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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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1 Comment

  1. I read the article on The Works and feel the need to add my feelings about this wonderful place. I’ve been exercising there for 21 years. I was 44 when a close friend took me to the studio. I’d recently had surgery, and realized I really had to take charge of strengthening my body and my self-esteem.

    I’d exercised off and on all of my adult life, but never stuck with anything more than 6 months. As I mentioned, I was out of shape when I started attending classes. It took me awhile to feel comfortable, and within six months I felt stronger and felt proud of myself, because for the first time I’d made the effort to workout and stuck with it. I’d always exercised alone and realized working out with a great group of people of all ages and fitness levels inspired me to continue.

    The Works is as much a part of my health care as my yearly medical check ups. During the last 21 years I have had Lymphoma and Breast Cancer. I’ve survived both and was told by my doctors that being strong and in over all good health had a lot to do with my quick recoveries. The warmth and friendship of the other people who attend The Works, the variety of classes, and extremely well qualified instructors, make it the perfect place to take care of my exercise needs.

    I’m now 65 years old and stronger than ever.