Last week, a cardio-dance gathering called Garjana kicked off at New York’s Highline Ballroom.
The one-hour workout aims to raise money for the nonprofit Food Tank through ticket sales and donations to “promote efforts in New York City to reduce and/or eliminate food waste” and help feed those in need, according to a press release.
With choreography from Monica Kapoor — a dance-fitness instructor whose background includes seven years performing in Mamma Mia! on Broadway — along with five other trained Broadway dancers, attendees were led through a vigorous class.
Beginning with performances from local dance troupes, the temperature quickly rose as the hundreds took to the floor to participate. A blend of pulsing EDM and hip-hop-heavy beats dominated the speakers — the music written and produced by Douglas Romanow, who’s worked with hit artists like Justin Bieber.
There were experienced dancers and enthusiastic first-timers on the floor, but the abundant smiles, encouragement and laughs left no room to worry about whether you were a dance veteran or newbie. (Side note: I can run with the best of them, but somehow my one-year of third-grade dance classes did not translate). The jumps, spins, thrusts and various moves incorporated drumsticks and lilac scarves that were provided. Some partner work ensured that you interacted with your neighbors and cheered each other on.
After 60 sweaty-minutes, attendees were treated to healthy snacks arranged around the venue’s surrounding bars. Following last week’s kick-off, Garjana will be taking their dance-fueled workout to a multitude of cities throughout the United States and parts of Canada this summer, partnering with Food Tank and other nonprofits to provide their services nationwide. To learn more about Garjana and keep track of upcoming dates and participating cities, click here.