B.B. King, Bob Dylan, and Mary J. Blige: we listened to these artists and many more as we warmed up yesterday at Diane McCarthy’s 12 p.m. Simonson Dance class at DNA (Dance New Amsterdam), I saw my friends Marcia and Modestine, Laurie and Diane. Years ago, I danced with all these women when I would bring my toddler son to sit amongst our coats piled on the floor in the back of the room and watch us dance. Today he, along with many other 20-somethings, goes to this class or others to “work out.” There is everything from Fitness Boot Camp and Gyrokinesis to Cunningham Dance, Hip Hop and the Zena Rommett Floor-Barre Technique. Not to mention yoga and pilates, and so many others, too.
I have always gravitated toward taking the Simonson technique: it is dance for seasoned pros as well as non-dancers. Lynn (the founder) created it so she “could still be dancing when she was an old lady.” If you do not want to stay for the dance part, you can leave after the very thorough warm-up, which lasts longer than an hour.
On Christmas and New Year’s Eve, which both fall on Monday, Diane will teach her annual “all levels class” welcoming beginners and professionals. Beginning at noon, the class lasts 3 hours at price of a 2 hour class. It will be in the biggest studio there so there will be plenty of space for the pushups, plies, and core-strengtheners. If you are in New York City and want to move a bit before the holiday bashes, head down to her class at 280 Broadway (entrance on Chambers St). You might just find the perfect place to work out when the New Year rolls around!