Since the moment SoulCycle first staked out their spot in Preston Hollow back in 2016, North Texas has been flooded with some of the biggest names in boutique fitness, and even witnessed the rise of our own locally grown top-notch studios. You can catch a killer spin, or sculpt, or Pilates class in practically every neighborhood, but one popular workout has been scarcely represented in Dallas: dance cardio.
Caulfield’s Dance Fitness, the namesake studio of former Dallas Mavericks dancer and pop star choreographer Cristin Caulfield, offered Dallas its first taste of cardio dancing (with a nonjudgmental atmosphere and vibrant ’80s aesthetic), but the trend continues its North Texas takeover with the help of New York-based powerhouse AKT.
Known for its high-energy, dance-meets-fitness classes and effervescent founder Anna Keiser (a personal trainer who counts Shakira among her longtime clients), the super popular AKT recently announced its franchise partnership with Xponential Fitness (their portfolio also includes Cyclebar and Row House), which would help the brand rapidly expand across the country.
And though the idea of franchising can feel threatening to the intimate energy of a boutique fitness studio, Kaiser — who has stayed very involved with AKT — addressed those concerns in an interview with Well+Good. “I think why people have shied away from [scaling a boutique dance fitness experience] is that there’s so much room for interpretation. Quality control is hard because every instructor is different,” she tells the site. “But it’s possible to scale AKT much more easily [because] I’m curating all the material, from minute one to minute 60. So any of the classes you visit in any of these cities will be exactly the same.”
That goes for the brand’s first Texas studio, located by Preston Park Village in Plano, now open with a limited schedule of signature classes, including “Tone,” “Bands,” “Dance,” and preview classes for newcomers. Given the unique times, all classes are socially distanced, and the studio is “fogged” with Aseptic Plus hospital-grade disinfectant between classes. (You can read more about their Covid-19 regulations here.)
It’s not an easy time for any business to open in North Texas, let alone a gym, but for those that feel safe visiting, a little dance cardio might be the perfect pandemic therapy. For anyone who still prefers their living room workouts, AKT offers an on-demand streaming option that might just get you hooked from home.