“It’s a no-judgment zone.”

Here’s what Elena Littles said in front of a DC 305 fitness class last month. If you want to sing, scream or scream, do it. If you want to jump, roll or play on the (soft) floor, feel free. You say you like waving and clapping? do it.

A 305 Fitness coach—who is also a Washington Redskins cheerleader, dancer and Howard University student—will keep you moving and entertained. In a dark room with lights on, a live DJ and other dancers who care about fun and fitness, it’s hard not to perform.

“I don’t think you get anything like this anywhere else,” said Ian McCabe, 27, owner of a hair dye company and salon based in DC. energy, training, people. It’s unique.” class. when the company began offering classes at the center last month following its New York launch. Now he holds a few classes a week.

Offering morning and evening classes, 305 Fitness is a new exercise program that harnesses the physical and mental benefits of nightclub dancing while eliminating unhealthy elements like wine and darkness. 305 Fitness is led by trained professional dancers and acting instructors, while other dance groups provide the stage and music to perform the moves. 

For example, Daybreaker is an organization that hosts $25 worth of two-hour morning dances in cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta. Daybreaker founder Radha Agrawal, 35, said the goal is “to create a community that values ​​harmony, self-expression, happiness, awareness and playfulness.” London-based Morning Gloryville – Francisco hosts $20 events in New York and San Francisco – offering beauty treatments, smoothies, coffee and even massages in place.

At 305 Fitness, which starts at $32 in New York and $24 per class in the area, DJs shoot everything from Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” to “Shake I t. Off” ” by Taylor Swift. Meanwhile, trainers like Littles are quick to come up with routines inspired by the sequence of moves they’ve learned in 400 hours of coaching. 

“People love to dance… when you go out in the evening and have a few drinks, you can tell they want to dance,” says Sadie Kurzban, 25, founder of 305 Fitness. The idea for the startup came to him during spring break in 2011 while dancing at a nightclub in Miami.

“That was when I really got the idea to combine the two concepts,” says Kurzban, who won a company to start 305 Fitness after being a student in an aerobic dance class at Brown University. together. “Teaching this fitness class, but also creating a real party and bringing out the elements that I love in Miami – fun, sex, sense of freedom, live music, DJ, lighting, the whole thing. practice experience.”

Since launching 305 Fitness, named after Miami’s zip code, in 2012, the company has held about 50 classes a week in New York and a field office in D.C. Meanwhile, the founders Daybreaker founders are planning parties in London, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv, Sydney and Amsterdam.

“It all started as an art project [and] a social experiment, and people loved it,” Agrawal said. – Now this is a movement.

Dance for health and happiness

Walter Thompson, a professor of kinesiology, health, and nutrition at Georgia State University who led the annual survey of exercise trends published by the American College of Sports Medicine, said: The idea of ​​dancing for fitness is not new. While aerobics boomed in the 1980s, Zumba became very popular in the early 2000s.

“For-profit companies are very good at repacking, repacking, and repacking,” says Thompson. “What’s happening with 305 Fitness and Morning Gloryville is that they’ve tweaked it a little bit differently, but it’s a long-standing exercise program.”

According to Thompson, dance fitness has not yet become a trend in the eyes of the American College of Sports Medicine because it only exists in a few large cities. “The trend is that you can go to any city in the country or almost anywhere in the world and find this form of mobility,” he said.

However, Thompson and others say the concept is good because it gets people moving, uplifts and spreads the message that exercise can be fun.

“The more fun we exercise, the better we feel,” says Angela Smith, MD, plastic surgeon in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and former president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “.

In particular, dancing has been linked to many positive health benefits, including improved heart health and flexibility, as well as reduced depression and anxiety. For example, in a 2013 study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, Swedish researchers found that there was no medical reason for teenage girls to blame themselves for losing weight after taking part in the study. Take a 75-minute dance class twice a day. In some cases, after experiencing physical symptoms. Like the headache is gone, I think my health has improved. Join once a week for eight months. More than 90% of the 59 participants rated positive and improved after one year of the intervention.   

“The best thing about exercise like dancing is that it’s fun and has music,” says Smith. “You get all the benefits of doing something you love – all those endorphins – plus the heart and music benefits.” 

Dancing also helps with weight loss. In a study last year in the American Journal of Health Behavior, 28 overweight and obese women attended one-hour Zumba classes three times a week for 16 weeks. At the end of 4 months, the women had increased motivation to exercise, improved aerobic fitness, and reduced body weight and body fat.

Additionally, the non-competitive nature of the class — which encourages participants to develop their talents and take care of themselves in everyday activities — helps prevent injuries, Smith said. It can be released.

“If you’re uncoordinated or nervous, I think you should try and have fun – leave your inhibitions out the door,” says McCabe of 305 Fitness. “You’re hooked. fun, good exercise, what more could you want?”

By Lusjan