7 Classes to Take if You Want to Get Your Heart Pumping

Learn to dance, play cricket, rock climb and other activities that will make breaking a sweat fun.


A mix of ping pong, badminton and tennis, pickleball allows you to break a sweat while still carrying on a conversation with your opponent. The fact that it’s easy to learn has made it a fast-growing trend nationwide.

Class: Adult Pickleball Skills Classes – YMCA
Cost: $20 (resident), $27 (non-resident) for a 90-minute class

Rock Climbing

Made for those just beginning their rock climbing journey, this class will teach you how to navigate hand holds, two-person climbing skills and other fundamentals. A six-week Adventure Rock membership is included, so you can practice climbing the wall in between classes.

Class: Climbing 101 – Adventure Rock
Cost: $125 for six 2½-hour classes 

Aerial Yoga Basics

Stretch your limbs and your limits in this exhilarating take on yoga. Suspended above the floor in a harness, you’ll build strength and flexibility, and have fun, too.

Class: Aerial Yoga Basics – ZenZen Yoga Arts
Dates/times: every Wednesday (starting Jan. 3), from 6:30-7:30pm
Cost: $22 for one class 

Contemporary Dance

Express yourself through movement while toning your muscles and building strength in these classes, where you’ll learn choreography similar to what DanceWorks MKE uses in performances.

Class: Contemporary – Dance Works MKE
Cost: $15 for a 75-minute class; eight classes, $100 


Whether you’re a first-timer or a former ballerina, you’ll be welcomed at River East Dance, where the focus is on adult students. Even if you don’t harbor dreams of performing Swan Lake, studying ballet has many benefits, including building core strength, developing grace and improving posture.

Class: Ballet I – Artistic Webworks
Cost: $15 for 1-hour class; nine classes, $117 

Tae Kwon Do

Developing confidence is the No. 1 goal at J.K. Lee Black Belt Academy. Along the way, you’ll also improve muscle tone, get a cardiovascular workout and reduce stress levels. If you stick with it, you’ll even learn to break a board. Many of the adult classes allow you to bring your kid.

Class: Adult and Family – J.K. Lee Black Belt Academy
Cost: Introductory special, $69 for 1 month, including outfit (classes last 1 hour)


Baseball may be America’s pastime, but cricket has more fans worldwide. Twob11-player teams race across a field (pitch), driving a ball toward a target (wicket) in matches that can last three to five days. These classes prepare you for practice games.

Class: A Crack at Cricket – Milwaukee Recreation
Cost: $20 (resident), $35 (non-resident) for three 90-minute sessions 

Bonus: Delaware House

At Delaware House, it’s everything from salsa dancing to acupuncture.

In 2007, longtime Bay View resident and physical therapist Kathy Howell decided to marry her profession with her lifelong ballroom dancing hobby, founding the Delaware House, 2499 S. Delaware Ave. To call it a dance studio would be far too simplistic, as in addition to salsa dancing and samba lessons, there are yoga and martial arts courses. Delaware House also hosts Howell’s physical therapy practice, acupuncture and massage therapy. One of the coolest things about the space, however, is the fact that all of its 15 instructors are independent business owners, running classes out of the house rather than being employed by Howell, which brings a unique approach and perspective to each of the different offerings.

Classes: Salsa, Yoga, Ballroom Dancing, Samba, Swing Dancing, Group Exercise
Costs: Vary

‘Get Smart!’ appears in the January 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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Since interning for the magazine in spring of 2017, Anna has contributed to both the print publication and website. She has covered topics from women in the workplace to communal gardens and also writes guides to life in Milwaukee. Outside of writing for the magazine, Anna is going back to school at UW-Milwaukee to work towards a career in genetic counseling.