Tucked away on Telegraph Avenue, between Dwight and Parker, is a little known gem of a gym frequented by a somewhat older Berkeley crowd – but intended for exercisers of all ages.

The Works Exercise and Dance Studio has been around for more than 20 years, and the average age of its clientele is about 62. But don’t let this age lead you to think that workouts and classes at the Works are anything but rigorous. The Works’ manager, Sue D’Alonzo, is certified by The American College of Sports Medicine and has more than 25 years experience as a group leader and personal trainer. Her classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sunday mornings are packed with her devoted followers, many of whom have been with her for more than 20 years at this studio and others.

Classes — including Powerworks, The Works, and The Balance Challenge — are geared for students of all levels. Sue has an uncanny ability to motivate and challenge her clientele by encouraging them to work as hard as they personally and possibly can. Her classes are demanding, challenging and rewarding – not for the faint of heart – and designed to get you fit no matter what level you are starting out at.

In addition to Sue’s classes, The Works has classes in Pilates, Yoga, Hip Hop and Lindy Hop, CardioDance, Afro-Cuban Dance and Rumba, Samba and Afro-Brazilian Dance, Worldbeat, NIA, and Copoeria, all taught by talented and fabulous instructors.

Visit the studio at 2566 C Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley and find details on their website. The first class is free and The Works is run as a cooperative.

Susan Helmrich

[Photos by Susan Helmrich.]

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