I have long come to terms with the fact that I have no musical bone in my body. I wish I could be the person who, upon spotting a piano in the room, starts busting out show tunes and gets the whole crowd singing along (I’ve actually been witness to this more than once). So last week, when I was pulled on stage to sing karaoke (which was more like scream monotonously), I figured that it was time to come up with a better solution. If I can’t sing, perhaps I can be a fabulous backup dancer for my crew instead. Enter Broadway Bodies.
Broadway Bodies is a dance studio in NYC that specializes in teaching the choreography to pop songs, music videos and musicals. They describe their classes as high-impact cardio classes that incorporate basic dance movements with easy-to-grasp techniques. Since I have zero dance experience under my belt, this actually sounded like something I could do.
The studio offers classes that range from Queen B to Hamilton but the teenage girl in me convinced me to start with Bieber. In order to prepare, I watched the Sorry video on repeat (naturally). Word to the wise, take a class with a song you really enjoy and can stand listening to for an hour straight. I forgot that after my 2 hours of “research”, I would also be twerking to the song for another hour or so. Yeah, that’s a lot of Bieber.
The Chelsea studio of Broadway Bodies doesn’t have any bells or whistles, or eucalyptus towels. They share the studio space with other similarly-minded classes, and run multiple classes at a time. As a result, there are numerous lines of women and Broadway hopefuls clogging up the hallway. I initially thought I had walked into a surprise audition of some sorts and immediately started nervous sweating. This would be a huge leap out of my comfort zone.
Like cattle, they shuffled us into a room and we were immediately greeted by our instructor, who was enthusiastic, in a campy, peppy, cheerleader kind of way; to say she was high energy is an understatement. The class itself was broken into three different parts and we learned moves up until the end of the first chorus. I imagine that it wouldn’t be too difficult for anyone with a dance background, but with my two left feet, I resembled a stumbling newborn fawn, rather than one of Bieber’s Bitties from the video. As expected, there was some twerking, a move dubbed the “sexy Bird” (which I’m pretty sure is the technical term), and cues like “Boobies and the Hips” never left any guesses as to what area our hands should be moving towards. My uncoordinated self had trouble keeping up with all the choreography, but I actually started to enjoy myself through all my fumbles. I made friendly conversation and giggled my way through the class with my newfound dance pals, and while I tried to hide in the back, my wallflower master plan was foiled when we all of the sudden reversed to face the back of the room for a few beats (cue more nervous sweating).
The class itself isn’t exactly a cardio workout so don’t think you can start skipping your gym sessions and give up your running routine just yet. Perhaps it is more of a workout for the brain. Even still, you will work up a sweat trying to keep up with the choreography and performing. And if that doesn’t make you sweat, perhaps the uncomfortably warm temperature of the room will (I’m talking reminiscent of a heated yoga class).
All in all, this is a great activity to do with friends, giving you a chance to lose your inhibitions in a supportive, unpretentious environment. There was not one type of woman in the class; all shapes, sizes and ages were represented. In our class of 30+ people, there was also a lone gentleman who could surely give the Biebs a run for his money. The first thing they tell you upon entering the room is that the class is a judgment free zone and even though I was hesitant at first, I grew to love it towards the end. Everybody was there to try something new and unleash his or her inner sass, while having fun along the way. And that’s what it’s all about.
Want to give it a go? Details below. Don’t forget to let us know what you think.
Who: Broadway Bodies
Where: Locations vary, but their Chelsea studio is at 151 West 26th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY
How much: $20 or find a class on Classpass