I Tried an In-Bed Dance Class, and I Might Cancel My Gym Membership

woman in bed

Stocksy

Even before staying at home became required, my bed was my favorite place to be. I know sleep experts warn against using your bed for much beyond, well, sleep, but I’ve found that bizarrely, I get more done if I’m writing from the confines of my queen mattress than I would at my kitchen table, mere feet from distraction in the form of a pile of dishes or an early lunch break. Something about rolling over in the morning and grabbing a book or my laptop feels especially languid and glamorous to me, and I’m convinced that I draft better emails when I’m still waking up and can’t overthink my punctuation use. I’m not alone—in one study, 80% of young professionals admitted to regularly working from bed. (And yes, I’ll also cop to scrolling, movie watching, and occasionally snacking between the sheets.) Now that quarantine has me working from home full-time, it’s been more and more difficult to rise and shine: I have fewer reasons to be groomed and dressed on any sort of schedule, and if I can be real, my serotonin takes a sucker punch whenever I open my News app.

This increased anxiety is a near-universal phenomenon right now, and for me and many others, it’s manifested in long mornings laying in bed, avoiding or appeasing our collective angst by mindlessly scrolling or staring at the ceiling. So when I heard about Bedography –  an entirely in-bed dance class –   I was intrigued. What if, instead of punishing myself for not making it to the living room for a workout, the dance class came to me? Read on for my journey into in-bed fitness.

What is Bedography?

Bedography is a live online dance class designed to take place on your bed. Created by SassClass, each 90-minute session covers a choreographed dance routine, devised to avoid leaps, turns, or any other vertical moves. SassClass founder and CEO Julia Sokol explains, “Rather than focusing on the limitations of quarantine, we saw this as a chance to create a unique opportunity that's not available to us in-studio.” Designed as a wellness class for your physical and emotional body, the class leans heavily into the “bedroom” element—according to Sokol, choreography includes “crawls, body rolls, [and] hip thrusts, set to the beat of a gorgeous song, designed to tap into your sensuality—and all taking place in the most intimate surroundings."

Benefits of Bedography

For me, personally, the benefits of an in-bed workout are self-evident. On lazy or depressed days, a task as simple as putting on workout wear can feel daunting; when the logistics of getting to class are as low-lift as possible, I’m far more likely to show up. And there’s no denying that dance is an almost instant mood booster. “In this uncertain time, many of us are carrying a lot of stress, anxiety, and other tense feelings inside of us,” says Sokol. “Bedography is a release of these feelings, and a re-centering for women to tap back into their powerful feminine energy. A bonus side effect is that Bedography is also a great workout—you won't even realize it until you're sweating and feeling your inner thighs burning."

How to Prepare for Bedography

One huge incentive to take a Bedography class, in my opinion, is that there’s basically no prep. Suggested attire is pajamas or lingerie – I recommend something comfy enough to feel effortless, but cute enough to ~feel yourself~ once the choreography heats up. I ended up slipping on a sports bra beneath my PJs, but I’m not sure it was entirely necessary. Other than that, all you need is a Zoom account. 

What to Expect During a Bedography Class

I admit that when I signed up, I imagined 90 minutes of gentle stretching with perhaps the occasional leg lift. In reality, Bedography was as fast-paced as any studio dance class—and I ended up loving it. You start with a brief series of stretches, which can be done on the floor (or, if you’re committed to the bit, standing on your bed). After warming up, the instructor guides you through a choreographed routine, focusing on moves that keep your body low to the ground (er, mattress).

Our instructor broke down the moves so that they were easy to follow. I enjoy dance classes but have no formal education, and I found the choreography pleasantly challenging, quick enough to require my full attention without becoming frustrating or overwhelming. The instructor would also occasionally ask us to stop and just listen to the song, which I appreciated—she didn’t want us to mechanically memorize a routine, but to feel the musicality of our movements. For me, this took the class from a routine workout to a mind-body experience. Once we have the routine down, more or less, the class is divided in half, and we take turns performing.

I’m naturally neither super flexible or confident in my rhythmic abilities. At times the vibe was vaguely lap-dance-y, and while the emphasis on sensuality makes sense (you’re rolling around in bed, after all), I initially felt a little unhinged crawling around my sheets alone in my bedroom. However, as class progressed, I found it easy to let go and lean into the experience. The song choice was on point—chill, but with enough of a beat to keep me awake and engaged—and the instruction was upbeat and relatively easy to follow, even for non-dancers like myself.

To soothe my self-consciousness, I kept my camera off, but I might be emboldened to turn it on next time around. The class was full of enthusiastic participants gassing each other up in the chat box and giving their all to the routine, which definitely helped me stick with the movements when I fell behind a step or was tempted to curl up under my covers. I was pleasantly surprised by the sense of camaraderie I felt with the other women, even though we were strangers connected only through a screen. Maybe the intimacy of our locale made vulnerability a requirement, but by the end it felt like we were in a big sleepover dance party together—a definite plus to any workout class, in my book.

The Final Takeaway

The aspect of the class that initially gave me the most pause—the “sexy” component—actually ended up being one of my favorite parts. Quarantining alone in my one-bedroom apartment, I’ve celebrated the opportunity to examine and unlearn my inner critical impulses to shave or wear makeup. At the same time, however, I have to admit, quarantining alone has made me lose touch with feeling attractive. Bedography was a welcome reminder that I was allowed to connect with and celebrate my body, no male gaze required. As Sokol sums up the experience: “We really believe that sensual movement is a form of therapy for a woman.” All in all, I added a few new skills to my boudoir repertoire, and raised both my heart rate and my serotonin—and then I took a nap. If that’s not self care, I don’t know what is.

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