Where: Flywheel Sports, 39 West 21st Street, New York, NY
Kara Liotta: Flybarre Rockstar(re)
Kara is a bit of a FlyBarre/Flywheel poster girl. She is all over their website and all over their studio in giant oversized photos with (fake? real?) sweat all over her face. I have been jonesing to try her class for a while and was psyched when I got bumped in off the waitlist (she’s popular, duh).
[Click here to review Kara's class yourself, or check out her RateYourBurn profile here.]
- Have to admit I was a little intimidated by Kara going into this class. I see her around Flywheel when I’m there and she makes me nervous because she has kind of an intense face (case in point here).
- Nervousness unwarranted, Kara was totally nice and called out to the people she knew all through class, especially through the tough segments (read: almost all) of the class.
- There are body parts that I especially admire in a lot of the instructors I review. With Kara it was her muscular back and shoulders - reminded me of a seal flank (which sounds weird but is a total compliment I promise). Speaking of seals, click here.
- She is a very gentle physical corrector, carefully using two fingers to adjust a leg, curve of the back, or arm placement.
Girl got the attitude:
- Kara has a no-nonsense attitude to back up her obvious experience in this field.
- Guys listen to her. Kara and Shay Kostabi teach a “Guy Barre” class on Thursday nights, because guys want to hang out with sexy women, and also like to be told what to do by sexy women (most of the time).
- At one point when everyone was acting particularly sniffly about a tough section of the class Kara said: “I know guys, I’m sorry. Just kidding, I am not sorry at all, not even a little.”
On the Class:
- Most challenging FlyBarre class I’ve taken yet. My shoulders were stinging roughly four minutes in, and I was seriously regretting the Cheetos I’d eaten before class.
- Mixed it up. Kara’s class distinguished itself not only from the other FlyBarre classes I’ve taken but from all the Lotte Berk classes I’ve been racking up recently. We did a lot of exercises that were completely new to me (and new exercises equals new muscles worked, lack of boredom and happy BeFit).
- This class worked my booty to the max. When Kara says “now let’s work on your seat” she really means: “Now let’s carve your ass up like a Christmas turkey.”
- I heard actual moaning and whimpering after pretty much every exercise. But…in a good way.
- Abs. This is my problem area, so I love a good abs workout. I got worried after we did our barre sit-ups segment that we were done, but then we did not one but two more abs exercises including standing abs and sitting V’s.
- Focus on bums in this class - the best and most challenging segment was the arabesque leg lifts, both with and without a ball held between our thigh and calves.
- I expected a lot from Kara’s music selection. FlyBarre has posted her playlists before, and I’ll admit to having downloaded them in their entirety. I was not disappointed.
- Played a great mix of club jams (yes I just said "club jams") and some slower stuff that was appropriate as the soundtrack for the funeral of my tubby rear end.
- Last but not least, she played one of my favorite mashups: Stereo Hands.
The final verdict:
Great workout, great playlist, plus a tiny amount of awe and fear involved, which is a great motivator for any fitness disciple. I’m going to look into trying out one of her yoga classes at Sangha House next, I’d like to see if her intensity and greatness translates there too.
From the Flywheel Sports website: Having danced since she could walk, Kara has always been a lover of movement. She grew up studying dance and received her BFA in Dance from the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduation, Kara moved to Cartagena, Colombia where she both trained dancers as well as performed with the contemporary dance company at El Colegio del Cuerpo. She then relocated to Merida, Mexico to continue her professional dance career, performing with a theater company, Magma Group, and a contemporary company, Cressida Danza Contemporanea.After one year out of the United States, Kara found herself in the role of Mrs. Potiphar as well as in the dance ensemble of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in San Diego, California. Most recently, Kara danced with Spirit Productions where she toured internationally as a member of the ensemble. She has also taught dance for seven years and completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Sankalpah Yoga in the summer of 2010. She is looking forward to fusing her knowledge and experience in dance, yoga, and Pilates through teaching the FlyBarre method.
Find out more about Flywheel Sports at www.flywheelsports.com
Find out more about Kara Liotta on her website
Find Kara on facebook
Follow Kara on twitter
Read more about Kara on fatbottomslim