I started feeling the burn 10 minutes into class. Seriously. I had just completed the mini arm circles with my 2-pound weights when the burn set in. This workout was full-body, and I could feel it. Brownfield led us through a series of exercises targeting secondary muscle groups that are often overlooked during your normal workout at the gym. We started on the shoulders before moving on to triceps and back.
As a newbie, I hadn’t grabbed weights and a workout ball before class started. Fumbling from the safety of my mat well into class, I inquired about the equipment, and Brownfield helped me without the slightest hitch as she continued her instructions. Overhead, the same invigorating music as upstairs beat out a steady rhythm in the class, synchronized to our movements.
Most of the exercises we performed had a foundation of dance, yoga and Pilates. Having a few years of dance under my belt, I didn’t have to second-guess myself when she told us to plie in second position, but even if I didn’t have a base knowledge of dance to help me out I would have been fine. All you have to do is turn your focus to the front where Brownfield demonstrates the first few movements of each series before walking around and adjusting our posture and form.
Afterward, Brownfield told me she herself has no dance experience. Basic knowledge of ballet would definitely give you a leg up, but it is not necessary, and Brownfield takes it upon herself to correct your body if you seem to be struggling.
The next round of movements targeted the calves, thighs and hamstrings, and my legs were shaking uncontrollably shortly after beginning the circuit. Luckily, Brownfield was cheering us on while dancing around the studio. Watching her energy gave me the fight I needed to hold my position for the last eight-count.
The workout concluded with a short circuit targeting the abs before we entered a relaxation zone. Brownfield turned off the infrared lights, which sent the room into almost total darkness. While we laid on our sweaty backs and caught our breath, she placed a cool washcloth on our foreheads and gave us a quick massage before moving to the next person. After a few minutes of zen, the red lights were flipped back on, and she congratulated us for completing the class.