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Dancing Queen: Anna Kaiser prepares to open a dance cardio studio

Anna Kaiser cardio dance guru

Anna Kaiser is the fitness version of Prozac. No matter how crummy you might feel walking into her cardio dance class, you’ll walk out feeling like a rock star.

This spring, the preternaturally vivacious Kaiser is set to open her own studio. Once AKT INMOTION opens its doors, she’ll join the ranks of Tracy Anderson and Simone de la Rue as one of New York City’s reigning cardio dance divas. It’s also further proof that the workout is taking off on New York’s fitness scene.

Until now, Kaiser has boogied slightly under-the-radar as a word-of-mouth phenom. Many of her clients, however, are anything but low profile. She trains Kelly Ripa several times a week, as well as Sarah Jessica Parker, both of whom are vocally devoted to the 5’ 3” blonde trainer. In addition to working out privately with Kaiser, clients take class at the Downtown Dance Factory ($35) with her or one of her trainers. Lately they’ve voiced the same complaint: there aren’t enough classes. So, for Kaiser, a studio of her own is a must. (It’ll be downtown.)

What’s cardio dance?

Kaiser’s students all talk about her “amazing energy.” The sun shines a little brighter when she walks into the studio.

Cardio dance, for those who’ve never shaken their booty like Shakira (also Kaiser client), is a white hot of-the-moment style of exercise.

In Kaiser’s case it melds dance, with layers of strengthening, yoga, and Pilates. Think one part old-school Jane Fonda, one part pop-culture choreography, rounded out with strengthening exercise via Thera-Bands, booty bands, light weights, and canonical fitness moves like planks, lunges, and mountain climbers. Kaiser’s classes leave you dripping with sweat and in a state of endorphin ecstasy.

Kaiser’s genius is in slowly building the dance sequences so that even two-left-feet types can follow along. Expect classes that are about 2/3 dance while the sweat flies off you and 1/3 strength and flexibility training. “I’m teaching high intensity interval training using dance instead of plyometrics,” says Kaiser. The dance sequences change frequently as do the strength elements.

The makings of a dancing queen

Her fitness bio seems to have inevitably led her to this point. She was a professional dancer who toured the world and appeared as a principal dancer in Disney’s Enchanted among many other major shows. Ten years ago Kaiser changed her focus to fitness and has racked up the credentials. (That’s something she asks of her trainers, too. All must have their NASM personal-training certificate and more.)

Kaiser’s fitness career started at the Reebok Sports Club/NY. For two years, according to Kaiser, she served as Tracy Anderson’s chief content officer. During her stint with Anderson, Kaiser said she played a key role in establishing choreography, and developing Anderson’s training program. Ultimately their paths diverged: “Tracy wasn’t interested in the integrity of movement,” is all Kaiser will say of her former boss.

These days, Kaiser is training her team and giving her obsessed students an amazing sweat session they can rock out to—and bliss out to. Which, come spring, is about to be a whole lot more people. —Alexia Brue

Classes are 60 minutes (Happy Hour) and 90 minutes (S&M), $35, aktinmotion.com

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25 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. January 21st, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I doubt they taught a lot about fitness on the set of Disney’s Enchanted. This woman is clearly a poser.

  2. January 21st, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Unfortunately, Anna Kaiser is a fraud. The only reason she knows anything about what she teaches now and the clients she has is because of her connection to and with Tracy. It’s a shame that she has to stoop so low and literally rip off Tracy Anderson Method.
    She clearly cannot get anywhere with her own name.

  3. January 21st, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Wow,what happened to manners and ettiquette….if you dont have anything nice to say then why comment?? Gladly the negative commentary above is just an opinion~everyone has one and mine is complete opposite. Anna Kaiser and AKT are no way, no how a fraud or rip off actually she is the REAL DEAL and engages her clients from within. Treat others the way you want to be treated- let Well & Good readers make their own conclusion. Give it a try ladies if you enjoy fun, positive vibes with every client’s well being in mind am sure you will love AKT!

  4. January 21st, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I wouldn’t call someone with a NASM certification a fraud…and if you check out her bio on their site she clearly has a ton of experience in the fitness industry!

  5. January 21st, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I’m still calling it. Total fraud.

  6. January 21st, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    anything but a fraud.

  7. January 21st, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I love AKT in motion!!! Such a fun class and great workout!

  8. January 21st, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Super positive article. Thanks! Not sure why people would follow it with such negativity. Seeing as the author attended classes of both AKT and the others referenced, she wouldn’t have written such praise if it were not justified.

    Finally, the vocally-devoted celebrities mentioned certainly made up their own minds.

  9. January 21st, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Super positive article. Not sure why people would follow it with such negativity. Seeing as the author probably attended classes of both AKT and the others referenced, she wouldn’t have written such praise if it were not justified.

    Finally, the vocally-devoted celebrities mentioned certainly made up their own minds after experiencing AKT. Maybe we readers should be allowed to as well…

  10. January 21st, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Doubting girls: the workout is amazing! I have been doing it for 2 years both with Anna and her trainers. I have been an athlete my whole life yet never have I had more fun or seen better results as I have with AKT. Let’s be positive. It’s still January.

  11. January 21st, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    @Amanda–Whatever you say, Tracy!

    I haven’t trained with Tracy or Anna person, but I’ve been doing Tracy Anderson Method workouts for three years at this point (Mat and Cardio Dance first, then Perfect Design, then Metamorphosis, and now continuity not to mention every free clip Tracy has produced) and I have to say that Anna’s instruction and teaching style blow Tracy out of the water. In Beginner Dance Cardio she actually makes it EASY to learn the routine (instead of scolding you to just keep practicing more) and I didn’t understand standing abs until I watched her three-minute tutorial on it (after doing Tracy workouts for a YEAR).

    I love Tracy enough to shell out $$$ to do her workouts, but if Anna were to release anything–even a single DVD–I know I would flock to that. She’s just a superior instructor.

  12. January 21st, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    she’s absolutely not a fraud. why so negative?

  13. January 21st, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    To the Haters: Don’t knock it til you try it. Anna is in her own right, no joke!

  14. January 22nd, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Anna’s bio from her website: Anna earned a BFA in dance from the University of California in 2002 (Cum Laude) and studied kinesiology, sports medicine, and functional anatomy at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She then went on to earn teaching certificates in Pilates, TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise), and NASM (The National Academy of Sports Medicine).

  15. January 22nd, 2013 at 12:30 am

    And, if memory serves, a recent NY Times article pointed out that Tracy Anderson had zero actual certifications, only a very vague decade of self-study of self proclaimed guru-dom.

  16. January 22nd, 2013 at 2:00 am

    If you look at video of Anna training Kelly Ripa you will see her exercises are nothing like Tracy’s moves, while dance cardio cannot be viewed as Tracy Anderson creation. People are allowed to move on from employers to set to on their own & it speaks volumes that high profile clients wanted to go with her. Anna is not a fraud – she looks like an awesome trainer – can’t wait for her to release some DVDs.

  17. January 22nd, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I’m pumped to try out her class tonight. The bios of all of the instructors are incredibly impressive, and the world could use more fun, dance-based workouts.

  18. January 22nd, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    You’re right, proper etiquette is always appreciated. Proper etiquette would be for Anna to not steal from her former boss- to not rip her off. Plain. And. Simple.

  19. January 23rd, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Oh honey, there’s no stealing in fitness. People make up their own minds and find something better. And they have. Plain. And. Simple.

  20. January 28th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Very excited to try AKT! I have been doing Tracy for years at home and recently started taking classes at BBS. Kudos to Simone and Anna for making these workouts available to people live at a studio for a reasonable price…working out at home by yourself gets old and I can’t afford $900 per month for Tracy in Tribeca.

  21. January 31st, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Anna please please release dvds!! love your energy! I saw her training Kelly Ripa, and I was so stoked, I liked the Tracy Anderson method but always missed the strength training end of things, and Anna seems to combine everything for real woman, not just hollywood, I just found out she was in the insanity videos..she seems awesome..

  22. October 9th, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I love this girl. As a personal coach I incorporate dancing into my cardio routines. People seem to enjoy it more and it is an even greater stress reliever than traditional cardio exercises.

  23. November 1st, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    You guys are arguing over a dance class. My god, if you like Anna, use her. If you like Tracy, use her. I don’t know either of these ladies but it appears they both know what they are doing. Is one better than the other? That all depends on you.

  24. November 8th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    With regards about ripping moves from other trainers, let’s be honest here, everybody uses the same basic moves with small adaptations. That is why no one can trade mark moves if not no one could publish dvd’s It is the same with cooking and painting, you name it. To be original is hard to do. The important thing in Ana’s case is for her to have the ability to captivate her audience so they can benefit from her training.

  25. November 8th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Ana also participated in the Insanity DVD for Sean T. I would say that she may have learned a lot from the experience and most likely adapted some of it to her own style. Ana may also have picked up some tips as to how to push the troops and make it exciting even if it pains you to do the exercise.

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