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Welcome to Wellness Sherpa. Like a nimble yak escort from base camp to the top of your fitness Everest, Shannon Perry will guide you through the latest workouts—be they fun, confusing, stunty, or celebrity-endorsed. Shannon is no expert, merely an enthusiast. Namaste and you got this.
- Photos by Driely S.
- I hit up the Body by Simone site for a look at what to expect—and wear. Sadly, the look is less Flashdance than I had hoped for.
- Black capri leggings, pops of neon, and colorful sneakers seem to be the look here. I mimic the style with neon racing stripe capris and a pair of royal blue New Balance classics.
No stranger to cardio classes, I approach my pre-class snack choice with caution. Lots of jumping means nothing too heavy, but I definitely want to keep my blood sugar up. A banana and a wheatgrass shot plus a cup of green tea are my solution.
The Aussie sprite is flitting around the space in workout attire, as high-energy as she appears in her videos. Dubbed “the new Tracy Anderson,” I can’t help but notice the physical similarities—both are petite, sculpted, blonde.
Me: Are there any recommendations to prep for the class? Anything specific to eat?
Simone: I always recommend having a protein and a carbohydrate about an hour before class and protein following the class. [Mental note: Whoops,
- I step in to the studio, armed with a giant bottle of water and a towel, and do a quick stretch of my own. Simone whizzes past me with a square of chocolate and jokes, “this is exactly what you need to eat before class!” I knew we could be friends.
- About five minutes in, Simone begins a series of dance moves. The BBS veterans immediately recognize the choreography. It takes a few of us newbies a couple of rounds to catch on, but Simone is great about repeating them often enough that we quickly pick
- Simone is the trailblazer, adding her own shimmies and thrusts as we run through the entire routine. The intensity is on par with the Tracy Anderson cardio I’ve tried before, but Miss De La Rue adds a hip-hop edginess that makes the class
- I exit the studio with an endorphin rush and aching glutes. True to its name, I DO feel re-energized. Body By Simone is an ace choice for anyone who doesn’t mind some intermediate choreography and craves a really good sweat. I will say with confide
Cost per class: $35
Sweat Score: 8.5 on a scale of 1 ("dry as ice") to 10 ("sweating buckets"). My heart rate was up from start to finish. It was an ass-kicking I was happy to have.
Sore Score: 7 on a scale of
"Dancer's physique" is a holy grail of body types achievable through working out. Translated, it means lean limbs and mega-strength without aggressive body-builder muscles. And getting it often means you actually have to dance—a pro or a con depending on the person and that person's general coordination.
I was attracted to Simone de la Rue of Body by Simone studios because she's all about achieving strength and happiness inside and out, so even if I couldn't get the dance moves down, I'd have a good time trying. Plus, she works with Naomi Watts and have you seen her in Adore? Her abs on the Australian beaches are sick, even if the plot line is also a little sick. It's on Netflix; watch it for dance cardio inspiration (at your own risk).
Simone, the person, is also a tiny Australian powerhouse. She danced for 16 or so years before training with the renowned Gwyneth-Paltrow-butt-sculptor Tracy Anderson, but broke away in 2012 to open her current studio. She's cutting the ribbon on an LA studio as I type. Take a look at my sweat session with Simone at her signature RE-ENERGIZE class, and keep in mind, if you're afraid to dance in front of strangers, she also has a book out.