Crash Course: Dance Trance is the latest dance-based workout craze to land in the District. At its core, it’s a 60-minute aerobic dance workout set to top-40 hits. There are no verbal cues, and no yelling in structors. Instead, feel the beat and do your best to keep up as instructors lead the class through simple and effective dance sequences. Intimidated by choreography? Head to one of the “breakdown” classes for a step-by-step introduction to the latest routines. Bottom line: low lighting, loud music, and a class full of folks sweating to the same moves makes this workout feel exactly like being in a night-club flash mob of the coolest variety. Click here to check out the full schedule of classes.
bring: water bottle, towel
perks: new routines to show off at the club
sweat score: 8 out of 10 [/left][right]wear: gym clothes, dancing shoes
cost: drop in rate is $18*[/right][line]
I know I already said Jazzercise class was similar to going out dancing with girlfriends. But that was before I tried Dance Trance. This, my friends, feels exactly like a night on the town with a bunch of ladies who just happen to be doing the same dance moves as you. It will make all of your flash-mob, Step Up, So You Think You Can Dance dreams come true. The environment is fun (you won’t find any screaming dance-marms here), supportive, and all about leaving behind the day’s frustrations in a pool of sweat on the dance floor.
Dance Trance is on my list of 13 crashes to complete in 2013, so you can imagine my excitement when I was invited to test out a class last week. The studio is part of the Balance Gym in Thomas Circle, which is actually split between two buildings. Dance Trance classes are held in the second building located behind the main entrance on 14th street (pictured above). Head down the well-lit alleyway to the left and you’ll run right into where you need to go. There’s a big sign and lots of bright lights – you can’t miss it.
Sign in at the front desk and use the narrow staircase on the left to get to the dance studio on the third floor.
From what I could tell, there wasn’t any defined storage area for personal belongings, so head in through the studio doors and set your stuff along one of the walls. It seemed like this was what everyone else did, and I was able to keep an eye on my things the entire time. There is also a small restroom on this floor, so if you need to change into clothes when you arrive, plan to channel your inner Clark Kent and use the bathroom stall for a costume change.
The dance studio has wall to wall mirrors, which is helpful for some and horrifying for others. I was perfectly okay with keeping my flailing arms and two left feet to myself, but for everyone who witnessed the entertainment of watching me try to break it down to Shakira, you’re welcome. Personal awkwardness aside, I can see how the mirrors are helpful in some instances, especially for the hour when the class dissects a few of the dance routines. When the High Cardio hour kicks into full gear, the lights turn off and the mirror is no longer such a big deal.
Things to know about Dance Trance class:
- If you’ve never been, I highly recommend attending the Breakdown hour to learn a few essential moves.
- It gets really hot and humid in there, so be prepared to sweat.
- The lights turn down low during class and there are a few colored, flashing lights to add to the night-club effect.
- Similar to Jazzercise, all of the songs played have corresponding dance routines. The more often you attend, the more likely you’ll be able to pick up the entire sequence.
- If you ever get lost in the choreography (like I did for every song)…just keep moving. I recommend the running man and the Carlton when in a pinch, but use your own discretion.
- The class is led by three instructors strategically placed throughout the room. They use easy-to-follow hand cues to help convey what moves are coming next.
- You will bump into someone. You may even fall down a few times. Laugh, smile, get up, shake it off, and try again. It’s all about having fun and getting in an awesome workout.
Finally, a huge “thank you” to the Dance Trance team and Lacey from Lululemon for inviting me to join them for my first DT experience. I had a blast and am looking forward to coming back again soon. Until then, know that every time I hear Too Close by Alex Clare, I do a little Dance Trance two-step in your honor.
Dance Trance, Zumba, Masala Bhangra, Jazzercise…do you have a favorite?[line]
* Dance Trance DC generously comped my fee for this class. This post is not an endorsement and all opinions are my own.