Q+A WITH ARIEL HOFFMAN
This Summer we’re embracing everything outdoorsy and amazing. We’re escaping to Cape Cod, Montauk, Catalina Island, Beacon, and more. To get in shape and and feel great in our sleek Summer wardrobe, we’re checking out all the best fitness classes.
Not only was it such an amazing workout, but it was also a super fun time. Talk about body changes, strength, and most importantly self confidence.
Join our journey, and try AKT for yourself. You’ll be sure to leave the class feeling energized and wanting more! Try one of the awesome dance classes. You’ll be getting your groove on, listening to great music, having fun, and working out all at the same time! Who knew that was possible?!
To learn more about AKT in Motion, we had a chat with AKT superstar, Ariel Hoffman.
by CHLOE: Introduce yourself.
Ariel Hoffman: I’m Ariel Hoffman, the Director of Professional Development at AKT In Motion.
bC: What was the inspiration behind AKT in Motion?
AH: I have known Anna Kaiser (the founder of AKT) for many years when we were professional dancers on the scene, going to auditions, and we ended up landing a couple of gigs together. As a dancer, Anna (as well as most of us dancers) would go all around the city, doing cardio workouts, strength workouts, and yoga, just to stay in shape for dancing jobs. She was inspired to create a workout that not only combined all of those elements into one, but also allowed her to be an individual in a room rather than always trying to fit someone else’s mold in an ensemble…. the result was AKT!
bC: What is the difference between AKT and other fitness studios?
AH: I would say that it’s the high level of intensity that the workout demands which really stands out from the first moment you take an AKT class, and the fact that our workouts continue to stay challenging! We offer such a variety, from dance based workouts to circuit training workouts, that it’s impossible to get bored! Also, compared to other workouts, the overall knowledge that our team exhibits is apparent to clients from when they take their first class at AKT, and it really feels like a community.
bC: What are the benefits of this style of workout?
AH: There are many benefits, but some of the ones that stand out are: increase in muscular strength and cardiovascular health, which are important factors that reduce your risk for diseases, increased energy levels, better sleep, the ability to reach beyond plateaus because the workouts are continuously changing, as well as better self esteem and overall confidence. Weight loss occurs when our workouts are done regularly along side a good nutrition plan, and the icing on the cake is looking good in a bikini with sculpted, lean muscle tone that suddenly makes an appearance in the end. One of the best things that I hear from clients as they leave our classes is “I feel amazing and energized, and I feel strong” Isn’t that the way everyone should feel?
bC: What classes are offered at AKT? What do you teach?
AH: We offer dance based classes, that are called Happy Hour, AKTease, and Progressive Happy Hour, as well as circuit training classes, that are based in athletic, functional movement, called Sweat Dream, 4Play, and AKTone. All classes combine cardio, strength, and flexibility into one amazing, effective workout! By taking a variety of these classes in combination each week, we are offering clients the most comprehensive way to achieve your best you! I mainly teach classes on the UES: Progressive Happy Hour on Mondays at 6:15pm, Members Sweat Dream on Thursdays at 9:30am Sweat Dream, Happy Hour on Fridays at 12:30pm, and I also work one on one in private sessions or semi private sessions, and in the summer I work at our East Hampton location.
bC: When did you start with AKT?
AH: I started with AKT from the beginning, 5 years ago, before we had our studio spaces, and it was just Anna and myself teaching classes and working with private clients. We have come a long way since then!
bC: Any tips on surviving an AKT session?
AH: Just do the best you can, whatever that is for you! Take breaks when you need to, and start slow. It’s not a race, it’s a journey, so pace yourself and enjoy the mini accomplishments along the way! And of course BREATHE, and sip water throughout the class!
bC: We hear you’re a professional dancer. What makes you passionate about dance and fitness?
AH: Expressing myself through movement is what I have known and loved since I was a little girl. When I dance, I feel free, and in my mind, there’s nothing better than that feeling of accomplishment when you have pushed yourself to your own limit and beyond. And now, I get to use that passion each day to motivate my clients.
bC: Is that why you like teaching and sharing fitness and dancing with others?
AH: Absolutely! That, and translating proper movement patterns to others (I’m a bit of a perfectionist) while also having fun, so people can feel better in their own skin. Feeling like I am giving back to others all that I have learned is also a driving factor.
bC: We heard you were a competitive ice skater growing up! Tell us more!
AH: Ha! Yes! I started ice skating when I was 5 years old, and remained a competitive figure skater until I was 18. I was very serious about the sport and was focused on going to the Olympics. I trained extremely hard, and you couldn’t drag me off of the ice. I trained for 4-5 hours in the morning before school, then I would go to school, then ballet class after school, and then homework. I guess I have always had quite the full workout schedule! I suppose my claim to fame is when I defeated Michelle Kwan at junior Nationals when I was 12.
bC: We have to ask, who are some of your celeb clients?
AH: I have worked with many, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Shakira, Sofia Vergara, Chloe Sevigny, and Emmy Rossum.
bC: What’s your favorite dish at by CHLOE.?
AH: The Greek Salad, and the Pesto Meatball Sub. Can’t go wrong.
bC: What does “Eat well. Eat with purpose.” mean to you?
AH: To me, eating well means sticking to foods that are REAL, like vegetables, fruit, things that are found in nature, not eating anything processed or coming from a box. Eat with purpose to me means know why you are making the food choices that you are. One piece of advice that I generally give to my clients is, before you eat something good or bad, ask yourself…where does this come from? Are you really hungry, or am I reaching for something out of habit? Is it something I really want to eat, need to eat, or crave? Are you craving something unhealthy because you haven’t eaten all day? Question yourself, and find those answers, which will lead you to make healthier choices!
1. Nickname? My friends and best friends call me Ari, and at AKT, I have become known as Zero Dark (because I am a red head like Jessica Chastain, and I have been known to push my clients fairly intensely at times.)
3. Song lyrics you most identify with? Justin Timberlake’s song: “Can’t Stop the Feeling”! I think he pretty much read my mind!
4. Personal mantra? Dance like no one is watching
5. Weird personal fact? I like to eat apples in a specific way.
6. Favorite season? Spring
7. Top 5 songs on your workout playlist?
9. Hosting a dinner with 4 people (dead or alive), who would you invite? Audrey Hepburn, Steve Martin, President Obama, Justin Timberlake
10. Dream Getaway: ANYWHERE on a beautiful beach with turquoise water. I would love to go to Thailand, or the Seychelles someday.
11. Top 3 instagram accounts you follow? (excluding your own/your company’s) @wellandgoodnyc (all things health and fitness related), @dwellmagazine (I love architecture, since that’s what my degree is in), @blackjaguarwhitetiger (I love animals!)
12. Favorite board game? Sorry!
13. Under water or outer space? Outer space
14. Juice or smoothie? Smoothie
15. Night in or night out? Night In