This is fitness class as interactive performance art. Richard Simmons—yes, we’re talking Simmons of Sweatin’ to the Oldies—shows up as anything from the fifth member of KISS to a glam aerobics version of Black Swan and greets each and every devotee of his crazy-haired genius with an individual smile, hug, pat on the ass or wickedly inappropriate comment. He is all sincerity and mega-watt excitement. The ready-to-sweat audience—who lines up an hour before class to ensure a spot in the packed studio—encompasses all types, from super-fit college students to gray-haired grannies to chair-sitting regulars who punch and shimmy with the best of them! Everyone in the studio attacks the complex aerobics combinations and serious dance moves with enthusiasm, and once the class is over, there’s a general stampede to take cast photos with Simmons, who patiently vamps for each and every person. Slimmons is open all week, but Simmons himself teaches on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays when he’s in town. Call the studio to confirm the week of.
|Venue name:||Richard Simmons’ Slimmons Studio||Contact:|
9306 Civic Center Dr
|Opening hours:||Mon 9am-1pm, 5:30-7:30pm; Tue 5:30am-8:00pm; Wed 9am-1pm, 6-8pm; Thu 5:30am-8pm; Fri 9am-1pm; Sat 10am-1pm; Sun 9-11am|
|Price:||$12 for guest class; $50 initiation fee for new membership, then $10 for each following class|
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The fact that anyone in LA can take an aerobics class with Richard Simmons still blows my mind to this day. I had the pleasure of attending one of his classes not long after I moved here, and was so shocked that all I had to do was show up early, sign a waiver and bust my butt in the workout room. Richard was dressed as a cat (complete with makeup whiskers and a long tail he used to smack us) and yelled lewd remarks in everyone's faces as we jumped, twisted and laughed. Parker Posey was in class with me, and I remember thinking "this is my life now," and feeling pretty okay about it. After class, Richard almost broke into tears with worry because he didn't think we were hydrating enough. He then stayed to take photos with every single person who wanted one, flirting and posing with 50 sweaty admirers and never skipping a beat. Swoon.