Disclosure: Dance Dispatches received complimentary admission to the Signature DanceBody class to write an open and honest fitness class review.
New York City is known for its incredible dance scene, so it only makes sense that their dance fitness classes are next level, too. We signed up for a Signature Class with DanceBody, and even though we’re not new to dance cardio classes, the intense sweat session was way more than we bargained for. Our DanceBody Signature Class with Katia Pryce was like a glamorous, rhythmic boot camp in the very best way.
DanceBody Fitness Classes
DanceBody is the brainchild of founder and CEO Katia Pryce, who launched her business in 2013. And while the DanceBody team has nearly 25 trainers, the former professional dancer still teaches a range of sessions to her motivated students.
Both the DanceBody Signature and Full Out classes include 45 minutes of high and low impact cardio before 15 minutes of sculpting. They’re very similar, but the Full Out class includes more advanced movements. For the ultimate DanceBody challenge – or if you’re feeling a touch nostalgic, sign up for Level 10, which features a variety of routines from the DanceBody archives. Otherwise, take a Signature 101 class, which promises “zero brain strain” or a 45-minute Express class.
“Our classes are designed for you to experience a dance-inspired workout with no prior dance experience… We suggest starting with a Signature 101, Sculpt, or Express class if you are new to dance-fitness.”– Samantha Ostwald, DanceBody trainer
DanceBody Signature Class
I arrived at the lovely sunlit DanceBody NoMad studio on a chilly morning in November. But little did I know things were about to get real hot, real fast – right after checking in at reception and grabbing a towel.
Ten minutes before class plenty of young women clad in leggings stretched and chatted, many greeted personally by DanceBody founder Katia Pryce. And even after the punishing Signature session, the large majority had the stamina to stick around for Pryce’s DanceBody Sculpt class. (Spoiler alert: I was not one of those people.)
The fast-paced party music quickly pulled me in, but after three songs at hyper-speed, I was glad that I hadn’t managed to snag a front row spot. My limbs had already started to flail, in contrast to the crisp movements by our inexhaustible leader. I realized that my HIIT classes didn’t prepare me for DanceBody, since there really isn’t time to recover. Until the sculpting songs, the first part of class is a sprint.
Pryce is a beast – and a hype master on the lookout for sharpness, high kicks and soaring leaps. DanceBody is more aerobic than dancing, so you probably aren’t going to bust these moves out at the club. But we completed a mixture of jumping jacks, shooting our knees up to our chests, throwing our legs up in arabesque and jumping into jazzy drag steps.
“We’re dancer-turned-instructors moving your body in new ways and working muscles you didn’t know existed… Every move is delivered with tough love because we know what you’re capable of.”– DanceBody, About
The Signature Class was good for the brain, too. There were variations of exercises, completed at different facings. Some movements alternated sides, while some were completed two to each side or followed a ‘single, single, double’ pattern.
The combinations weren’t super obvious without super strong bridges and choruses (like you’ll find in traditional Zumba classes). This means that your first class will undoubtedly be extra tricky, but class choreography remains the same for three months , so you can nail the routines and amp up your performance quality if you continue to attend.
My hammering heart heartily welcomed the songs that focused on toning the arms and legs. Simple, purposeful movements worked these areas and the core – a nice way to round out the workout.
The DanceBody Signature Class was equally humbling and inspirational. But I walked out feeling accomplished. I thought: “I survived. And if I can do it once, I can certainly do it again…” Perhaps, we’ll see.
Signature DanceBody Class Summary
Physical intensity: 5/5, but you can carry on at a lower intensity if necessary
Best moment(s): Regularly wiping off the sweat as it poured down my face, an indicator of a beneficial workout
Most challenging moment: Jumping up from burpees (‘pop ups’ in DanceBody lingo) to a very fast beat
Three words to describe class: Insane, yet cleansing
If You Go to DanceBody in New York City
Locations: Tribeca, NoMad, Williamsburg and Upper East Side
Class prices and Memberships: A single NYC class costs $35, while a 20 pack reduces the per-class cost to $30. $575 will give you access to unlimited classes for one month, but if you commit to a full year, you can attend unlimited classes for $525 per month.
If you’re not in New York, you can work out digitally with DanceBody LIVE (DB Live) for $34.99 per month or $349.99 per year. Membership will give you access to pre-recorded On Demand workouts and LIVE streaming classes online.
All information correct and up-to-date at time of posting.
What types of dance fitness classes have you tried? And which DanceBody class would you sign up for first? Let us know in the comments below!