Health & Body

All the Free Outdoor Fitness Classes You Can Take in NYC This Summer

Luis Quintero via Unsplash

Happy first day of summer! It's the season of sweaty rehearsals, outdoor performances, and for some of us, summer layoff.

How to stay in shape sans daily company class without breaking the bank? If you're in New York City, you're in luck: You can cross-train for free this summer with a variety of options throughout the boroughs. Bonus: They're all outside!

Not in NYC? Most major cities have similar offerings—check out the programming for your local parks and cultural centers to find out.


Bryant Park Yoga 

via bryantpark.org

You probably already know about NYC's best-known summertime outdoor yoga option, in Bryant Park at 10 am on Tuesdays and 6 pm on Thursdays. (Register in advance, and get there early to score one of the first-come first-served mats.) But did you know that the park also offers the occasional free dance class, as well as Monday morning Pilates classes? Check the event listing to see what's coming up.

The Sweat Sessions

Ethan Covey via meatpacking-district.com

Almost every Tuesday, The Meatpacking District and The Wellth Collective hosts three free fitness classes at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm. Classes take place at the 14th Street Park and include a variety of activities featuring teachers from New York City's best boutique fitness studios; from yoga with Laughing Lotus to Pilates with Flex Studio to boxing with Box + Flow. Sign up in advance to ensure your spot.

Farm Yoga at North Brooklyn Farms

via northbrooklynfarms.com

North Brooklyn Farms' weekly Farm Yoga class at 6:30 pm on Tuesdays is donation-based, and yogis must bring their own mats.

Waterfront Workouts at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Julienne Schaer, via Brooklyn Bridge Park's Twitter

Sweat with a view of the Manhattan skyline at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where classes like yoga, zumba, Pilates and salsa are offered almost every day at varying times. In-person registration generally begins half an hour before start time.

Prospect Park Yoga

via bendandbloom.com

For a park yoga experience that's not as crowded as Manhattan's Bryant Park, venture to Brooklyn's more laid-back Prospect Park for yoga on Thursdays at 7 pm. Classes are taught by a rotating schedule of instructors from local studios. Bring your own mat, and RSVP here before your first class.

Myrtle Avenue Summer Series

via Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership

The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership hosts free high-energy workouts (think boot camp and kickboxing) at Myrtle Avenue Plaza in Clinton Hill every Saturday in the summer at 9 am. And just for the month of June, check out Tuesday yoga classes at the same location at 7 pm. No registration required.

Socrates Sculpture Park Yoga

via socratessculpturepark.org

Flow amongst the art at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens, on Saturdays at 9:30 am and 11 am and Sundays at 10 am. No RSVP required, and bring your own mat.

Cardio in Downtown Brooklyn

Via downtownbrooklyn.com

There's a variety of free fitness options in Downtown Brooklyn—from H.I.I.T. to zumba to Pilates. Dates, times and locations vary, so check out the current schedule here.

Pilates in Hunters Point South Park

For the next two Sundays at 10 am, join Long Island City Pilates in Hunters Point South Park for morning mat Pilates. No sign up necessary, BYO mat.

Summer Fitness at Brookfield Place

Via bfplny.com

Manhattan's fanciest mall is offering free fitness classes on Wednesdays and Sundays in their waterfront plaza, taught by instructors from usually-expensive studios like CorePower Yoga and Tone House. Register in advance here.

There's a bevy of other free outdoor fitness options in NYC: kayaking on the Hudson and East Rivers, swimming at public pools, biking on Governor's Island and running clubs like North Brooklyn Runners and Mile High Run Club.


Dance on Broadway
Courtesy Boneau/Bryan-Brown

If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.

Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.

Keep reading... Show less
What Dancers Eat
Lindsay Thomas

Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.

So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?

Keep reading... Show less
News
Simon Soong, Courtesy DDT

When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH

You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)

Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of:

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get Dance Magazine in your inbox