SC fam we’re laying our transparent cards on the table. This is an Upper East Sider stay at home or kept spouse workout haven. Plain and simple. Everything about this studio screams it from the rooftop – the attitude of the staff, the blindingly all white everything, the $47.50 drop in price tag. And to top it all of, the latest class option after work is 6:30pm and is usually attended by 1 to 3 people at max. When asked what their busiest time was, the attendant told me about 9pm to 3pm or 4pm…. when the rest of us are at our desks. Catching our drift??
Now, rant aside, we get it. Tracy Anderson is Gwyneth Paltrow’s secret weapon and her classes are harder than any boot camp we’ve ever tried. Wouldn’t think that from a studio known for it dance cardio and aerobics? Think again. Her litany of body transformations is highly impressive. Even just taking one class you will understand what all of the hype is about. But, in order to gain the glorious results of her ultra effective program you have to make a $13,000+ min annual investment ($1,500 initiation and $900 a month). If you have the time, the stamina, and the money, you can enter the gates of fitness heaven. For millennials, it just comes off as too unapproachable and hey, maybe that’s the point. Tracy is a Goddess in this realm and in her world devotion must be to her alone and no one else.
Ever played follow the leader? No words, just gestures and a series of combos to remember. Was fun as a kid right? Ever played follow the leader where the gestures are Knicks City Dancer level choreo combos and the room is heated 95 degrees? Yea… whole different game. That’s the purpose of caTAlyst cardio, build up complicated combinations that work the whole body. The floor is bouncy, the humidifiers are going (yea cause straight up hot temps aren’t enough), and the lights are on at full wattage. And, away you go, kick-ball changing, leaping with fever, staying on beat and trying your hardest not to pass the f*%# out.
The class structure has no specific sections for warm up or abs. Just a stretch in the beginning, a stretch at the end, and a spicy layer or Saturday night fever in the middle. The qualm that we have with it is that, unlike other dance cardio classes, you are in your head THE ENTIRE TIME. Because the moves are SO complicated and the room is SO warm and those damn lights are SO bright, you aren’t distracted in the slightest. The “fun factor” of dancing disappears within about 10 minutes. Plus, in order to get better you just have to fight through the struggle of being bad for your first 5 to 10 classes until you catch up. The choreo goes straight for the throat, no modifications available.
Olivia’s background is beyond impressive and she is far more than just a TA instructor. She has been in off-broadway productions, danced with the Alvin Ailey company, worked with Alicia Keys and even the Queen B herself – bow down. So getting to dance with her is ridiculously cool. Tells you what kind of instructors this studio draws in.
A bubbly sun spot in the Tracy Anderson world, we really liked Olivia’s personality. Her teaching style on the other hand was just really not doing it for us. She was patient and thorough but moved at breakneck speed. Plus she got frustrated with us easily and didn’t really care if we had mastered a move before moving on to the next – that may be more a studio philosophy than hers though. Fam, if you do have a dance heavy background or are just skilled in the art of keeping the beat, then we could totally see her being your cup of tea. For the rest of us it was crazy advanced.
Built in what must have been an old theater (we hope), the facade of the studio has a GIANT marquee with a wattage that foreshadows the brightness of virtually everything inside. “TA” is emblazoned on everything which isn’t a surprise and much like exhale, this studio has the feeling of a spa more than a fitness studio. Hey we weren’t complaining about the plush towels or the extra large lockers, but the lounge just came off more posh than inviting. Not too different from your friend’s parents living room that was beautiful but “adults only” or “holidays only”. Who needs a living room they never use???!!! But we digress. The one touch that was cheeky and fun – a photo booth station for post sweaty selfies.
There are two studios here, but most classes are out of the main studio at the front. As you head in there are a million and one different tools and toys you can grab – mats, wrist weights, ankle weights, balls, bands, on and on. The floor has bounce to it for cardio classes and there are tons of seemingly innocent colorful bands hanging from the ceiling. In class the sense is that this is an elite crowd truly dedicated to their fitness with virtually no one just phoning it in. They are dressed to the nines and not a particularly chatty bunch. The overall vibe? Seriously beautiful and seriously strict. If Regina George had a workout regimine, this would be it.
241 East 59th Street, NYC, NY 10022 Upper East Side Pilates $$$$$
Tracy Anderson 59th Street
Upper East Side Pilates, $$$$$
241 East 59th Street, NYC, NY 10022
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