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Fitness leader Sherry Fidellr will be leaving the Recreation Center at the end of the season after 20 years.
Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 3 years ago

New year brings fitness options for Longboaters


This column heads into its 17th year with its most news ever about fitness classes. There is an exciting array of new formats, teachers and time periods at both the Longboat Key Education Center and Bayfront Park Recreation Center.

So, with no further introduction …

Longboat Key Education Center
Location: Second floor, Centre Shops, 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Phone: 383-8811

Susan Goldfarb, who runs the Education Center, is a rara avis. Custom does not stale her enthusiasm for finding new ideas, topics or teachers.

“Sweet and Spirited Yoga!” on Tuesdays is a new yoga offering — a gentle class that focuses on body awareness, alignment and deep, connected breathing.

Teacher Mary Kane is a reiki master, as well as a longtime certified yoga instructor. Also new is “Qigong for Health & Vitality” with instructor Nancy Saum, a registered nurse and a certified holistic nurse who has completed the Institute of Integral Qigong and 200-hour tai chi teacher training. And, there are also new techniques in Ruth Fishel’s “Mindful Meditation” class on Wednesdays. The Education Center continues to offer yoga four days a week.

Not quite fitness-related enough to make the chart (on page 5B) but certainly wellness-related is “Culinary Healing Traditions,” with teacher Surapsari, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays for four sessions starting Jan. 9.

More big news here is a major wellness event scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18, “Body/Mind/Spirit Day of Discovery.”

It’s a smorgasbord of sessions, from “Meditation for Beginners” and “New Year Detox with Ayurveda,” to “Nia — the Joy of Movement” and “Writing to Heal, Focus and Become more Mindful.” The day includes a complimentary luncheon buffet. Visit the Education Center’s website for full details and to register for workshops.

The nuts and bolts: Advanced registration is required for classes.

The winter term started Jan. 4 and runs through Feb. 28. Fitness classes are typically $88 for members and $104 for nonmembers for the term, but they may be taken individually. For more information or to register, call the Education Center at 383-8811 or visit

Bayfront Park Recreation Center
Location: 4052 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Phone: 316-1980
Website:; search “schedule of activities.”

It’s a bad news/good news story here because Longboat Key fitness mainstay Sherry Fideler has announced that this is her final season. She and her husband, Craig, are relocating to Costa Rica. Fideler began teaching at Bayfront Park in 1993, before it became a town facility in 1994. She ran the place until 2000, when she shifted to full-time teaching. She has students who go back to her earliest days — a tribute in and of itself. One is Esther Wilson, who says, “I’ve been taking aerobics classes since 1978, and Sherry is the best instructor I’ve ever been to.” Fideler will teach her regular schedule throughout the 2014 winter season.

Barbara Anderson and I continue our established classes at Bayfront Park, and Gail Condrick offers nia here, as well as at the Education Center.

The good news is there are four new classes from a highly qualified teacher with 32 years of experience. Mirabai Holland fell in love with Longboat Key while visiting her parents and now lives here. Her “Moving Free®” class is a fusion protocol from the National Arthritis Foundation. “Ballet Fusion™” is a barre class that utilizes a chair; it’s for both students who have never done ballet as well as those who have some ballet experience. “Pumping the Prime™” is the youngest-oriented option. It is offered at 5:15 p.m. to accommodate working people. You can sample your choice of one of Holland’s classes for free.

The nuts and bolts: Rec Center classes are “walk in” — no reservations needed. Fees range from $8 to $10 for members and $13 to $17 for nonmembers. Membership is still the best bargain on the Suncoast: $25 for residents, $35 for off-island residents and $45 per couple. The schedule is online at; search “schedule of activities.”

For the complete schedule of fitness classes, click here.

Molly Schechter is an ACE-certified personal trainer with a specialty in older-adult fitness plus YogaFit Instructor Training, SCF Yoga Fundamentals I and II and Power Pilates™ Mat Certifications.
She teaches classes at the Bayfront Park Recreation Center and the Longboat Key Club. Email her at [email protected].




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