One of my favorite things to do in NYC is to check out new fitness classes. I get to edit the Body section of Dance Spirit (including Health, Nutrition, Mind and Fitness stories), so not only do I get to break a solid sweat, but it's also technically considered research for my job! Two birds, one...water bottle?
This week, I was pumped to try the newest hot class in the city—Body Conceptions by Mahri—and I dragged fellow DS editors Michael and Rachel with me! (They're still a little bit mad at me...something about being "OMG so sore, I hate you!!!")
But we had a blast working out together, and I wholeheartedly recommend Mahri's class. Here's why:
Um, Mahri is gorgeous. Like the kind of the kind of pretty you can't look at directly or you'll burn your retinas from all the hotness.
But you can't hate her—she's probably the nicest person I've ever taken class with. So she's basically perfect. I'm still awaiting her response about my request to "please teach me everything you know about being beautiful and sweet."
The class is ideal for dancers. You start with some simple stretching to get warm, followed by 15 minutes of cardio. Think lots of jumping jacks and fun side-to-side, forward-and-back dance moves. Next, you get into the strength training portion of class. We used 2-lb. weights (don't underestimate the power of tiny dumbbells!) to do lots of small movements and pulsing. Then we moved into lower-body stuff, like lunges and curtsy-squats, and my legs were visibly shaking. Then I was excited because we got to "come down onto the mat," but that didn't mean we got any sort of break. Instead, we did some ab work (my favorite) and bum exercises, which were killer. Finally, we wrapped up class with some return-to-high-energy dancing in the dark (yup, really).
So go check it out. You'll love Mahri and I promise you'll feel the burn. Remember: stronger body, stronger dancer.
Mahri's classes take place at the Dance New Amsterdam studios and your first class is only $20.
In our "Dear Katie" series, MCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm 14 and have been studying ballet seriously for about three years. Even though I feel ready,my teachers haven't put me on pointe yet. Am I doing something wrong? Should I ask them about it, or is it pointe-less?
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Samantha Figgins (Andrew Eccles)
Samantha Figgins is currently in her fifth season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (and was a Dance Spirit cover girl back in 2013!). But what many people don't know is that the gorgeous dancer suffers from single-sided deafness. As a baby, Figgins contracted spinal meningitis, which caused her to lose all hearing in her right ear. She never gave up on her dance dreams, though, and fought her way through uncomfortable situations, never missing an opportunity to learn and grow. Now, after getting her first pair of hearing aids, she opens up about her path to success. —(As told to Courtney Celeste Spears)
Sara Esty as Maggie in "A Chorus Line" (courtesy Esty)
Sara Esty's ethereal grace and sophisticated charm have won over ballet and Broadway audiences alike. The bunhead-turned-Broadway-baby began training near her hometown in Gorham, ME, at the Maine State Ballet's School for the Performing Arts (with her equally fabulous twin sister, Leigh-Ann). She enrolled full-time at the Miami City Ballet School in 2004, and joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice in 2005. In 2006, Esty won the Princess Grace Award, and she was promoted to soloist at MCB in 2011. After leaving MCB in 2014, she made her Broadway debut in An American in Parisas the understudy for Lise, and went on to share the role of Lise with her sister on the show's national tour. Most recently, she was seen in 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Marie, Dancing Stillin Seattle, WA. —Courtney Bowers