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Health and Wellness

Unique Workout Alternatives
Enhance your exercise routine with these fitness classes

Stripping and sparring may not come to mind when you think of exercise, but they are two activities providing fun and unique alternatives for those tired of the daily workout routine. The modern approach to exercise is as much about combination as it is moderation—supplementing routine cardio and strength-training exercises with different movements that engage both body and mind. For one, says striptease instructor Anissa Eve, incorporating a new routine such as hers keeps “the mind engaged and builds confidence, especially in a culture where women are very afraid of being sexy with their bodies.” From her class at Culture Shock Dance Center in Old Town to Brazilian martial arts training at Capoeira Brazil in Point Loma—the new forms of exercise could actually make working out fun.


Culture Shock Dance Center
2110 Hancock St.
, Old Town

Striptease is a cardio workout that’s all about “empowering your sexuality,” says Eve. The class is open to both men and women, and incorporates floor routines, chairs and choreography in a fast-paced, athletic workout. Though heels aren’t allowed in the classroom, students are asked to bring a piece of easily-removable button-down shirt and kneepads. The Dance Center offers two one-hour-long striptease classes a week.

Capoeira Brasil Cultural Center
2590 Truxton Rd., Suite101, Point Loma

Combining martial arts, dance, acrobatics and music, Capoeira is not just about the workout—it’s an experience. The 400-year-old martial arts dance “is a big fusion of movement,” says Contra-Mestre Mindinho, group leader for Capoeira Brasil. “The main ideas about Capoeira are the feelings; you read people and how you express yourself.” Students at the Cultural Center range from two-year-olds to college students and professionals. Training for years, students are taught not only the skills required to acrobatically “play,” but to play the instruments and sing Portuguese. Though Capoeira teaches self-defense, Mindinho explains that it is a game, not a fight. Capoeira performers, he says, rarely touch each other. Classes are open to the public.

Raqs Sharqi
FIT Athletic Club, 350 10th Ave., Suite 200, East Village

While the location, modern design and high-tech exercise equipment are a big lure for downtown’s new fitness club, FIT’s group exercises classes are another big draw. One of the new alternatives is Raqs Sharqi, a cardio-dance class that breaks down belly-dancing, Latin, Bollywood and other dance movements into a simple format. Female students are encouraged to wear the coined hip scarves during a workout that allows women to gain confidence with their bodies while breaking a sweat. The hour-long class is held once a week.
By Meaghan Clark


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