Do you ever look at celebrities and think, How do they stay in such great shape?! Apart from Botox, personal chefs and Photoshop, the answer is Simone De La Rue.
Loved by Selena Gomez, Reese Witherspoon, Chrissy Teigen, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and the rest of the Victoria’s Secret Angels, De La Rue is the founder of Body By Simone, a dance-based cardio workout that burns mega calories. Unlike military-style bootcamps or CrossFit, *shudder*, De La Rue wants people to laugh and let loose in her classes. That’s right—laugh.
Australian-born De La Rue started her career as a professional dancer. She has fitness studios in New York and L.A. and is a trainer on the reality makeover show Revenge Body with Khloé Kardashian. The always-smiling De La Rue has built a fitness empire around her catchphrase: “How do you get the body of a dancer? The answer is simple, you dance!”
Intrigued? So was I.
To understand what the heck celebs are constantly raving about—and to see if I could get started on my own abs of steel—I took a Body By Simone dance class while the trainer was in Toronto promoting her new line of activewear in partnership with Winners. Aside from sweating up a storm and nearly tripping over my own feet, I survived to tell the tale. Here’s what happened.
What we did
De La Rue is petite—but her muscles are hella impressive. She started the class by talking about how dancing is a great way to stay in shape, as it’s more fun than running on treadmill or pedalling on a stationary bike. Since I hate staying still, I nodded my head in agreement. In fresh kicks and a bright tank top, I felt like I was off to a good start.
The fitness guru had a killer playlist going which set the upbeat tone of the class right away. Once we started moving, De La Rue led some stretches and warm-up moves. But I use the term “led” loosely—she moved quickly and we needed to follow. Once we started dancing for real, she was so speedy, I was stumbling to keep up.
As De La Rue took us through our first routine, she would dance a sequence, and repeat it slowly once or twice. Then, after we had *kinda* nailed the steps, she would add on more moves. We repeated this process until we learned an entire routine—and were dripping in sweat.
Since I was so focused on following De La Rue, I hardly noticed how hard I was working out. Sure, I felt sweaty, but I wasn’t exhausted or, most importantly, bored. This sort of have-fun-while-you-sweat mentality is super addictive, and I started to understand why people would pick this sort of cardio over others.
How I felt
The other media peops in the class—myself included—were a bit shy at first, as it’s hard not to feel self-conscious when you’re dancing with a bunch of strangers. But, about 15 minutes into the session, the mood lifted as endorphins started flowing. Everyone opened up and started dancing more freely.
De La Rue never stopped smiling or offering words of encouragement, telling us it doesn’t matter if we couldn’t perfect a move—the important thing was we just keep moving. The music, paired with her positive energy and love-yourself attitude, made the class really fun.
After the workout, my body felt like I had just finished an intense cardio session at the gym, but I was invigorated. I even felt, dare I say, inspired to take a dance class on my own time. In total, we learned two routines in about 40 minutes. Normal classes are 55 minutes long, so I personally think our class was exceptional. Take that, Angels.
Would I recommend it?
Hell yes! De La Rue was a legit blast and her positivity was contagious. Not only did she create a non-judgemental environment, but she actually made everyone want to push themselves harder. She called the workout time “therapy” and, without fangirling too hard, I have to agree. By the end of the class, I felt at ease, and I really enjoyed being able to jump around like a kid. Plus, burning calories while laughing? Sign me up.