Recently I became fascinated with an article in The New York Times about fitness instructor Simone De La Rue (her real name!) and her Body by Simone studio. You can read it for yourself here: “Selling the Girlfriend Workout” but essentially it described a super-fit Aussie (that would be De La Rue) who was getting all sorts of women in shape at her SOHO studio (the New York City Body Gallery) with a combination of tough personal training and old-fashioned dance aerobics. I had to try it out for myself.
According to the Body by Simone website, her studio offers “One-On-One Body and Lifestyle Design.” I decided to treat myself to a $35 group fitness class called “Dance Cardio” and to try out Simone’s fitness ideas for myself. (Celebrity fans include Sandra Bullock and Anne Hathaway.)
The Tuesday 9:30 a.m. “Dance Cardio” session was taught by dancer Sarah O’Gleby, and let me just say that this class kicked my booty in the best way possible. The idea is very old-school, dance-oriented cardio for an hour, but when I was done, I felt as if I had just run a marathon!
O’Gleby began her career as a dancer and has been on stage in London’s West End. Her energy was infectious and though my kicks were not that high (my cycling legs resemble the proverbial Wooden Soldier) and my timing a bit off, it was still a total blast, and I will definitely come back for another round soon.
This is a high-impact class, so you will have to make your own modifications if you have any back or knee issues. Also, if you do not have a dance background, it might seem a little confusing at first, so take your time learning the steps. The whole point of it is to have fun and feel like you are hanging out with your best girlfriends.
As I was gathering myself after class, a sprightly blonde with a perfect dancer’s body and an Australian accent came up to me and cheerfully said “Hi, Margo. I hear this was your first class. What did you think?” (It was Simone!) We chatted for a bit, and Simone told me about the studio’s fall plans, including a whole slew of new classes to be offered this month (including one that utilizes body bands that I MUST check out soon,) a West Hollywood studio opening, plus the launch of BBS TV—an online component that will offer workouts you can access from home. Score!
What was the best part of the workout? On my way home I made sure to check my Polar watch and discovered I had burned 633 calories in one hour—amazing! After the class, Simone was kind enough to answer a few questions for Fit Bottomed Girls! You know I had questions for her…
Interview With Simone De La Rue
What got you interested in opening your own studio? One of my clients had a huge transformation and lost three dress sizes. She was so delighted with her new improved body inside and out that she said to me: “We should share this with as many woman as we can.” And that is how the Body by Simone studio was born.
What is one key piece of advice for looking to begin a health and exercise regimen? Don’t make excuses. Make time for yourself, however limited, but make time that’s just for you. Improved health improves your whole life across the board. And don’t give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day; it takes time to see change in your body, but persistence pays off!
How would you describe the Body by Simone studio to someone who has never heard of it before? It’s a Body Gallery! It’s an old art gallery turned into a dance studio. It’s a safe environment, where you leave your ego at the door and come in and experience the “girlfriend workout.” A fun and creative way to get a kick-ass workout!
Do you love old-school dance-aerobics classes and workouts? Would you try a Body By Simone class? —Margo