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Why this LA art-fitness collective might replace your gym


The Local Skill Flight 1
Why join a gym when you could join an artistic fitness collective?

That’s the inspiration behind The Local Skill, a new series of immersive wellness events in Los Angeles curated by bicoastal fitness pro Shay Kostabi. The charismatic Kostabi is best known as one of LA and New York City’s most vivacious (and stylish) trainers. She currently teaches cycling at LA’s Bespoke (an Editor’s Pick), is a master trainer and HIIT instructor for ReXist360, and developed a burlesque strength class that’s about to launch at LA’s International Dance Academy—she’s also a former dancer and actress with a lifelong art obsession. And so, she says, it’s only natural for her to combine all of her loves into one bold, theatrical throwdown.

The Local Skill Art Run 1The result is hardly your typical Saturday a.m. class; at the kick-off “experience” on October 17, you’ll start your morning with a Flight class (think yoga-meets-dance cardio) led by its creator Sydney Benner and DJ’d by Ashlee Williss, followed by a SukiShufu fashion show in the form of an Acroyoga performance, and ending with an all-out party featuring art from Silver Odyssey gallery, healthy bites crafted by Bohemia Food Company, and some surprise free gifts.Oh, and did we mention the venue? Instead of a fitness studio, the event’s being held at Exchange LA, the city’s onetime stock exchange-turned-nightclub. (Don’t get too distracted by the soaring 40-foot ceilings.)

According to Kostabi, art and fitness are way more synergistic than meets the eye. “That kinetic power of pushing through a physical challenge is an amazing way to unlock creative potential,” she notes. “Plus, when you work out, you’re creating the person that you want to be. That is an art.”

And as Daybreaker and other sweaty social events on both coasts have proven, the healthy set is hungry for opportunities to create community and feed off of each others’ good vibes—a trend that wasn’t lost on Kostabi when she created The Local Skill. “Social media is amazing—I’ve made very good friends through it—but people really want that human connection and to feel like they’re part of a story,” she says. “That’s where the magic happens.” —Erin Magner

Look for free 5K street art runs (the first one took place last week) and adventure hikes, and another The Local Skill event in December.

For more information, visit eventbrite.com

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(Photos: The Local Skill)