Body by Simone is a boutique fitness studio run by celebrity trainer/ former dancer/adorable Australian Simone de la Rue. She has studios in LA and NY, and many a famous client (umm Taylor Swift goes here, hello!!). Her method is a mix of dance cardio and toning and it’s a lot of fun.
BBS (how I abbreviate it, because I’m basically a regular *hair flip emoji*) is located in Chelsea in an art gallery space. Be forewarned–it’s past 11th avenue, so it’s basically in Jersey. Allow extra travel time, or just swim there from Hoboken, it’s probably faster.
The studio is equipped with water, two showers, a locker room, lockers (but no locks – BYO) and towels. The classroom space itself is very bright and open and has upscale-dance-studio vibes. However, the open layout lends itself to poor acoustics, so it’s hard to hear the instructor in the room (this is only exacerbated by the fact that instructors don’t wear microphones–apparently this is to make the experience feel more like a true dance class).
(view of the main studio [source])
Of BBS’s offerings, I’ve taken Full Body and Dance Cardio.
Dance Cardio is just that–45 minutes of different combos with a couple of toning exercises and a stretch at the end of class. The dance moves are a mix of choreography, cardio moves such as jumping jacks, and moves that you’d do in your living room when nobody is home. For newbies and non-dancers, the moves can be hard to pick up at first, especially because instructors don’t really yell out clues and instead use hand motions and clap (sadly, the studio name Mimes by Simone was already taken). But, the choreography repeats itself and you’ll see some of the same combos in each class, so you’ll catch on. I’m sad to say the toning section at the end was pretty lame, but I was honestly too sweaty and tired to care at this point.
Full Body is easily my favorite class–it alternates between sprints of intense dance cardio and toning sections for arms, glutes and abs. The toning sections are longer and harder here and utilize different props, such as weights, resistance bands, sliders (for abs, not sandwiches), and a playground ball. I always leave this class feeling absolutely exhausted, but in the best way. The first time I took this class, I was sore for days.
The studio offers several other classes, as well: HBT (hips, buns, thighs) for lower body, Upper Body for upper body (duh), and Tramp Cardio, a cardio class using small trampolines that I will not be participating in because I have enough trouble learning choreography on a stable surface.
Instructors here are all super friendly and mostly professional dancers. I seriously applaud them for maintaining flawless smiles after 40+ minutes of dance cardio. Most of them ask about new students/injuries/etc., which is nice.
After multiple visits, though, I do have to note that there’s a lot of variance in instructor intensity and energy. The more senior teachers (Jasmine, Beth) draw tons of students for a reason – they keep your mood up, truly challenge you, and have an infectious energy. However, the newer instructors are a big quieter and one instructor I took didn’t bring any energy to my class at all and seemed like he’d rather be elsewhere. Basically, what I’m saying is that if you don’t like your instructor here for some reason, try a different instructor and you might have a totally different experience!
With great power comes great celebrity endorsements, and with great celebrity endorsements come lots of models and try-hards. This place is definitely a scene, and I’m pretty sure some of the model girls come here just to show off their high-end workout clothes rather than to exercise. If you have them, wear your colorful Nike sneakers, expensive yoga pants, and cute sports bra, but if not, it’s all good. Half of the clientele look like models and the other half are normal people. I’m still waiting to see a celebrity here (or anywhere, really–signs I’m new to NYC), so if anyone figures out T. Swift’s workout schedule LMK.
This is one of the more expensive studios–drop-in classes are $35, but the price goes down if you buy a package.