Upper East Side | AKT In Motion | Happy Hour

I’m not going to lie – any class with the name “Happy Hour” is one that catches my eye. And while my favorite version of Happy Hour is one that involves 2-for-1 cocktails and usually some chips and guacamole, AKT in Motion‘s version left me feeling pretty refreshed and ready for my afternoon, too. I had heard of AKT in Motion in association with Kelly Rippa – I think I had read about the classes in a recent issue of Shape magazine. So while browsing my ClassPass feed on a lazy Saturday morning when I knew signing up for a class was the only sure-fire way to get me out of bed, I decided that AKT in Motion sounded like fun. After all, the description for the Happy Hour class was as follows.

Kick Happy Hour off with a full body burn! Our signature dance-based interval training is perfect for students of any level. Classes pair a choreographed combination of cardio, flexibility, and strength training set to hot, heart-pumping music for a comprehensive workout that keeps the body toned and energized for DAYS! 60 minute classes are great for beginners eager to experience high-intensity, cardio-based interval sessions.Consider yourself shaken, AND stirred.

So I stopped watching 30 Rock on Netflix, closed out of my Seamless tab (which had been open to ‘Bagels and More’ only moments before), and pulled on my sneakers.


Basic Breakdown 

Class Name: Happy Hour

Instructor: Michelle Russell

Neighborhood: Upper East Side

Sweat Factor (out of 5): 3/5

Fun Factor (out of 5): 4/5

Class Overview: I got to this class a little early (What?! I know. Who am I?) so I had a chance to look around and take it in the surroundings. The studio is cute – reminded me of the days I used to take dance classes. Barre in the back, mirrors in the front, and some funky lighting (including a disco ball!) on the ceiling. The class wasn’t too big – I think we ended up being about 9 or 10, women of all shapes and sizes. I strategically planted myself in the back center so that I could see everything the whole time. This class was different than other dance-focused classes I have done, like 305Fitness or Vixen Workout. While the majority of class time was spent on cardio/dance, it was broken up in a much better way than I have experienced prior. Michelle would do a sequence of choreography and we would run through it a few times, complemented by some additional jumping jacks, lunges, jump squats, etc. Then, after each cardio/dance segment, we would do some toning = arms, abs, legs or booty.  When we went back to cardio, we would add on more choreography, and then another strength segment, etc. So by the end of the class we had completed a full body workout, with lots of cardio, plus we were all doing a seamless choreographed routine. It was an effective way to arrange the workout, and as a former dancer, I appreciated being able to do a Pas de Bourrée and Chassé across the floor. 🙂

Plus, the toning sections were legit. Something I’ve realized is that since joining ClassPass, a lot of my classes have been heavy on the cardio and I’ve been doing less strength training/toning work – and I’ve noticed it, especially in my arms and butt. But Michelle’s resistance band sections left my booty BURNING! Do that routine a few times a week and I’m sure I’d have better buns to show for it. 😉

So, to recap. You’ll get a great mix of cardio + toning, and have a great time. The music is bumpin’, the disco ball with be spinnin’, and you’ll leave sweaty and rejuvenated! Two days later, I’m still feelin’ it in my thighs.


Additional Details:

  • Lockers, changing rooms, and bathrooms with showers available in the studio.
  • Towels are also free – and grab a couple, you’ll need them 🙂
  • There was a carafe of lemon water available so you could refresh after the class – something so simple, but such a nice touch!
  • Honest suggestion – if you have no dance experience / lack the coordination to dance, I’d skip this one. It’s a lot of real choreography and you’d lose the effectiveness of the workout if you’re not able to follow along.

Will Visit Again?: Most likely, yes! This was a fun, mid-day refresher. Will probably try one of the other offered classes next time, like ‘Sweat Dream‘ or ‘4-Play.’


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