Dance exercise classes usually leave me sweat-free. More jock than ballerina, I spend much of the time trying to figure out where to put my feet. So I was a little hesitant to give Best U Studio a try: It combines dance, barre work and Pilates. On the other hand, we can all use a bit of balance work even if we can't dance.
Kodi Kitchen and Nadine Levitt recently opened Best U on a stretch of Fairfax that's turning groovy quickly. The studio is light and airy, with posters on the walls of actor-turned-trainer Kitchen, plus inspirational messages such as "Leaner, Longer, Stronger." Each workout station has a customized U-shaped metal bar attached to a mirrored wall, just above waist height. It comes in 4- and 8-pound weights and is detachable to use as a free weight.
Best U Studio, 931 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, www.bestustudio.com
Aura: Mostly women, and lots of personal attention. The music was mostly female vocalists, both indie and mainstream.
Effort: Deceptively tough class, on a circuit plan to hit aerobic and core exercises. That 4-pound U-bar felt heavy after I used it in all the many ways Kitchen has designed. I was plenty happy to return it to the wall for the final stretching.
Style: Kitchen is lithe and friendly, making sure we had the right form for each exercise and understood the latches to attach and detach the U bars. Even those of us who might feel like klutzes were OK; the dance moves are not too complicated.
Cost: $20, with discounts available for multiple-class packages. Workout can be done in bare feet or grip socks. Towels provided.
If you have suggestions for classes, please let me know by email or Twitter @mmacvean.