My friend Tara read about this class in the New York Times and invited me to come to a class with her. Broadway Bodies is a small group of instructors (they don't have their own studio, they just rent out space), that started making workout dance routines to Beyonce songs and they totally blew up. After attending the class on Monday, I can totally understand why.
The dance we did was Freakum Dress (a song I wasn't familiar with before I signed up). I was expecting a more aggressive, masculine style of hip hop. But the class was definitely more feminine and sultry.
Hopefully, I can help clear up any questions you may have about the class.
They meet in Chelsea Studios. It's an unmarked high-rise office building. Just look for the address number and take the elevator up to the 6th floor.
151 West 26th Street (off 7th Ave), 6th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Based on their schedule, it looks like most of their classes are at 7 or 8pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
How far in advance do you have to sign up?
The classroom is pretty small, so it books up really fast. I signed up about a month in advance. What you should do is follow Broadway Bodies on Facebook, and sign up as soon as they announce that reservation are open.
Do I need to be a good dancer?
It doesn't hurt, but you definitely wouldn't be out of place if you don't have dance experience. I was really nervous about this because my friend Tara is a really good hip hop dancer. I was hoping that I wasn't the only one not on her level. Fortunately, the class was totally doable. He even gave modifications for moves that he noticed people were struggling with.
Is the class a solid workout?
Nah. Not really. I was sweating, but I think that was more because the room was kind of hot. I wouldn't count this as cardio any more than I would count my morning commute (walking + standing on subway for an hour) as cardio.
What is the instructor like?
Mitchell Wayne was so good. The thought Man. I wish I could be as confident and feminine as that guy definitely went through my head multiple times. But his draw wasn't just that he was good at dancing like Bey. He was also a great instructor. He helped instill confidence in his students, and provided us with ways to own mistakes instead of being embarrassed by them. He made the point Beyonce isn't Beyonce because of any specific dance moves she does. What makes her the queen is her confidence. When we made mistakes, he encouraged us to think that our "way" was better. Yeah, I did it like that. As if we did it on purpose.
He also had Tara and I laughing the whole time. He made the class so fun.
Where will I be able to put my stuff?
No locker rooms. We just put our stuff to the side of the class room.
What do I wear?
Whatever. Most people were in standard workout clothes -- leggings and a tank top with athletic shoes.
Would you go back?
Totally. It was so fun! I'd love to take the Drunk In Love or Partition classes -- they just fill up so fast!
For funsies, here's the video they took of the Freakum Dress class I went to. I'm in the back row in bright yellow.