Everybody Jump!


Looking for an exhilarating and fun workout?  Then definitely try a trampoline class!  This past weekend, I went to Hollywood Stunts (located in the Bronx) to take a class and see what I could learn on the trampoline.  Since I cannot even remember the last time I was on a trampoline, I was not sure what to expect.  When I showed up, I must admit that I felt a bit intimidated by the large trampolines that were in front of me.  There were three rounded ones and a rectangular one that had a harness above it for more advanced lessons.

Our host and instructor, Brian, started by introducing himself to the class and we learned that he has had extensive experience performing stunts for movies, TV and outdoor shows.  After all the introductions were made, it was time to see what we were in for.  The school’s trampoline expert, Alex, got on the apparatus and started to teach us beginner techniques.  There is a lot of effort that must be made in order to maintain control while you are jumping.  While the rest of the class surrounded the trampoline, we each had a turn to jump and to attempt to mirror the techniques Alex had demonstrated for us.  I must say, he made everything look so effortless with his perfect form!  Some classmates were a little unsure of their balance and some took to it right away.

After everyone had a turn, it was time to divide our group of 15 among the rest of the trampolines (four people maximum for each one).  What you realize when you start jumping and working on improving your form, is how much work it really is.  Between the four people assigned to my trampoline, we each had plenty of time to jump and started to get pretty tired as the lesson went on.  However, it is so invigorating that you keep getting back on to work on your skills again and again. 

Once we mastered jumping straight with control it was time to try sitting down and returning to a standing bounce.  If you find success with that move then the next step is to work on twisting to sit in different directions while returning to a standing bounce in between.  Each person was able to learn at their own pace with the guidance of the instructors so it was a pressure free environment.  Many of us enjoyed our class so much that we decided to come back for future weekend sessions.  It really was tons of fun! 

In addition to offering trampoline classes, Hollywood Stunts is the place to go if you are interested in learning the art of performing stunts.  There was a high falling stunt class that started after ours which involved learning to jump from a really high platform that was set up on the premises.  When I first showed up to learn trampoline, I could not imagine myself wanting to learn to do that but after my trampoline experience I was definitely enthusiastic to try. 

Visit www.hollywoodstunts.com to find all the information about the stunt school and what they offer.  It is definitely worth the trip to the Bronx!  MMA is organizing groups to attend a trampoline class as one of their singles events so you can also sign up through them.

Crawl Your Way to Some Great Art This Weekend!

Collect LES is having another fantastic Art Crawl event this Saturday, April 18th from 6pm – 8:30pm. Visit more than 25 neighborhood art galleries on the Lower East Side while enjoying some beverages and specials at local businesses along the way!

It is best to buy your tickets in advance online (tickets cost $15) and there are two locations designated for checking in. When you pick up your ticket you are handed a map of all the participating galleries. You then get to pick and choose which ones you want to see or if you are really ambitious you can try to visit all of them during the hours of the crawl.

Most of gallery spaces are rather small, so you get a chance to really look at every item on display at each location you attend. The majority of the galleries are all within a short walking distance from each other so you will get to see quite a few of them if you plan your timing right. Overall, it’s a wonderful way to mix and mingle while seeing a variety of artistry.

After the art crawl is over, there will be a reception from 8pm-10:30pm in the garden area at The Sixth Ward (191 Orchard St.). The party continues after hours starting at 9:30pm at Gallery Bar (also located at 191 Orchard St.).

To purchase tickets and see a map of the participating galleries go to http://artlog.com/collectles.

Feel the Beat!

I recently had one of those fun NYC nights where an expected quiet evening takes on a life of its own. I was at a local spot relaxing after a long day and a group conversation started up with a few people sitting at the bar. It turns out that two of the girls were waiting for their friend to arrive before they headed to a nearby dance studio for beginner Salsa lessons. They asked a couple of us to join them and before I knew it, I was on the dance floor ready to learn some Salsa.

Apparently this studio has an introductory lesson package available where you pay $20 for 2 half hour lessons. If you would like to sign up for instruction after the first lesson the rest of the amount is put towards your class package. Otherwise, you have 2 separate dance sessions.

What looked simple when the dance instructors demonstrated steps for our group, was a lot more complex when we tried to imitate their movements. During the two dance classes I took, I learned that I had quite a bit to work on before I would look effortless dancing the Salsa. However, I also discovered how much fun it is to seriously learn the technique and begin to really know what you are doing. Although I cannot afford or commit to a series of classes at this time, I definitely plan to keep learning. The studio owner will be setting up Saturday group sessions this summer and the studio will also hold Salsa events at local hot spots. That way you can keep learning and having fun as often as your schedule and finances permit.

The Martinez Dance Studio I went to is located in Astoria on 31st Street closest to the 30th Avenue subway stop. If you are interested in learning to dance, they are a great place to start! www.martinezdancestudios.com

Happy Hour at White Rabbit

Looking for a place to lounge around and get a great happy hour deal? Then head to White Rabbit, located at 145 Houston Street. A variety of beers and well drinks are only $4 from 6- 9pm on weekdays. Once inside, you have your pick on where to sit either at the front tables, at the lengthy bar or in the back. Each area has a different feel to it so it all depends on what you are in the mood for. Head towards the back and you will find the lounge area where I stayed for most of my visit. In this area, surrounded by funky lights and comfy seats, you could watch old episodes of In Living Color on one of the walls. It was a great blast from the past and completely hysterical as it played in the background. The happy hour drinks flowed freely for those in my group and when hunger struck some took advantage of the bar menu. The mini burgers were a big hit!

All in all, White Rabbit is a great place to unwind and relax after a long day. You can visit their website for all their offerings at www.whiterabbitnyc.com