There’s a scene in an early episode of Friends when Monica takes a tap class and finds herself in the back row, unable to keep up and making a fool of herself—and kind of loving it. Trade the tap shoes for a glow stick and the dance studio for a night club, and that was me by the end of Flirty Girl Fitness’s Club Cardio Concert last Thursday.
The all-female “concert,” held at River North’s Sound-Bar nightclub, was billed by the Lincoln Park fitness studio as a “rockstar workout like nothing you have ever experienced.” Three hundred women were expected to turn out, according to a press release, for Chicago’s version of the “party workout”—a trend the New York Times spotted a few years ago. From what I could tell, it was more like 100 women—and thank god for that, as the place was already too crowded.
After waiting in line to get in (the first and last time I’ll do that for a nightclub) and showing my ID at the door (drinks were available post workout), my friend and I were each handed a 10-inch pink glow baton. The dark club was filled with 20-somethings in Lululemon, and the first words I screamed to my friend over the booming music were “I feel old” (I’m 32).
Gogo dancers stood on podiums around the dance floor, Dani Deahl deejayed in front of a flashing screen light show, and three Flirty Girl instructors traded off leading the massive group through music video style workout moves. Twerking included.
My friend and I secured spots toward the back, which was fine by me, as the whole operation seemed kind of ridiculous at first. Gogo dancers? Really? Our second-to-last row spots also meant I could barely see the moves the instructors were demonstrating, and instead I mostly followed a girl two rows in front of me who seemed to be a Flirty Girl regular. While I’m sure the instructors were dripping by the end, I didn’t break a sweat. And that’s not because I’m super fit (I’m not), but because there wasn’t much room to move, I couldn’t keep track of what we were supposed to be doing, and so, when in doubt, I just bopped around waving my glow stick in the air.
But, as it turns out, dancing to Missy Elliott and Beyonce tracks, even if you can’t keep up with the choreography and you’re pretty sure you look especially ridiculous to the two suit-clad male bouncers standing behind you, is a good time. To Flirty Girl’s credit, the room felt devoid of judgment. No one seemed to notice, or care, that I was off-rhythm, spinning when I was supposed to be shimmying.
Flirty Girl says this was the first of many nightclub workouts they’ll host. If you’re looking to really burn calories or hone your dancing skills, you should probably skip it (try Shred415 or All About Dance for that). But if you’re looking for a club night without the late hours or aggressive dudes, you may have found your happy place.