Sadie Kurzban knows how to get people moving in way that, well, moves them. Which is why she’s really well-equipped to help you get the most out of your shaking and shimmying during dance cardio class.
Kurzban is the founder of 305 Fitness, a workout inspired by Miami’s dance clubs that’s developed a rabid devotion among on-trend 20somethings. In addition to her two perpetually packed studios in New York City, she’s expanded to Washington, DC, and Boston (along with pop-ups in Los Angeles and the Hamptons), and started her own activewear line.
The petite, powerful, booty-shaking businesswoman launched 305 when she was still in college—so she’s been at this workout-as-a-party thing for a while. And she has some definite opinions on how you can get the most out of class.
Keep reading for three common mistakes you may be making at dance cardio class—and how to fix them so you can crush every (sexy) sweat session.
1. You’re not warming up
Oh hey, girl who runs in five seconds before class starts: You’ve got to find a way to get in earlier.
“The cardio we do is very high-impact, very intense. It can be a lot on the joints and body,” Kurzban says. “I really recommend getting to the studio 10 minutes early and warming up, doing light stretching and activating your glutes, even if you’re just squeezing your butt, doing a few bridges.” That’s especially important since you’re often coming from, well, having been asleep or sitting all day, and activating your glutes is key for both injury prevention and power.
Plus, when you get to class at the last second, you often end up standing in a crowded pack near the door, where it’s going to be harder to move well. Give yourself a few minutes, and you can find a spot in the room that will really allow you to go for it.
2. You’re overthinking everything
In many workouts, thinking about your exact form and motion is key. But with dance, Kurzban says to turn off your left brain. “A lot of people watch what we do and then try to think about how to do it. That’s not the way,” she explains. “The attitude has to be more monkey see, monkey do. Instead of stopping and thinking about it, try to let go of all the thoughts and just follow.”
This can be tricky if you’re type-A, analytical, and also not a great dancer (me!). Kurzban suggests closing your eyes for a moment here and there to try to just feel the beat and movement.
Similarly, if you’re not getting a particular move, try not to let it frustrate you. Instead of getting attached to the idea of nailing it, have a go-to move you can do instead to keep moving, like a jumping jack or shuffle side-to-side. That way you won’t feel like you’ve wasted time, and eventually, the trickier moves will seem easy.
3. You’re holding back
Why show up for a dance cardio workout if you’re too embarrassed to embrace the booty-popping moment? Of course, if you’re new to dancing, you might feel silly doing it with the lights on, in front of a mirror, or totally sober (or hey, all of the above).
But Kurzban emphasizes that the energy of the participants can really make or break a class—unlike other workouts, where listening to the instructor is enough. “When you make noise, sing along to the music, etc., it totally transforms it,” she says. “It’s strange to come to a party workout and be frozen and quiet.”