the most popular ways to stay active. Fitness clubs, gyms and dance studios offer some of the most unique dance and full-body workouts that help participants enjoy staying fit and sweating away inches and pounds. From Zumba to pole dancing, these five Philadelphia establishments make exercise simple and fun.
Flaunt Fitness (above) is not a typical workout facility, but its pole dance fitness classes offer women of all ages and sizes a place where they can dance their way to a happier and healthier living. The studio arranges monthly “encouragement meetings” designed to help members track their goals and get health tips. The studio also offers speciality classes such as buti yoga, Butts N’ Gutts, and Cirque de Flaunt along with regular group fitness programs. Their classes combine cardio, tribal dance and toning while promoting an environment where anyone can boost their confidence with a little dancing.
Philly Dance Fitness
Philly Dance Fitness promotes dance as an invigorating and accessible form of exercise at all three of its Philadelphia locations. Each class resembles a vibrant dance party. Whether you are taking ballet, cardio belly dancing, Bollywood blast or dance party boot camp, owner and instructor Deborah Hirsch promises dancers regardless of their coordination level that each class will lead them to “a stronger, sexier and happier you.”
If you’re looking to give Zumba a try, check out Optimal Gym in the South Street district. Optimal Gym offers four to five Zumba classes a week, where they combine Latin-inspired dance with Grammy Award-winning music. Optimal Gym’s Zumba class tones the arms, core and lower body area while improving coordination. Zumba can be a challenging workout at a high energy level, but the instructors at Optimal Gym make the class an ideal choice for people of varying levels of fitness.
Philly Urban Defense
If you are tired of running and lifting weights, Philly Urban Defense offers a full-body workout in the form of the Tai-Fit program led by martial arts expert Lawrence Whitaker. Philly Urban Defense specializes in combining traditional martial arts techniques with urban lifestyle to promote self-defense. Both novice and advanced participants get an aerobic workout that also provides them with the knowledge necessary to aid in protecting themselves.
The CHI Movements Arts Dance Center
Kun-Yang Lin Dancers is an international professional dance company based in Philadelphia. The company offers a wide variety of opportunities for amateur dancers to workout at their studio, the CHI Movements Arts Dance Center. Classes at the studio include Zumba, ballet, ballroom and contemporary dancing, as well as a unique workout called Gyrokinesis. Combining dance, yoga and tai chi, Gyrokinesis uses rhythmic and flowing movements for a full-body workout. At the CHI Movements Arts Dance Center, students can experience dance as an art form as well as a way to stay in shape.
– Text and images by Alexandra Gentile and Jack Goodwillie