Broadway Bodies is such a fantastic concept for anyone that just wants to dance and have a good time in doing so, without the judgment that you would feel elsewhere. Located right outside Penn Station on W. 26th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue, they encourage everyone to be in a space and find their “shame-free superstar” within them. I definitely found mine a little while back, as well as muscles I haven’t exercised since Titanic was released, and can say that I came out of the experience in a truly fantastic way.
Broadway Bodies was founded by Jeff Vilensky and Stephen Brotebeck, who according to their website, “wanted to experience first-hand the singing and dancing; the joy, thrill, fun and contagious energy experienced in Broadway Theatre and Music Videos.” This whole experience was brought to my attention by their star choreographer Alistair Williams, who on top of Broadway Bodies is also the director of musical theater for the Mason Gross School of the Arts Extension Division at Rutgers University. He’s also a fantastic individual who I will get to later as he was a big reason why I came in the first place.
Here’s the thing- I’m not in the best of shape. Being a food critic has packed on the pounds over the past couple of years, and whereas I still go to the gym every once in a while, I am nowhere near being in the desired body form I want and am full aware of that. With Broadway Bodies, that whole negative and anxiety-ridden mentality is thrown out the window as it truly is a no judgment zone, and you can learn the choreography and complete it the best way you can. It is such a win-win situation as I am sure there are many of us who have different body types and feel somewhat insecure about doing activities like this in front of an audience, but I didn’t feel the least bit worried throughout the duration of the program.
The number that we did the choreography to was the first chorus and verse to Beyonce’s hit song “Run The World”. I remember some of this from the music video, and Alistair did mention that this was one of the tougher ones, however he took everything step by step in the best way possible over the hour that we were there so that we can understand the steps to the best of our abilities. The energy was sky high, as we all encouraged each other to bring out the Beyonce’s in all of us and really enjoy what we were doing. By the end, I (kind of) got it with all the moves and felt splendid with my batteries fully charged and my endorphins running like Usain Bolt at the Olympics. Alistair is just an incredible person and is so full of life and wonderful to be around, that he made this experience that much more special as well.
This is a fabulous program that offers a variety of top hits and musical numbers as previously mentioned, and is something that I think anyone should try without fear of ridicule or anything else.
For more information on Broadway Bodies, please check out their official website.