Day 14 - Vixen

Body & Soul - Coral Gables

You know that Miami Vice episode with Ed O'Neil where he just gets so deep undercover he forgets which way is up? And eventually become part of the underworld he was "pretending" to be a part of and get lost forever?

I feel like the Vixen workout could have been that moment for me.

Sure, women's fitness classes are fun and all. But there's a big difference between an hour of isometric holds and twerking. So, yeah, that line got crossed.

A publicist I know caught wind of my little experiment here and told me "Your tour of women's fitness classes isn't complete with the Vixen workout." If you are unaware, the Vixen workout is an hour-long dance class where ladies come, sometimes in full makeup, and do dance routines based on your standard "Watch me shake my ass and look painfully sexy" moves girls do in clubs. Yeah, whatever you're pictuing, THAT'S the shit they do. All to completely uncensored rap music. But no guys are allowed, except on Thursdays, so girls can feel free to do all the ass shaking they want without fear of anyone trying dry hump them.

Seems fair enough.

I showed up and the waiting area in front was PACKED. Like this was the most people I'd seen for any class I've done this month, by almost double. Girls were wearing all kinds of stuff, but I guess flannel shirts tied around the waist is the trademark "Vixen" look. So if the empty room with lasers and blaring rap music didn't already remind me of a sad middle school dance, the abundance of flannel pretty much clinched it.

The room filled up quick, though apparnetly this was a sparse crowd.

"The last time I Was here I was pressed up against a mirror it was so crowded," my publicist friend who agreed to go with me so I didn't look like a COMPLETE creeper said.

"Nice," I responded as the music started up. "Listen, what happens here, stays here, cool?"

She just laughed.

The class started with the instructor, who looked like she could have been a Miami Heat dancer, if you know that look, started out making everything abundantly clear.

"Yes, this is Vixen. Yes, whatever you heard about this workout is completely true. We do it. All of it, and probably more. So you newbies, get ready." She started by showing us the moves for a "new" routine, implying there were "old" routines, where I would be completely lost. It started simply enough with a shoulder shrug. Then some steps that involved bending over at the waits, grabbing your ankles, and stroking you leg on the way back up.  The girls who knew the class also added an 80's sitcom-esque "oooooooh" as they stroked said leg.

Well, when in Rome.

The instruction continued with some other moves that weren't too tough, including one where you run your hands through your hair while shaking your hips. Or, as the instructor said "Like you're in an Herbal Essences commercial." I chose not to watch myself in the mirror while I practiced that one.

After about five minutes of that, the first real song came on, and I felt pretty confident in my knowledge of the routine we'd just learned. Which would have been great, if the first song had been even romotely like what we'd just learned. It was just all a lot of stomping and fist pumping and arm waving andm, above all else, hip shaking. Which I tried, I really did, to follow along.

After about the first song I figured out I should just watch every time the 8-count changed, and try and pick up the moves by watching the instructor. I totally became that person counting to 8 out loud, desperately trying to keep up. But since I'd literally never done any of these moves before, none of it even felt natural. On some songs I just did the footwork, figuring that was probably the best workout anyway.

One move I did get was on a song called Waterdance, where at one point all the girls put one hand on the floor, bent ove,r and kind of bounced. Seemed kind of like a football drill to me, got a good burn in the quads. I got this one!

I later learned this is known as Twerking. So, yeah, hanks a lot, #VIXENARMY.

The workout itself was technically impossible (we did eventually do the steps we'd learned at the beginning, at the very end I think to Trap Queen or something) so it kept me on my toes, both literally and fiugratively. If you've played a sport at all, there's a lot of it that relates back in terms of agility and jumps and keeping your knees bent, so that part was easy. And in terms of a workout, it was about like going on an hour long job. Got the heart rate going, but didn't make me want to die. Also, there was no dubstep. Thank fuck,

What I think was most interesting about the Vixen class is that it's a fun way for girls to workout without having to worry about a) guys and b) judgy girls. The moves are so tough, believe me, NOBODY is watching anyone but the instructor (except, apparently during my brief foray into Twerking, when my publicist friend said "I just had to stop and watch that shit") so they can be as sexy or dirty or just flat out terrible at dancing as they want, and it's just fun. The class was literally all shapes, sizes and ages, so it wasn't limited to girls who, well, looked like Heat dancers. And to me, I think that's cool that it's an hour out of the day where any girl can feel sexy, without needing the approval of anyone else.

I, myself, did not feel sexy. I think anytime a guy twerks he's pretty much lost any sex appeal he may have had. To women, anyway.  But that's not important, it was a fun hour and afterwards I took the requisite #VIXENARMY pictures, which were absolutely hilarious and seemed well received on Social Media.

Vixen really is the epitome of a women's fitness class (because the name makes it SO ambiguous). It encourages fitness in an atmosphere free of a lot of the fitness pressures and stereotypes, and encourages sexiness without judgment. So while I don't know that I'd recommend guys be regular attendees (unless you REALLY wanna learn how to Twerk) it's defintely worht going to, if nothing else, to give you a better understanding and appreciation.

Here's me post class, doing my best low-carb face and shoulder roll.



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