The Muse by Equinox – New Class!

This post is a bonus continuation of my 2017 New Year’s Resolution to try every group fitness class offered at my gym, The Equinox in Chestnut Hill. See the full list of reviews here

CLASS: The Muse with Paula Fonseca

Class length: 30 minutes

Description from the Equinox:Graceful. Intense. Extraordinary. Get swept off your feet in a burst of dance-inspired cardio. Train like a dancer with a fierce athletic edge as you use light round-weights to boost your burn. Twist and turn to simple choreography in a music-driven flow that’ll have your heart racing and your spirits energized. Sound easy? Just try to keep up. 

The photo on the class page shows the spheres.


Don’t be intimidated by the term “dance-inspired”; this class doesn’t require any prior dance experience or a knack for choreography in order to pick up the sequences and follow along perfectly.

Class used little 3 lb spheres that we held in our hands in order to obtain more conditioning from the graceful cardio movements.

My heart rate was definitely elevated, I was sweating, and I felt the conditioning treatment my arms were getting from the added weights. It’s amazing what a small weight can do when you’re holding it far away from your body for an extended time. I liked the spheres as opposed to using light dumbbells because they gave the class a more lyrical feel and it added an element of balance and dexterity by preventing you from just having a death grip on a dumbbell.

I also loved feeling like a dancing acrobat with the little weight spheres.

One strength of this class was the range of motion used. Circular overhead motions holding the spheres, graceful windmills, leaning to the side on one foot… these were all wonderful balance exercises as well as conditioning that went beyond the parallel, in-line movements of tricep curls or overhead presses. Those are important too, but when I’m reaching for something heavy on the top shelf of my closet, on my tip-toes, classes that got me moving my body on the diagonal and pushed my range of motion when using overhead weights are going to be helpful.

Sample Exercises:

  • Chassés (gliding side steps) diagonally then extending arms up overhead, chasses back and reaching arms down
  • Burpees (without pushup) with balls under-hand, coming up and lifting balls gracefully overhead and then kicking right and then left (grand battements)
  • Balancing on one leg with arms in second position leaning away from leg that’s in the air then after pausing, chasseing (gliding side steps) and repeating balance on opposide side
  • Forward bend up into windmill arms ending in a wide squat
  • Curtsey and moving ballet arm sequences
  • Winding halo arms around the body and over the head holding weights, down into a curtsey, and reverse

Who would love it?

Anyone who wants to sweat while they condition their arms and improve their balance and gracefulness. Perfect for anyone who has enjoyed a dance class, definitely, but not exclusive to dance-enthusiasts. (DANCE! and Zumba, while amazing for many people, weren’t ones I would go back to. This class is.)

Because this class is only 30 minutes, I highly recommend checking it out if you’re intrigued. You can even pair it with another workout; Paula suggested people consider taking the True Barre class offered afterward as a nice complement to the cardio offered by The Muse.

Know before you go

  • Wear sneakers and if you bring a water bottle (you may not need one for a 30-minute class if you go in hydrated) stash it to the side of the room so you don’t kick it over
  • Make sure you pick a spot with enough room to move
  • When in doubt, bring earplugs. Volume is a preference and they might be helpful here.

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1 comment

  1. Kelly you are so inspiring, still so amazed that you have taken every single Equinox class! We as teachers are so lucky to have you, and thank you for your hard work and your honest feedback. It was so great having you as the special guest a couple of weeks ago at our meeting!! Also- great blog! xox

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