Sitting Pretty

December 12, 2012

If you’re like countless dancers, you’ll be looking to better your instrument— your body—as a New Year’s resolution.
To that end, former New York City Ballet dancer (and “25 to Watch”) Rachel Piskin has developed a new exercise regimen for dancers and nondancers alike. Trading her pointe shoes and Yumikos for sneakers and Lululemon, Piskin now teaches at Chaise23, a boutique fitness studio located in Manhattan and East Hampton, NY, that she founded with her mother.

Don’t be fooled by the name, “Chaise.” There’s not a lot of sitting during the 55-minute “Reinvention method” class, which combines Pilates, ballet, and cardio exercises. Clients hover over the chair—a stool with a sprung pedal—for ab exercises, climb over it for glut work, and stand behind it while toning their arms with ceilingsuspended bungee cords. In her classes, Piskin sees countless models, athletes, and dancers—including Tiler Peck, Ralph Ippolito, and Robert Fairchild. Dance Teacher editor Jenny Dalzell recently spoke with Piskin about how Chaise23’s workouts can benefit dancers.

When you stopped dancing, did you plan to become a fitness instructor?

I stopped dancing because of my body. I was putting so much stress on it and I was gaining weight for no reason. It seemed like my body was fighting against everything I did; everything felt awful. I ended up enrolling at NYU to get my degree in costume design, but it really wasn’t the right fit for me. I missed moving, using my body, and being reative.

Around the same time, my mom was beginning to develop a new workout program. I started helping her, and I loved it. Not only did the workout transform my body into what it had been when I was dancing, it felt good. I also found a voice I didn’t have while I was dancing. I had never even taught ballet before, so I never thought I’d love being an instructor as much as I do. It’s still a bit of a performance. I love entertaining people and help them change their bodies. You train a lot of dancers at Chaise23.

First-Timer: Trying Ballet Bungee

May 8, 2013

Chair exercises that have you break a
sweat

April 5, 2012

NEW YORK (WABC) — If you’re looking to mixup your fitness routine we’ve found one class you might want to try. It’s a workout that you do right on a chair. It’s a chair that’s especially designed for this sort of thing. It’s called a chaise and this isn’t about sitting back and relaxing.

Lauren Piskin has been leading workouts for 30 years and now she’s created a work out predicated on a chaise. Consider this a modern version, it works with an adjustable spring, the more tension, the harder the move. And at Chaise 23, almost all the moves incorporate the chaise.
Balance and stability are key and unlike Pilates this class is fast very fast paced. The bungees incorporate added assistance and resistance. There are moves that work your arms, your glutes, your obliques, and your inner thighs. It’s for all levels.

This chaise isn’t like the chaise you lounge on pool side but it will get you into your bathing suit. Your first class at Chaise 23 runs $16 and there are classes every day.
For more information please visit: http://www.chaise23.com/