The latest fitness craze to sweep the country is, without a doubt, dance cardio. From early inspiration (that would be your mom’s ’80s aerobics classes) to the first “trendy” incarnations (like the method made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow’s trainer, Tracy Anderson), the movement has evolved into classes like 305 Fitness.
305 Fitness is not a workout studio; it’s the name of the company, and the classes are held at dance studios and other private spaces in several major cities. In New York, that’s Stepping Out Studios in Chelsea, where you’d usually expect to find a lot of salsa-ing and Foxtrotting going on. But after the 6:30 p.m. ballroom dance class at Stepping Out Studios wrapped up, a very different crowd was waiting to fill up the room last Thursday. Including me.
The ballroom dance students, in their proper dance shoes and tights, filtered out into the waiting room, where young girls (and one guy) in sweats, cut-off t-shirts, and a sprinkling of Lululemon were waiting for 305 Fitness to start. The teacher, 305 Fitness founder Sadie Kurzban, was carrying a set of fluorescent disco lights. The DJ (yes, classes have a live DJ) was armed with a playlist of Pitbull, Swedish House Mafia, and Timbaland.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when Kurzban sauntered in to face her impressive crowd. At first glance, Kurzban is petite, young, very fit, and very self-assured. She ripped off her shirt within the first 5 minutes of class, dropped a few F-bombs that caught me off-guard, and even made a point of saying that everyone should get wild. Like, real wild. Like, Girls Gone Wild-style wild. I wasn’t too sure what that meant, but knew that my shirt was staying on.
The class began with everyone playing follow-the-leader to Kurzban’s minimally-cued moves. Step touch? Grapevine? Lunges? I knew these moves. The class continued with non-stop choreography, and Kurzban took it to a deliberately sexier and sassier place with a lot of air-humping, fist-pumping, and Zumba-like sections.
At first, I was worried Kurzban could be annoying. Kind of like the girl in your college lit class who always talks about feminism. Or the girl who runs on the treadmill for half an hour at 10.0 in tiny booty shorts in the middle of the gym. And she kind of embodies both; a graduate of Brown’s class of 2012, Kurzban is “obsessed with running” and used to teach Zumba back in Providence. But after completing the class, I can say this: I’m not annoyed at her at all. In fact, I can’t wait to go back.
If you live in New York City or Providence, like dancing, and are looking for a fun way to burn extra calories, take a class. It will be fun, I promise. In fact, you might even see me there.