There is a big, beautiful space in the East Village that doesn’t look or feel like a gym – but you’ll find plenty of ways to get fit.
“It’s evolved,” says owner Rachel Glaza, “we do yoga, dance aerobics, dance classes….” She had the vision and last year ‘Glaza Studio’ became a reality. “I felt it was something Des Moines really needed, a dance studio solely for adults. So that’s how it happened.”
You can try everything from salsa and ballet to modern dance. First up for us during our Saturday afternoon visit is hip-hop.
“Whatever you do, keep moving!” Ann Marie Thomas is our instructor. She’s energetic, hilarious and just plain fun and she has three rules. “Number one, fake it till ya make it! Number two, stick the landing! Number three, as long as you’re having fun – that’s all that matters!”
Number three is the easiest rule to follow. Everyone’s smiling as Ann Marie starts walking us through the routine. “I call this move, look at my new shoes,” she says with a grin. “Oh! We can do that!” Sonya replies. You know how we love our shoes, but that doesn’t mean we can master the move. We’re learning that hip-hop might not be our strong suit. Luckily, we have a patient teacher who makes this fun and helps us fake it… and a few times we even manage to stick the landing!
Rachel tells us not to get frustrated, “You get better – it takes discipline but it’s fun and rewarding.” Next up she introduces us to instructor Caeli Esser. She’s teaching us cardio dance. “We’ll rock it out to a couple of performance tracks and it’ll be a good time!” she says with gusto.
We quickly learn that this is much easier for us than the hip-hop routine, but that doesn’t mean we’re good at it. Thankfully – no one seems to care! Before too long, we laughing and working up a sweat. “When you’re dancing you’re moving every part of your body,” Rachel explains, “it takes nice posture, you have your stomach tucked in and you’re using muscles you wouldn’t typically use if you were running or bench pressing.”
Caeli’s also teaching a new ‘ballet fusion’ class. This one is perfect for dancers and non-dancers alike. “It’s really good stuff,” she says as she guides us into moves that combine yoga and dance, “you’ll feel energized but also feel worked.”
Finally, if you’re looking for choreography that won’t give you a headache instructor Jamie Seitz says Zumba might be for you. “It’s kind of monkey-see, monkey-do. Most people get it when they see it.“
There’s so much to choose from and it’s all so much fun - we hope you give Glaza Studio a try.
“It’s not like a gym,” Rachel says with a big smile, “it’s more a place where you can come and have fun and listen to music you love and dance!”
If you'd like more information on the classes click here.