In an inconspicuous brick building across West Broad Street from the Children's Museum of Richmond, there is a small studio with a collection of fitness equipment — including five poles.
At Studio X — that's X for exotic — owner Kate Austin offers classes in Zumba (a dance fitness program that uses Latin rhythms), pole-dance exercise and "Ameri-Can-Can" (a twist on the French tradition), along with workshops in hula-hoop and burlesque dancing, among others.
"Women of all ages — ranging from 18 years old to 65 years old — attend classes here," Austin says, adding that she sees women of varying occupations and fitness levels. 2707 W. Broad St., 338-5252 or dancestudiox.com .
Other organizations in and around Richmond also offer fitness programs with sensual elements. Among those are:
- YMCA of Greater Richmond ( ymcarichmond.org ) offers Zumba classes at numerous locations. The downtown branch also offers "Ladies Night" (self-motivation and movement), groove (modern dancing with moves choreographed to hip hop, jazz, Latin and reggae music) and occasional belly-dancing classes. 2 W. Franklin St., 649-9622 or ymcarichmond.org/downtown .
- The Richmond City Dance program offers belly dancing and hip hop classes at Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center. 4901 Old Brook Road, 646-3673 or richmondgov.com/parks .
In addition, Zumba classes are available at these health clubs:
- Victory Lady Fitness Centers, 10050 Midlothian Turnpike, 272-1095; 9699-D W. Broad St., 965-9741; or victorylady.com .
- American Family Fitness, with six locations in the area, amfamfit.com .
- ACAC Richmond, 11621 Robious Road, 378-1600 or richmond.acac.com .
- Gold's Gym, with three locations, richmondgolds.com .