Last week, I took a cycling class in the middle of a Manhattan street. This week, I took a cardio dance class in the middle of an Athleta store. Talk about fun workout settings! The Upper East Side Athleta store, which is only about 10 blocks from my apartment, holds free yoga classes on Sundays and additional free workouts throughout the month. On Wednesday night, they hosted the Miami-inspired dance cardio studio, 305 Fitness.
Yeah, it’s sort of like that. 305 teaches 45-minute classes to the beats of Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and other Top 40 hits. The workouts include combinations of aerobic and dance cardio movements, plus toning and stretching. I think 305 is a fantastic class for boutique fitness newbies. You spend the entire time feeling like you’re dancing at a club (minus the heels, but your legs will feel it the next day). When taking a class at the studio, there is a live DJ and actual club lights to complete the atmosphere.
The Athleta class was taught by Latoya “The Powerhouse” Julce. This lady is no joke. Latoya is also a trainer at Equinox. She took turns dancing with each of us the entire class, which made the record number of squats bearable. I think nearly all Upper East Side pedestrians stopped to watch the class drop it low through Athleta’s front window.
I’ve taken most of my previous 305 classes with Founder Sadie “The Party Starter” Kurzban. Sadie is 23 years old. That’s not a typo. She’s a recent Brown University graduate who moved to New York City to expand her existing fitness brand in a very competitive market. That takes guts. This spring, Sadie also held donation-based classes on behalf of She’s the First (the nonprofit I volunteer for) to fund scholarships for girls’ education in developing countries. Yes, she really is that awesome. Get to know her better below.
What is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur/fitness instructor?
Because 305 is so much fun and we have such an open-minded community, I have watched non-active people convert to fitness addicts. It is so rewarding knowing I am helping others feel better about their bodies and do so while letting go and enjoying themselves.
Any big plans for 305 in the upcoming months?
Yes! I am working hard looking for my own studio space. Stay tuned!
What is your least favorite exercise? Your most favorite, besides dance cardio?
My least favorite exercise is swimming. I know it’s great for you but I need music to pump me up and I don’t like how solitary it can be. My favorite after dance cardio is probably a good ass-kicking bootcamp class. I’m a big fan of Barry’s.
Describe your workout gear style, including favorite brands.
Ha! I have to admit, I don’t toy much in the workout apparel world. I find a lot of the styles to be too constrictive (cover up this fat roll, boost the breasts up here) and when I dance, I want to feel free! I like to wear clothes you might find on the street or in a hip hop class — cut off jean shorts, slashed men’s tanks, whatever let’s me get down and embrace (not hide!) my physique.
What’s in your perfect pressed juice or smoothie?
I’m a bigger fan of smoothies over juices for the added fullness and fiber kick a smoothie provides. I love tropical fruits that remind me of my hometown, Miami. A big mango and pineapple fan!
What’s in your perfect chopped salad?
I love a Mediterranean salad — chickpeas, kalamata olives, fresh feta, tomatoes, cucumbers. Yum!
Videos via 305 Fitness