While breaking a sweat at a Miami dance club in her college years, now 24-year-old entrepreneur Sadie Kurzban had an epiphany: If dancing with your friends can provide a better workout than the treadmill, why work out at the gym?
Two years later, Kurzban’s exercise company, 305 Fitness, has locations in New York City, The Hamptons and now D.C. Kurzban said she first thought about opening a D.C. studio when an instructor from Virginia made the suggestion, and once she visited the city, she was hooked.
“I saw D.C. and it was this super young, bumpin’, lively, really energetic place that really reminded me a lot of the fun elements that I love about New York,” she said.
The classes aim to cultivate the same energy Kurzban found in the clubs of her hometown, Miami. Even the class name proudly bears the digits of Miami’s area code. And they definitely incorporates the city’s vibe: The sassy dance moves, blasting music, and – yes – lots of twerking all capture the essence of the city.
The Wednesday night class began with a short introduction, as Kurzban committed all our names to memory and informed us that the class’ single rule was, “You have to make noise.”
With that, a live DJ in the room began blasting Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” and the class began. For the next 45 minutes, attendees shimmied, salsa’d and shaked their way through beats like Icona Pop’s “I Don’t Care” and Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.”
Kurzban, a curly-haired ball of energy with a shirt that read “make sweat sexy,” rotated around the room, making time for a solo dance session with each guest.
But as much fun as it was, the dance-based workout did not slack on intensity. Kurzban’s carefully crafted moves incorporated sports drills and high-intensity training. She mixed in the strength training subtly, so you likely would not notice how much you were working your muscles, but you would definitely feel the burn after class.
Thankfully, 305 Fitness instructors are specially trained to pull you through. In fact, Kurzban hand-selects only 1 percent of the 400 to 500 who try out for a position each year. After she chooses the new instructors, they must complete a 400-hour training session, led by Kurzban herself.
While the workout is a bit pricey – a single class costs $26 – packages offer better deals, and a $40 new client special includes unlimited classes for two weeks.
But 305 Fitness accomplishes everything you want in an exercise class: It’s fun, a great activity for friends and it will give your body a killer workout. The average client will torch 800 calories per class, Kurzban said.
It’s the Miami theme that truly gives the class a unique edge and leaves customers coming back for more.
“I think that [the class] is really about the sound of Miami,” Kurzban said after the workout. “The people talking, the rhythm of the street, all of that beauty and culture.”