Dance Cardio Classes in NYC That Are as Fun as Any Nightclub
305 Fitness in NYC
There’s something about dancing (if you can shelve your self-consciousness) that’s innately good for the soul. NYC is full of devoted communities that champion dance as an empowering, mood-elevating exercise that’s genuinely a fun time. So much so you might forget you’re burning approximately 500 calories a class. It’s just a matter of finding your dance tribe…
Dancing amid swirling projections and an enthusiastic smoke machine, you’re likely to forget you’re actually inside a giant complex in downtown Brooklyn. At Your Beat (AYB) Studio, which hails from London and opened its first NYC location in the summer of 2018, aims to give you the full stadium-style experience minus the audience (no judgement here). Whether you have dreams of mastering choreography from the latest Ciara music video or prefer a follow-along sequence that’s easy to memorize, the schedule has you covered. Instructors also find sneaky ways to exhaust muscle groups and build strength while you dance, giving you a resistance workout to complement your cardio.
Dress for the club when you come to Vixen, because die-hard fans of this workout look music-video-ready, from their bouncy ponytails down to their wedge sneakers. Set to remixes of hip-hop favorites, the choreography is equal parts sassy and sexy. The same routines repeat class after class (with new ones introduced every so often) so the more you go, the faster you retain the moves. In the meantime wipe the sweat from your eyes, try to keep up, and live by the Vixen Army motto: “If in doubt, twerk it out.” Vixen feels like a Saturday night with the girls, minus booze. There’s singing, there’s strutting, there’s camaraderie, and of course there’s an abundance of Beyoncé songs.
The vibe of 305’s signature dance/HIIT hybrid is clear from the moment you walk through the door of its West Village studio and see the neon “Girls Girls Girls” sign. Downstairs, perfectly coordinated activewear glows under disco lights, as a full house dances to throwback tunes (think Britney and Mariah) mixed by a live DJ. The dance routines, which are satisfyingly easy to pick up, are interspersed with a strength-training portion targeted to a specific body part, and tough “sprints” that ramp up your heart rate to the max. A great blend of cardio and toning that will burn calories and leave you achy the next day, in the best possible way.
A ClassPass favorite and Instagram phenomenon, Banana Skirt enables you to live out your backup-dancer dreams with hour-long music video choreography classes. After a quick warm-up and killer abs section, the teacher breaks down the moves to songs like Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies,’ Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ and Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance.’ By the end you’ve learned a section of the choreography, and the class culminates in an iPhone-recorded performance you can download from the Banana Skirt website and promptly upload to your Instagram. Cue barrage of compliments from friends and followers.
Up five flights of stairs in an old Tribeca building (think of them as your warm-up), twentysomethings gather for Dance Body – a combination of bouncy routines that get your heart rate soaring, and sculpting moves to target the itty-bitty muscles as well as the larger ones. Founder Katia Pryce is a walking, talking endorsement for her technique, with a super-toned figure honed by a workout that takes the body through every possible range of motion. The class, which is set to an awesome playlist of fast club beats, gets a choreography refresh monthly and includes a barre-style toning section to finish. Take the recommended four classes per week and not only will you have mastered the moves by mid-month, you’ll start to notice your body transforming too.
Founded by Anna Kaiser – a celebrity coach who recently launched an activewear line with C9 Champion – AKT is a dance-based workout that allows you to build on your movement repertoire with every class. By reducing pain and boredom, which Kaiser describes as “the two biggest enemies of any fitness routine,” she’s created a class you’ll look forward to attending. AKT’s choreography is super accessible to beginners; it’s taught incrementally, with a new move added after each repetition. Dance cardio is blended with intense strength-training portions to tone and build stamina in the space of 60-75 minutes.