It was with much trepidation that I entered Studio B last week. Nicole Winhoffer had been hounding me for too long to take her class, and I could demur no longer. The lights were dark, the room a tropical 85 degrees, and the music deafening. Front and center stood Winhoffer herself, twerking with what looked like wild abandon but what was, I assure you, a meticulously choreographed 30-minute cardio session. An arms session involving 3-pound dumbbells segued at lightning speed to more twerking, hands planted on an aerobic step. Butts and thighs were tackled next. Each body part got its own little jig, replete with kicks and hip thrusts and swinging elbows, and in no time, I was firing little sweat bullets with each air punch. I was miserable. But I was also happy to find myself dancing in the middle of the day sans alcohol, drugs, and disco balls. I remember vividly the last time I busted a move mid-afternoon--that was not a healthy experience. This was. And it was fun. (Not so much the second half of class, a real choreographed dance lesson, from which I slipped out undetected. I am not ready for that jelly.)
Part of Nicole's appeal, IMHO, is her boundless energy, which comes wrapped up in a pint-sized bronze package, Pantene Pro-V commercial-grade hair swinging. Whether her day is the best ever or shit, she seems genuinely happy to be in the studio. She looks every client in the eye. She says hello. She gives encouragement to the two-left-footers (e.g. me). She does not, however, wait for the tortoises to catch up with the hares. When you're in her class, one eye is on your reflection in the mirror, and the other is glued to her, awaiting the next move. Miss a beat, and you could be out for the whole rep, but you'll never screw up again.
Working out is usually just that: work. Nicole Winhoffer makes it a celebration.