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Quit the gym and try… bump and grindercise

Written by
Meg Crawford

Bump and Grindercise is a dance class that takes its name from two classic burlesque/strip moves – a bump is a sharp hip thrust to the front or side, while a grind involves rotating your hips corkscrew style. Both moves get a good look in during what turns out to be a surprisingly intense workout. Fair play to strippers – to pull this off with any degree of sauciness you need buns and thighs of steel.

With bed-rumpled blonde locks and an ample bust our instructor looks like the lovechild of Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren. Even her name rolls pleasingly off the tongue: L’Amour Guzzardi. The class is Guzzardi’s brainchild and takes place behind the industrial façade of the Bottoms Up Burlesque HQ in Brunswick. The dance studio is mercifully warm; feathers and fans adorn the walls; Guzzardi is wearing the sort of undergarments that you’d ordinarily reserve for a dalliance with Tom Hardy; and the rest of the class (gals only) are in various states of undress. It’s like walking into a Russ Meyer movie.

After a warm up, we launch into four sassy dance routines (saucy '50's/'60s style – nothing tacky, we're not talking Hooters here). Guzzardi walks us through the steps first, which are made up of repeated sequences of moves, so even if you’re all left feet, you’ll have it (even if inelegantly) by the end of the song. The soundtrack is rockabilly- and burlesque-inspired – the songs are super fun and tailor-made for a bump and grind. Plus, how can you not love a class where one of the instructions is simply "bosoms"?

The latter part of the class involves some killer ab work, push ups and exercises targeting the butt. Then we stretch and breathe. It’s been a full-body work out, but perhaps even more importantly, it’s been good for the soul. The class is a celebration of womanhood – bits can hang out (literally as well as metaphorically), a big bum becomes a virtue, jiggling is positively encouraged and everyone leaves feeling better about themselves than when they walked in.

Also, Guzzardi is our new style icon.



A photo posted by L'amour Guzzardi (@bumpandgrindercise) on

Wear: Less is best, but really, it's all about whatever makes you comfortable. Just don’t wear tights or socks, because you’ll slip. If you’ve been dying to purchase a Betty Draper style baby-doll negligee, this would be your excuse.

Good for: Cardio, a great laugh, enjoying the vessel you’ve been given.

Degree of difficulty from one (I get more exercise changing channels) to five (I can’t walk down stairs anymore and it’s been three days): Four – lower abs are crying the day after and the class is a solid workout that beats the heck out of standard cardio sessions.

Would we go back? Already signed up for next term. 

Deets: Go to Guzzardi's website for more info. $20 casually. Various times. 

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