When Barry's Bootcamp reached out to me a few weeks ago about trying one of the fitness studio's "Broadway Bootcamp" classes, I was all over it.
I edit the Fitness section of Dance Spirit, and I'm always looking to try trendy new workouts (so I can share them with you, of course). Barry's Bootcamp has been around for a while now and it's especially popular in L.A. The NYC location opened last summer and was an instant hot spot.
But you knew that already, right? Because, like me, you keep up with those Kardashians.
Yes, Barry's Bootcamp is where Kim tones that perky, famous tush of hers.
The slogan at Barry's is "The Best Workout in the World."
So was it?
I put on my finest Lululemon in order to find out.
When I walked into the studio, I was warmly greeted by Craig Ramsay, my instructor (though a more accurate title might be Butt Kicker).
Craig's first words were, "My God, you're fit!"
I was flattered—but skeptical. I'm a runner, not a Broadway star, and I wasn't sure my high-mileage skills would translate to this class.
Craig—who is a Broadway performer and celebrity trainer—gave me a tour of the studio and let me peek into one of the ongoing classes. I saw a room packed with sweaty people, sprinting faster than I thought possible on a row of treadmills.
Craig explained to me that his class is basically a twist on the traditional Barry's class. Most classes revolve around drills on a treadmill—burst of sprints, hill climbs and shuffling sideways—as well as floor exercises, which include a focus on arms, abs, legs or, my favorite, butts, depending on which class you've signed up for. But Craig's class is made super-safe for dancers, which I loved. He told me that we wouldn't be "sprinting that fast," and that he'd be incorporating tips throughout the class on how to stay safe and how to utilize each exercise in your dance life. Again, loved it.
Not only did Craig seem to have a ton of knowledge, but he has the credentials to back it up: He trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and then went on to land Broadway roles in Mamma Mia!, Fiddler on the Roof, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cats and more. Dancers, singers and actors love training with him (I know because the girls in the locker room after class told me so) and he's a celebrity trainer on Bravo's show Thintervention.
OK, but how was the class?
It was so fun! And it was a killer workout.
The class lasted an hour and it flew by because we were constantly moving. We started on the treadmills and did intervals on an incline and a flat sprint. I was sweaty within minutes. I'm a big fan of sweat.
After 15–20 minutes (I wasn't counting) on the treadmills, we moved to the floor. Today's class focus was on arms, so we used dumbbells to do bicep curls, tricep kick-backs and other slow, controlled arm movements. Craig was always reminding us to breathe and keep our cores tight. Total body workout? Totally.
When the first floor set was complete, we hopped back on the treadmills, and then went back to the floor again for a medicine ball section. My abs were feeling the burn. After one last treadmill round, it was time for stretching and a cool-down—the best part!
Overall, I had a great time at Barry's Bootcamp today. I loved that the class was packed with dancers and Broadway stars (um, seriously—I got a kick out of people watching during the stretching portion at the end) and Craig's energy made me want to work really hard. He was really aware of anyone with injuries or special needs, and he was the kind of motivator you want to take class from and then hang out with afterward.
Which I did, by the way. We hung out and I picked his brain and he has all sorts of cool dancey things planned for the very near future. Stay tuned. I'll tell you more about them.
So Barry's, thanks for the butt-kicking sweat session this morning. I'll be back! Let Kim Kardashian know that I'm ready for a squat competition.
Dancer Yesenia Ayala first caught our eye in the off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity with Sutton Foster earlier this year. So, we were super excited when we found out she was making her Broadway debut in this spring's sweetest new show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Both productions were choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.)
Since the NYC premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream at American Ballet Theatre's spring gala Monday night, the DS editors haven't stopped talking about its creepy-cute sets and costumes, created by artist Mark Ryden. Well, the obsession is about to get even crazier, because we just heard that Ryden's artwork for the ballet is now on display in not one, but TWO locations in NYC.
Yes, yes, we know: Dancers are athletes as well as artists. But we haven't seen anything hammer home just HOW athletic dancers are quite as well as this video from Self magazine, which features American Ballet Theatre principal/fairy princess Isabella Boylston trying to teach top-level CrossFit enthusiasts ballet.
There's a reason Mia Michaels' nickname is "Mama Mia." The legendary choreographer invests deeply in her dancers, whether they're competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance," members of the Radio City Rockettes, or part of her own elite assistant squad. And now, Michaels is launching a project that aims to give more dancers access to her gifts as a teacher and mentor.
And that's a wrap on "Dancing with the Stars" Season 24, ladies and gents! It's certainly been one for the books. From injuries to shocking eliminations, let's just say Season 24 has had its emotional ups and downs. But despite all that, the season made for some seriously phenom dancing and some killer performances. And as usual, we've loved watching every second of those cha chas, foxtrots, and waltzes.
Let's get right to the exciting stuff, though: Last night's winning couple of "Dancing with the Stars" is...
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.