I entered graduate school as an awkward, uncoordinated person. I will leave it as a prima ballerina.
Just kidding. But jokes aside, Boston has quite a few fun, unique dance fitness opportunities, and I have them to thank for making me a more coordinated, flexible, happy person.
Dance fitness classes usually work like this: you follow along with a fitness instructor as they dance to the music, taking the onus off of you to come up with dance moves and look cool. All you have to do is sweat and have fun!
Barre Groove. Premise: each person gets a personal trampoline and a pair of pom-poms, and then you dance to the music while bouncing. Yes, I know, it is very extra. I don’t care! I cannot recommend this class enough! It’s a lot of fun, and because there’s a trampoline you can make it as high intensity as you want while still experiencing zero impact, which is great for my knees + my knee injuries. To make things better, they sneak in some excellent toning exercises (the barre part) into every class, making it a well-rounded workout even if you’re still getting your trampoline legs. If your class happens after dark, they’ll turn on the black lights, so wear neon! Barre groove is conveniently located two blocks away from the Park Street redline stop. The pom-pom trampoline class is called Total Groove; they also offer classes that are trampoline-only, pom-only, or barre-only. You can book through classpass; which has individual classes at this studio for about $9/class. You can also book directly through Barre Groove’s website; first class is free, or pay $9/class when you buy a pack of five.
Take a trampoline pom-pom class, Total Groove, at the Barre Groove studio
305 fitness. Premise: work out in a nightclub; exit drenched in sweat. 305 is Zumba++; it’s a dedicated space with a full sound and lights system, a live DJ, and an ever-energetic instructor who leads you in 50 minutes of fantastic cardio + interspersed toning. To be extra extra, wear workout clothes that look good under normal and black light, as the lights will change over the course of the class, and be prepared to take advantage of several instagrammable spots. 305 is located right next to Eastern Standard in Fenway; but do not drink a cocktail immediately after class, drink water! Most intense instructors: Michelle, Wisty. You can book directly through the 305 fitness website: they have a great new-client promo that’s $30 for 10-days unlimited, otherwise classes are expensive at $19-$28/class. Keep an eye out for their Bring-a-friend classes: you register, and then your friend can just turn up for free!
Vixen Army. There was a time when I would have been embarrassed to admit that I go to a fitness class called “Vixen army”, and THAT TIME HAS PASSED, which I think pretty well exemplifies how Vixen is great for building self-confidence and sass. Vixen is basically Zumba, but with more hip-hop and hip thrusts, and a no-men-allowed policy. If you secretly wish you knew how to shimmy, twerk, and do that thing-where-they-bend-over-and-then-get-back-up-while-sticking-their-ass-out-sexily, this is the class for you! It is presently held on Newbury street in what is (oddly) a karate studio during the day, but that’s all part of the experience! You can book through classpass, which has classes at this studio for about $9/class. You can also book directly through their website at $15/class.
MIT fitness. MIT offers dance fitness classes like Zumba and BollyX several times a week through their group exercise program; they almost always take place at the Alumni Wang center. This is a great place to check out if you’re just getting started because it’s close and convenient! Best dance fitness instructor: Fen. You can find the MIT group fitness schedule online; it’s $30 for a one-month pass or $150 or under for the semester.
Dance Complex. The Dance Complex in Central Square hosts a wide variety of classes throughout the week, including traditional dance fitness classes like Zumba and BollyX. In addition, this is your gateway to the world of actual dance classes! Chris Suharlim’s K-pop classes ($17/class) are very popular, and a fun thing to try if you think you might be interested in more choreography-based dance. You can find videos from all the classes on the Sassy Hip Hop Facebook page. For a mix of technique/choreography/just jamming, I’d also recommend the House dance classes with Sean Bjerke ($17/class); see a video of what it’s like here. Find the full Dance Complex schedule here.
Enjoy and I’ll see you there!