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Exciting Exercise

07/21/2015 07:52AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

Gallery: Exciting Exercise [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Jessica Andrus  / Submitted Photos

Doing the same exercise routine gets boring and can cause your body’s progress to plateau. Switching up your exercise routine creates what is known as “muscle confusion,” which allows you to beat plateaus and receive optimum results. A new and exciting exercise regime is closer than you think. 

The Vertical Barre

When entering The Vertical Barre, located at 215 Garfield St. in Lafayette, you aren’t greeted by mirror reflections; pictures with kaleidoscopic colors welcome you. “There are no mirrors, so there’s no judgment,” states owner Laci Lopez. “There’s just art, allowing you to focus on yourself.”

The Vertical Barre opened in 2012 with the concept of combining Lopez’s years of dance with a new skill of pole fitness. She reminisces, “I was taking a trip to Chicago to see my cousin and she took me to this pole dancing class and I was like, ‘OK, yeah, let’s go do this.’”

For first-timers, Lopez says she hopes they take away one important thing. “Something I hope people take away from this class is self-efficacy, a can-do sense. You can do anything; it’s as simple as that,” says Lopez.

Comfortable gym clothes are recommended for the class. Vertical Barre’s equipment has a 240-pound weight limit. Classes are coed for people 18 and older, but private parties are offered for those under the age of 18.

Xtend Barre

All bars are not created equal, and Lafayette has more than one form of bar exercise to look into. Xtene Barre, located at 110 Rue Promenade in River Ranch, mixes dance, ballet and Pilates to strengthen, lengthen and chisel the body. 

“Each class features an elegant, yet energetic combination of movements that enhances flexibility, improves balance and challenges the core,” describes owner Natalie DeJean.

Xtend also offers different levels of barre, from Open Level, its introduction class, to Circuit 7 class, which consists of 7-minute high intensity drills.

DeJean explained Xtend differs from regular ballet-inspired workouts with personalized instruction to sculpt the body and burn the maximum amount of calories through alternating movements

“Not only do we want you to leave feeling challenged and exhilarated so you look better,” concludes DeJean, “we want you to feel better!”

Funkie Fusion Fitness

If you’re over the typical cardio and weight training, Dynamic Health Club at 704 W. Admiral Doyle Drive in New Iberia has something refreshing to offer: Funkie Fusion Fitness. 

“Expect a fun and exciting time. When you hear the music, it just gets your heart and adrenaline pumping,” says Tammy Landry, the club’s Funkie Fusion instructor. 

Funkie Fusion began in November 2014. With Landry’s 35-year background in dance, she gives clients a fun way to get in shape. Fusing aerobics and dancing to hits from the ‘80s, ‘90s and today, participants can burn an average of 650 calories.

“The more you put into the workout, the more calories you burn,” says Landry.

If you are feeling any apprehension about trying this, Landry ask for one thing: a chance. “I tell everybody, ‘give me one chance and I’m going to hook you,’” explains Landry, “Everyone says that they have no rhythm and that they can’t dance. There’s no such thing—everybody can dance. Some people have that fear or they’re embarrassed,” Landry continues. “I say, ‘Look, if they have time to be staring at you dancing or doing your thing, they’re not doing anything.’”

If you are interested in making this “your thing,” classes are held on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. “I love to see them blossom. I tell them ‘the more you come, the more you’re going to learn and the more you’re going to enjoy it.’ And that’s exactly what happens.”

Oasis Bellydance

How about including something new and exotic, like belly dancing? Oasis Bellydance, 427 Rena Drive, Lafayette, can offer you something new.

Dayna Price, owner of Oasis, with a 15-year dancing career brings women in the community a way to get in touch with their inner goddess. 

“Belly dancing origins derive from fertility rituals and praying to goddesses,” explains Price. 

“It’s a good variety of cardio that strengths the core, abdominals, oblique muscles and arms. It’s also fun and you get to sparkle and jingle.” 

Price offers her classes to women 18 years of age and older. Although men can belly dance, it is a different version than the one Price teaches. Previous dance experience can be helpful in learning and it is advised to wear comfy clothes.

Yoga Garden

When you walk into the Yoga Garden at 2513 Johnston St., the effervescent blues, purples and greens surrounding a stone pathway that leads to an idyllic back garden will put you so at ease that you will be ready to try a high-flying adventure: aerial yoga.

The facility opened in April and began aerial yoga in May. Jessica Gibson-Kendrick, who has 17 years of yoga experience, two of those in aerial yoga, described it as the usual yoga poses modified by the suspended silks.

“The benefit that most people come here looking for is the thrill and the excitement of it,” explains Kendrick.

Kendrick demonstrates common poses as she explains how with the use of the silks, much of one’s weight is always supported. “Most yoga poses that can be done on the ground can be done using the hammocks,” states Kendrick. “It gives a different perspective and allows the body to experience deeper stretches. The benefit is the space aerial yoga creates in the body.” The “space” Kendrick references is what gives the spine the opportunity to decompress, allowing rehydration to the spaces in between.

Several aerial yoga classes are available through The Yoga Garden. Those interested in aerial yoga should get checked out by a physician if you have uncontrolled blood pressure, head and/or hip injuries and, for women, if you are passed your first trimester of your pregnancy.

“You, as the student, are responsible for what feels right for you,” explains Kendrick.

Kendrick will start a new class, Tricks and Flips, which will display different ways of entering and exiting the silks. The Garden offers a sense of community through different amenities, such as relaxing in their tearoom for small get-togethers, a new book club in the works and plans of including a memorial and meditation garden.


We all have that feeling of wanting to relive parts of our childhood. With Lafayette’s new indoor trampoline zone, SkyZone, located at 3814 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette, you can be a kid again while getting your exercise in. SkyZone opened in January and offers the opportunity to get healthy and have fun at the same time.

“It’s one of those activities where you don’t notice you’re actually working out while jumping; you’re just having a good time,” states Jacob Turner, who works in marketing for SkyZone.

Exercise enthusiasts will be interested in the SkyRobics classes. The activity is described as “healthy fun that combines calisthenics, core exercises and strength-building aerobics” and is a way to burn up to 1,000 calories. SkyZone is currently conducting a search to find new instructors for the course.  

“We brought SkyZone to Lafayette with the idea to put a footprint into this community using something that was different, something that was fun,” explains Turner.

Life+Leisure, Today, Health+Wellness Exciting Exercise SkyZone Yoga Garden Oasis Bellydance Belly dancing Funkie Fusion Dynamic Health Club Xtend Barre ballet and Pilates The Vertical Barre

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