Q&A with Sadie Kurzban, Founder
When you first walk by the storefront for ((305)) Fitness on West 8th Street in the village, you might think you’ve stumbled upon an escort service, with their hot pink neon sign flashing “Girls Girls Girls,” standing out in a block filled with trendy dinner restaurants. But what’s inside ((305)) Fitness, and downstairs in their huge studio, is even better — a Miami dance club-inspired workout, complete with party lights, a live DJ, and a heart-pumping dance workout, created by founder Sadie Kurzban. Sadie tells us what to expect, and why you can’t help but feel good when you’re at ((305)).
How did you get the idea for ((305)) Fitness? Is it more party, or more workout?
I came up with the idea for ((305)) Fitness while a student at Brown University. It was my junior year and I was out at a nightclub with my best friend on a Spring Break trip down to Miami (my hometown). We were dancing our butts off, having a total blast, and when I turned around, I saw all these people covered in sweat with huge smiles on their faces. Music and community have a profound effect on people and their moods. I wanted to bring this high-energy, super engaging atmosphere to my workouts.
I had been teaching dance cardio classes at Brown, so I started integrating this type of party workout into my classes there. Simultaneously, I put together a business plan for ((305)) Fitness, which I submitted into the university’s entrepreneurship competition. I won first place, and was able to then bootstrap the business in New York upon graduation. It’s a workout disguised as a party. You get a ton of party — but don’t think that doesn’t mean you’re not getting your butt kicked. You WILL sweat like crazy.
What type of moves and music can ((305)) class-goers expect?
The music we play is a kick-ass balance of everything most of us love: electronic, dance, pop, and hip hop. The music is constantly changing, so just as you feel you are completely wiped — the DJ switches the track, and you get so excited, you can't help but dance.
The moves are a blend of high-intensity interval training, sports drills, and fun dance moves like body rolls, booty shakes, and grapevines. So many “junkies” — what we call our ((305)) clients because they are totally addicted to our “sweat sexy” lifestyle — report that they love ((305)) because the steps are so easy to follow. You don't need a dance background. As long as you can do a jumping jack, you can do this class.
What parts of the body will benefit from a ((305)) class?
((305)) tones the entire body. I still get sore, and I've been doing this for years now! The cardio itself is full-body, so you are engaging muscles from head-to-toe as you move at 100 miles an hour. We also have a toning section in class — usually arms or legs — that focuses on specific muscle groups using light dumbbells, body bars, and body weight.
Who comes to ((305)) classes?
Everyone and their mother. (But, really, we love our moms). Seriously, it's been incredible watching this brand explode, seemingly overnight. I started teaching just a little over 2 years ago. We only had 2 classes back then, and I taught both of them. Today, we are in two cities (New York and Washington, D.C.), and expanding to pop-ups around the country (we're hitting Chicago May 9th). We have 15 classes a week in DC, and over 60 classes a week in New York. It’s pretty amazing.
And you have a live DJ at every class? How do you choose the DJs?
Like our instructors, we hand-select our DJs and train them for hundreds of hours before they debut on our schedule. We choose DJs who have the technical skills, diverse taste, and burning passion to make every class a true music experience.
You speak to the amazing mental benefits of ((305)). Can you explain?
What I find most empowering about this workout is the way it can transform a person's mind, energy, and entire life. ((305)) is a sacred time for many to shut off their minds from work, stress, and the daily grind.
We give 55 minutes of so much engagement, community, stimulus — the light show, the music pumping through our veins, the crazy intense dance moves — that you don't have time to ever feel bored. Instead, ((305)) is an incredibly empowering space of focus and moving meditation for many of us who can't shut off the chatter in our brains. I've also noticed larger emotional changes, from clients who have seen a radical shift in their self-confidence and sense of community.
Do you need to already be a skilled dancer?
Absolutely not! I promise! One of the things so many people love about ((305)) is that it doesn't feel "too dancey.” As long as you’re willing to move your body and just roll with it, you got this. Still feeling nervous? Bring a friend!
How do you promote positive body image at ((305))?
The class speaks for itself. ((305)) is a kick-ass workout that will undoubtedly lead to changes in your physique if you practice it. But our message is much greater than that. It’s about living in the moment-to-moment, in the sheer joy of moving your body because you can, in working out because you love your body, in realizing your unstoppable potential, in allowing your daily stress to be washed away by the DJ's rhythms pumping through your veins. We simply say: come to this class. It will be fun. Don't worry what you look like. The rest will fall into place.
You also host pop-up ((305)) parties outside of the studio. What are those like, and how does that take you back to the beginnings of ((305))?
We like to keep things exciting for our clients! So even though we have a permanent flagship studio in New York, we still work with other partners to host classes in nightclubs, lofts, outdoors — you name it. These pop-ups definitely take me back to the "old days." Before our studio, we used to hold classes just about anywhere that would take us. I remember the first article to come out about ((305)) was when I first started in 2012. Daily Candy called it "Roving Aerobics Kicks Off in New York." Such fun!
Any advice for readers, or final words?
Keep an open mind. Try new things. Experience as much as you can. Find the workout that makes you happiest — it is the workout you will stick with, in the end. Find what you love, and do it unapologetically.
Sadie Kurzban is the Founder and CEO of ((305)) Fitness. Sadie is known for her strong following and her sweat-inducing workouts. This 25-year-old ball of energy launched ((305)) Fitness in 2010 while studying at Brown University. She placed first in the University’s Entrepreneurship Competition and received $75K to launch the brand. Sadie graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. ((305)) Fitness is located in NYC and Washington, D.C.