I showed up at the 305 studio in Midtown and immediately loved the atmosphere. Neon lights and fun signs created a welcoming environment, especially for a nervous newbie like me. I signed in and entered the studio where a live DJ was playing surprisingly sick remixes. Lots of throwbacks mixed in with popular top hits blasted through the speakers, pumping up the dancers and warming us up. Our coach Naimah strutted into the studio telling a funny anecdote about her day which I found hysterical and relatable, and I instantly felt more comfortable. I was ready to SHAKE IT.
The class was cardio for beginners, but one of the other girls told me Naimah was a tough cookie. The workout was split up into 20 minutes of dancing, 5 minutes of arms, 5 minutes of legs, and 10 minutes of running. I thought this sounded unbearable, but once we got going I couldn’t believe how fast everything flew by. The moves were sassy and we were instructed to execute them fiercely and put our personality into our poses. Lots of booty bumps and power punches to the beat of the music with barely any breaks. I don’t think I’ve ever sweat that much in my entire life, but I have to admit I was feeling great.
I finally got the chance to cool down and attempt to blot my face and chest dry when it was time to pick up weights. Yes, you heard me, I said weights. I didn’t think I could possibly do arm curls after jumping up and down and waving them around for 20 minutes but I surprised myself. The class is so positive and upbeat that it actually makes you want to push yourself further once the moves lighten up. A series of planks and leg lifts later and it was time to get back up and dance it out. The short toning break allowed me to catch my breath and I felt ready to run around again.
The last part of the class went heavy on the cardio, and I was back to sweating bullets. Naimah was so encouraging and I started to feel how sweaty could be sexy. I was in control of my body and how it moved, and I owned it. I was easily the worst dancer in the class but I was having so much fun that I didn’t even really care. I made it a point to go up to Naimah and introduce myself after class and she was so genuine and energetic.
I left 305 on a high that lasted well into the rest of my evening. I felt incredible and healthy, which even transferred over into making healthier choices for dinner than I would have otherwise. I signed up for the same class with the same teacher at the same time the week after and followed her on Instagram. I was hooked. What most surprised me about this class was how much fun I had dancing and how little I cared that I probably looked like an idiot. The class was so fast-paced that there probably wasn’t even time for anyone to focus on anyone else’s movements but their own. Everyone was there for the same reason and no one was judging anyone else. 305 is the epitome of dance like no one’s watching, and I’m ready to bust out my moves eeeevery Monday at 6:00 from now on.
Hannah Jacobs, newfound wellness enthusiast, is spending her summer trying a variety of fitness & wellness firsts. She will return every Wednesday to share her experiences and insights.