Jaimie Finkelstein's 30-minute Group Fitness Class aims to train you "like a dancer with a fierce athletic edge as you use light round-weights to boost your burn."
Quick Look: The Muse w/ Jaimie Finkelstein
Instructor: Jaimie Finkelstein
Class: The Muse
Location: Equinox - Greenwich
Time: 4 pm
Duration: 30 minutes
Description: Graceful. Intense. Extraordinary. Get swept off your feet in a burst of dance-inspired cardio. Train like a dancer with a fierce athletic edge as you use light round-weights to boost your burn. Twist and turn to simple choreography in a music-driven flow that’ll have your heart racing and your spirits energized. Sound easy? Just try to keep up.
Sequence Style/Template: Fluid Interval Training with light weights and dancing inspired exercises
Sweat-o-meter (0-100): 65% (definitely started to drip)
Stars (0-5): 5 Stars- Fun, Engaging, Personal Attention, Dynamic Movements, Accessible Choreography
Difficulty Rating (Beginner to Expert): Novice+
Prerequisites: Rhythm (optional); Ability to lunge, squat and various one-legged poses; 3 LBS Weighted Balls (optional)
Cost: Included with Membership ($135/month)
Equipment: 2 Balls or not 2 balls that is your question.
Music (Type, Spotify Playlist,etc): There was good music, tailored to keep spirits up.
Ambiance: Equinox Greenwich Barre Yoga Room. Large Mirrored Wall; Bright Room
Full Impressions: The Muse was 30 minutes of Fun and Sweat!
Format: This class is offered in Equinox's Barre/Yoga studio. There were almost a dozen participants, lined up in two rows, with the teacher front and center as our guide and our MUSE! All the students are staggered so as to accommodate our shuffle and arm swings to the left and right respectively. The class consists of lunges, twists, one-legged folds, and everyone's all-time favorite: Burpees. There are several ballet/dance terms that I'm not going to get into now because I can't remember them, but next time I take this class I'll have Jaimie write them down so I can explain them better. However, its ultimately not terribly important to know these terms ahead of time because she uses a generic alternative phrasing for the move in case people like me show up with two left feet and no former dance experience. Plus, once you hear/see her use the distinct phrase with the motion she is demonstrating for us to do, the brain has then become immediately-ish rewired to identify that movement next time she calls for it. So, think a Zumba/Yoga/Interval Training type class, with good music, fun moves and light weights.
Teacher: Jaimie Finkelstein. She was truly a blast. I don't give out praise lightly. Her high energy was contagious. Part of that is the upbeat music choices, but a large majority of her praise should go to the choreography; A well-structured mix of dance and athleticism. This class was a total-body workout and Jaimie reminds us an important lesson of that we don't need a lot of time in order to have fun, maintain ourselves and grow. I would not hesitate to recommend her classes to anyone. Top notch!
Sweat-o-meter: I'll be honest. We here at Flash Flow are just starting to play around with the idea of a sweat-o-meter. The idea behind the tool, is to give the public info on.. will they sweat in the class or not. Think Yin Yoga versus Bikram. This is trying to turn a subjective measuring unit (we all sweat at different rates) and by eventually aggregating all of your data (when that start to flow in), we'll have a more object Sweat-o-meter so to speak. This is separate from difficulty. So a low sweat or high sweat rating does not affect enjoyability or my inclination to recommend a certain class or activity. It's merely meant to aid the public in making informed decision on how they want to spend their time. Thus, if I want to sweat a lot one day, I could rank/sort classes in my area not just based on difficulty, but on the amount one has/might sweat in his/her group fitness/yoga class.
Jaimie's class has a sweat-o-meter rating of 65% I noticed several droplets of sweat fly from my face and forehead onto the floor below during the class. That's a good sign, especially in a 30-minute class. I feel like 100% rating would have to be completely drenched, like you just ran a marathon or attended a hot yoga or crazy hard spin class. Had this class gone on any longer the sweat rating would definitely be higher. The sweat was just starting to drip like a leaky faucet towards the last third of the class. Had we had an extra 15 minutes or half hour I would have been pretty damp if not soaked resulting in a rating of 75+% I plan on going again this week, we'll see if that changes.
Accessibility: Can you lunge? Can you do a burpee? Can you hold your arms above your head and be able to swing them freely? Many group fitness classes are as hard as you make them. Here, @ The Muse, the weights are always optional. If your arms are tired you can let go of the weights at any time. The 3-LBS don't seem difficult at first, but after doing a multitude of activities with them for 30-minutes straight you can absolutely feel the work you've been putting in. This class is significantly more active than a standard Barre class. Thus, while you don't have to be good at Barre or Zumba or Yoga to be good at this class, those experiences will definitely support you here. This class is about expressing yourself through dance and weights. The choreography is broken into absorbable chunks, that fit together like legos. You learn Part A ---- Practice ---- then Part B ---- Practice ---- then perform Part A+B. This formula is used over and over again for the 5+ series of different dance-inspired exercises.
Conclusion: There was nothing short about this 30-minute class! After it was over, and the sweat had started to intensify, I looked up at the clock at disbelief that only 30 minutes had passed. That's a good sign, the best sign and truly an ultimate compliment to the teacher. Jaimie had us moving non-stop. Building full-body moves into a semi-dance sequence, while keeping things symmetrical. Luckily, by the time I had figured out the sequence for our right side, it wasn't hard to figure out that we would have to soon be doing the inverse for the left. Plus, even if I fell out of rhythm, all one has to do is wait a beat (or one rep) to then jump right back in as if you were there all along. Jaimie goes fast so its definitely a challenge to keep up. You have to not only watch her feet to learn which way to shuffle and lunge, but also the arms (which are holding weighted balls) to learn which way she wants us to twist, extend, contract. Like wringing out a wet towel, except we're the towel and the sweat.
This class is on Thursdays at the Greenwich CT Equinox. I am definitely going again soon! And if you can't find Jaimie in Greenwich, she teaches the Muse and a Barre class at the Armonk NY Equinox.