SKYLER VALLO

ACTRESS | MODEL | WRITER

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Hoop Dance Champion of the World

Hoop Dance, Hoola Hoop, Dance, Barre, Fitness, Group ClassSkyler ValloComment
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I'm BAAAACK. And I am always finding ways to figure out how to work out without actually working out. When I was doing my CP 30 Day Challenge last month I came across Barre Lab and I took their signature barre workout. But what really grabbed my short attention span was the fact that there was a Hoola Hoop Dance Class. Say whaaat. I want to work out like a 5 year old.

Mid Spin  

Mid Spin  

The hoola guru/instructor, Anah, was in India at the time of my first class, at believe it or not a HOOLA HOOP CONVENTION. This woman is ridiculous. She literally just floats around the class doing out of this world hoola moves. If for nothing else, you should go for the performance you will receive. One of the reasons I kept dropping my hoop is because I couldn't stop watching her. Yea...I'm gonna go with that's the reason I kept dropping my hoop.

The hoops are provided at Barre Lab. They are the biggest hoops you ever laid eyes upon. They also have a hefty weight to them. When they are heavier, they allow you to hoola better. So if you're a beginner you want to grab the biggest, heaviest hoop you see. 

A little precursor, you will look really silly silly doing this class. This class is not for the self-consious. The hoop will fall (many times). But guess what? Everyone looks the same way. I laughed out loud so many times at myself. I was having a bit of a morning and after I went to this class my energy improved about a million percent. You can't be in a sad mood after you just spent an hour hoola-ing. 

I'll give you a quick rundown of the structure of the class. You spend the first song warming up and getting used to the weight of the hoops. You begin with stretches, mainly focusing on the hips and stomach area since those will be getting a lot of attention.

Did you know that you have a side that you always hoola on? With me, I spin my hoop to the left. The class was about half and half. One girl was an ambidextrous hooper and she could spin both ways easily. LUCKY. Hooping to my right was challenging at first but I got the hang of it after I began placing one foot in front of the other, versus parallel feet. So intricate! Then we spent time catching the hoop in our hands and flipping it quickly to the other side of our body and spinning it that way. After this, we practiced spinning the hoop solely on our butts. Yes, there is a different position for this too. Then we alternated between butt-hooping and stomach hooping, all with some sick tunes in the background of course. Finally, we did some slight of hand tricks with our arms and the hoop. I could be a circus performer now. Basically. 

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We spent the last ten minutes of class grooving to our own sick-ass hoola moves we just learned. Free-style. Some sweet rap tunes were on but I was sorely disappointed when Shakira's hips don't lie didn't come on. 

The class was incredibly fun. I did sweat, but it was about 85 degrees in the studio; I think I might have been sweaty just standing there not doing a thing. I am not sure that hoop "dance" would be the absolute correct term for the class. We didn't really dance. We hoola hooped. And while I was expecting to hoola, I was also thinking I would get a bit of a cardio dance class in, too. Maybe learn a combo. It was definitely a technical, tricks learning class- a simple one at that- and it should be since it was beginner. I for SURE was not a master at anything we performed today. The level was perfect for me, and for most of the class but again, I would have preferred a little more dance thrown in with all that trick learning'. If you want to become a professional hola-hooper, learn something new, and have fun then this is class for you. 

Update- I took this class yesterday and I have a huge ass black bruise on my left hip. Who know hola-hooping could be so aggressive? I feel so bad-ass. 

 

Cool Tank Bro

Cool Tank Bro

Day 19: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

power plate, Barre, ClassPass Challenge, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

Xcceration Station (Harmony Studios) 8440 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 

 

What have I gotten myself into? 

What have I gotten myself into? 

I signed up for my class today, yet again, with zero clues about what I was signing up for. I googled Xcceration Station and it had no reviews on Yelp. Scary. Angelinos do nothing without a Yelp review.

I later realized that "Xcceration Staton" is a small part of a larger studio, called Harmony Studios which features reformers pilates, TRX, and regular pilates. Harmony Studios is also on ClassPass, but it doesn't have as many class times as the Plate classes, which is what I took part in today.

 

 

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I couldn't snap a photo of the reformer class because there was a class that was going on the entire time and it's weird to take a photo of a class you aren't participating in. But here is the other cute room with pulling thingies on the walls.  

There are only three Power Plate machines, so three will be the total amount of people you will ever have in your "class". I say class in annoying quotation marks like that because it really felt like more of a private. Especially since I randomly knew the other class participants today! They used to work at the same bar I worked at. SMALL WORLD. Heyoooo Cynthia.  

The class is only 25 minutes long. Again, a little strange, because I definitely feel like classes should be at least 45 minutes to get any real work done. I asked the instructor, Caroline, if any of the Plate classes were longer and she said that they were considering adding an advanced 45 minute class and also a Barre on the Plate class. I was very intrigued by that second one, but then Caroline had to go and ruin it by telling me it was only going to be at 6:30 am. Nope.  

Now on to the work out. This was a weird one. You basically hold long poses for sets of 30, 45, or 60 seconds while vibrating at an exremely fast pace. I laughed out loud when I first stepped on because it was unlike anything I had ever stepped on before. It made my nose and ears tingle. In fact, sometimes my whole face tingled so much that I had to sneeze! I can't imagine what it's actually doing the muscles and blood flow in my body if it's making me tingle that much. I imagine that is why they have these machines in the first place. Something pretty good must be happening in there.  

Come here if you need your sinuses cleared! 

 

 

My stationary foot was a'buzzin! 

My stationary foot was a'buzzin! 

 

A lot of the moves had a barre feel to them. You were often lifting one leg in the air while your other leg was getting the benefits of the pulses. I almost wish that we had held some of the poses longer even though it started to burn! 

 

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We planked on each side of our arm and then a plank on both arms. I really felt the pulses on these babies. My arms and face were vibrating so much! My ears were ringing. But it felt cool. 

This is not a "sweat" work out. This is a unique type of toning work out. I would be very interested to see if doing this a couple of times a week would achieve anything. I imagine it's incredible for circulation and blood flow but I would be very curious to see if it toned when completed on a regular basis.  

Caroline mentioned we should eat very soon after class, because it's easy to get light-headed. I felt that a tad bit. I also felt super weird when I started walking on solid ground in my tennis shoes. I tend to get extremely motion sick, so I was worried about that going into class today, but luckily that wasn't an issue at all. The reason the classes are so short is because your body is experiencing something so different and they don't want you to pass out. Obviously. That would be a terrible work out!

If you are looking for a fun little 25 minute way to spend your time, then I recommend The Xcceration Station. I took the Power Lunch hour and if I worked near by it would be convenient to stop by on my lunch hour, get a quick little buzz on, then head back to work. Like I said before, you don't get too sweaty so this is a perfect lunch option work out. 

I look foward to checking out the other classes at Harmony Studios. It's ecclectic, cute, and homey. It's super sweet and almost like it belongs in somewhere other than LA- but I think that is what makes it to endearing.  

P.S.- They have a studio doggy! And anyplace that allows cute little pups to roam around is OK by me!