A couple of years ago, I went to Physique 57 a lot, then I ran out of classes and buying a new package was out of the question. Then a few months ago I got an email that said: “We miss you – it has been a year since we have seen you!” and it was a voucher for two classes. I am NEVER one to pass up a free class especially one that is for an amazing but so blooming expensive class I couldn’t go otherwise. Of all the Barre based classes I have ever tried, P57 is always my gold standard. Tanya Becker, co-founder/ creative force of this offshoot of the Lotte Burke method, is brilliant at not just teaching but at teaching others how to teach the P57 method. I have had teachers at P57 I didn’t like there but never a teacher who couldn’t make the slight adjustments to your form to really get in there.
As my last class package started to diminish, I started to only take with Tanya and Shelly (who has since moved to LA to open P57 there) – wanting to savor the classes I had left with the best of the best. The first of the two freebees, I took almost right away since Tanya was teaching a class that still had space in it but the last one I have been holding onto. Then the Upper West Side location was announced and it was really beyond me not to go check it out. Since P57 won’t tell you who is teaching until two weeks before the class, signing up sometimes just feels like a crap shoot. When the UWS opening day popped onto the schedule, I was so hoping Tanya would be there for the new location’s first day and I would luck into one of her classes. That didn’t happen and I almost cancelled out. I am so glad I didn’t.
Alicia Weihl, who I had never really gotten to know when I did go lots was our teacher. Back then, I thought of her as “the ballerina” – graceful, technically good but aloof. In the years between those first classes of hers and now, she has grown to be a charming, open, inspiring teacher. Alicia has become an amazing P57 teacher, who at times reminded me both of Tanya and Shelly, in the best possible way. I can see why they tapped her to be their head of teacher training – she really is that kind of good.
The new space is gorgeous. While the reception area is open, it is slightly plain which probably has to do with it being so new but the real thing that makes the space so spectacular is the windows in the studio. It is amazing the difference natural light makes to a space. This location has the space of the Soho studio (a huge improvement over the tiny original 57th street location) but the natural openness and light that was missing. The other big improvement in this location is that they have lots of electronic lockers and a huge changing room. So, so much nicer.
I can’t imagine, never taking another Physique 57 class again, but if this is my last one for awhile it was a great one to go out on. It was nice to be reminded why I fell in love with it in the first place, great teachers, a killer workout and a beautiful studio. There really is a reason people flock there.