REVIEW: Studio K – Orlando

Our Spring/Summer Series focuses primarily on restaurants and hotels, but we do make room for those exceptional fun spots that need to be worked into your spring/summer plans. Studio K (a strikingly original dance studio, run by an equally remarkable woman) is a bit different for us, but easily a fast favorite! Regardless of your age, size, experience, or even your status as a local or a tourist – you may be surprised to find that Studio K is absolutely perfect for YOU!

First, a little background as to how we came to find Studio K. This was actually a fateful stumble upon as I was trying to help Sierra find a ballet class. We quickly discovered that this was no easy feat! Call after call – and everyone seemed to have classes for three types of people: beginners who were toddlers and young children, adults who had been dancing since diapers, or the very wealthy who could invest in high-priced private instruction. Sierra is a beginner, 20 years old, and a retail cashier, so none of these opportunities fit her at all. Then, I found Studio K. Something about the philosophy displayed on the Studio K website really spoke to me, and I knew I had finally struck gold! As I perused the class schedule, I was stunned to discover that some of the classes even intrigued ME, and I had absolutely no interest in dance at all. I am the furthest thing from graceful, and I am not the picture of youthful fitness. No way could I (or should I) be trying to dance in a public place, where people could actually witness such a debacle! BUT… Studio K has lightsaber fitness! How could I pass up the opportunity to share that with our readers? I decided it was worth the sacrifice of my dignity to give it a shot.

Sometimes, life can surprise you. Sierra and I had the great luck of finding Lightsaber Fitness and Ballet Rock scheduled for the same day, so we made our way out to Studio K to see what kind of fancy footwork we could manage – each of us taking very different paths in our efforts. My Lightsaber Fitness instructor, Naomi, was an absolute doll – vibrant, patient, encouraging, and fun! She took the foundational concepts of a standard workout and added just the right galactic twist to make it not feel like work. That’s not to imply it wasn’t effective… quite the opposite! (This is where I confess that my thighs were screaming for two days afterward.) I’m not known for lasting through a steady 45-minute+ routine, but I did the whole hour… and I loved it. The routine combined warm-ups and stretching, cardio, and partnered choreography cleverly disguised as Jedi-esque combat. (This is where I admit that I felt fierce!) I can’t wait to return for another round of Lightsaber Fitness – this time with Julian, another Studio K instructor, with his own approach to the craft!

Sierra’s experience was also surprising, but in a different way. Her Ballet Rock class, led by the graciously inspiring Ariana, was unique, lively, and fun, but Sierra did discover that she’s just not overly fond of ballet. No worries there – one of her classmates happened to be Studio K’s Yoga Fusion and Musical Theater instructor, Laura. She invited Sierra to come try her yoga class, and this instantly appealed to Sierra, so she is looking forward to giving that a whirl. This is one of the many benefits to Studio K. You do not have to commit to any one type of class, and there are certainly a wide array of options to choose from! If one shoe doesn’t fit, move on down the aisle and try another on – perfect!

Beyond the eclectic mix of offerings and the notable versatility of the Studio K services, the element that really makes the place shine is the beautiful mix of personalities behind it! There are 25 instructors at Studio K, and the three I interacted with were all immeasurably sweet and thoughtful. For someone who tends to be a bit self conscious, this was an incredible relief. Many of us will shy away from activities like this that we may be curious to explore, but fearful of the potential for judgment, ridicule, or embarrassment. Studio K truly is as “safe” as it instantly felt. It is obvious that the common thread here is simply good people, and at the head of it all is the impassioned founder of Studio K – Kristin Weissman. I had the privilege of chatting with Kristin for a bit, and she is a fascinating, motivating person, to say the very least. Even if you don’t think this is for you, pop in and just absorb the atmosphere for a few. I guarantee you’ll find yourself wanting to be a part of it. Aside from an ever-changing assortment of innovative in-studio classes, Studio K offers traveling services, special events, and they’ve even been known to round-up a flash mob or two along the way. Undoubtedly, there’s a place for you here.

Studio K is located at 11951 International Drive South (on the SeaWorld end of I-Drive, in the same plaza as Escapology). Varied classes run every day but Sunday, and the genres change up regularly. Classes are $10 each (or 10 for $80) – unlimited monthly plans available. NO registration fees or contracts, so no risk and no clamoring to fit a rigorous class schedule into your hectic routine to be sure you get your money’s worth. Although Studio K takes their art seriously, this is a no-pressure zone that caters to the life realities of the modern adult, while striving to be accommodating and inviting to the masses.

Perhaps you’ll opt to join us for another round of Lightsaber Fitness! A trial run of Yoga Fusion or Hot Hula, maybe? If nothing else, we hope to see you for National Dance Day at Studio K July 29, where I’ve decided to revisit my Texan roots with Walk the Line Country! Although this event offers free classes all day long, the motivation to get my boots back on the dance floor is priceless in my book! For more information on Studio K, visit their official website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

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