Nashville: B.Fab Fitness

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Crash CourseB.Fab Fitness‘s b.fab.funk class is a dance fitness workout with a little bit of boot camp and a whole lotta booty. Super-talented and enthusiastic instructors take a huge group of (mostly female) class members through a club-like lineup of hip-hop, rap, Latin, and Bollywood hits. Everyone of every level is welcome!

[line] [left]where: Coleman Community Center | Nashville (plus additional classes at DC Dance Factory in Franklin)

bring: water and your funky self

perks: lots of laughs and a great playlist

sweat score: 4 out of 10

[/left][right]wear: sneakers, comfortable clothes

instructor: Tisha, aka “baby.t”

cost: drop-in $3 (Nashville) and $10 (Franklin)[/right][line]

Howdy, Fit Crashers! This is Mary from minutes per mile and I’m coming at y’all from down South with a booty-shaking Nashville workout called b.fab.funk.

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Let’s just start this review by stating that I really can’t shake it. I’m a runner, so I specialize in moving one foot in front of the other in a forward direction. So, spinning, shaking, twisting, twerking, and basically any other lateral movements are not my strong suit. Despite all of this, I do love to dance.

Which is why I was pumped to hit up the b.fab.funk fitness class at Nashville’s Coleman Community Center. True, the class location is a bit out of the way for me — but at a whopping $3 per sweat session, it was definitely worth my time to drive there!

The class is held in a giant gymnasium space, which means that at least a hundred participants (who are mostly women) can easily attend. The energy level is high but laid-back at the same time — sort of like the big dance club at 2 a.m., minus people being drunk, angry, and crowded. AKA it’s the best.

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Our instructor Tisha wasted no time in getting the beat going strong. Throughout the 60-minute session she had us shaking it to Beyonce, Rihanna, Jeremih, and all those other Top 40 hip-hop hits on our guilty pleasure playlists. The routines were simple and pretty easy to follow, and even when I couldn’t follow them, I didn’t care. The welcoming, humble spirit of the class made it totally okay if you turned the wrong way, totally failed on a shimmy, or just flat-out could not handle the beat. It was both a confidence-building and confidence-crushing experience for me at the same time – but mostly, it was just fun.

Most of the “exercises” we did during the class were simple booty-focused dance moves with a strength training twist. If you’ve ever taken a Zumba class, the spirit was similar. We’d drop down and shake it, and then shake it some more, and then drop a little lower – basically doing 5 sets of 8 squats, but with music and a little booty-shaking to keep things fun. We’d raise our arms and kick our legs, but hold them in the air just a little longer than we would if we were really at a dance club – so that we’d feel the burn just a bit.

This class differed than “traditional” Zumba (did I just call Zumba traditional?) in two ways, though:

  1. First, the playlist and dance moves were more hip-hop/club than they were Latin/salsa. (Not that this matters for me personally, given that I am terrible at both.)
  2. Second, we took three breaks during the class for short boot camp-style workouts. These mini-workouts lasted about five minutes and consisted of basic strength exercises like planks, pushups, and situps. During the boot camp bursts, Tisha walked around and shouted in a totally boot camp-worthy voice.
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The mini strength sessions were quite a dramatic change of pace from the regularly scheduled dance programming, but perhaps a welcome change for women looking to learn more about how to master these basic strength training movements. Tisha’s intensity ensured that everyone there was giving it 100%, I can tell you that!

The best part about the class, by far: the encouragement and support of the b.fab.funk participants. Everyone was so welcoming and non-judgemental that I basically felt like I was at a club on a Saturday night with 99 of my girlfriends… without any outrageous cover fee, spilled drinks, or slimy guys. What better way to workout?

I’d recommend the b.fab.funk class to any Nashvillian (or Nashville visitor!) who…

1) loves to dance;

2) prefers low-impact workouts;

3) wants to get a mostly cardio, not strength, workout;

4) is intimidated by small-group or high-intensity fitness classes; and/or

5) just wants to have fun and work up a sweat 🙂

And that’s my NashCrash for you this time. Thanks for having me!

Mary is a runner and fitness enthusiast living in Nashville, Tennessee. She chronicles her sweaty adventures (and eats!) on her blog, minutes per mile. You can find her on Twitter @minutespermile, Facebook, and in the ice cream aisle.

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