Today, I’m sharing my review of one of the newest dance cardio studios in Addison, Jam Box. Typically the mention of any kind of dance cardio class is enough to make me sweat from anxiety. After a mortifying experience at Zumba class, I’ve slowly tip-toed my way back to explore other dance classes. I did more of a crab shuffle than shimmy and never wanted to go back. Ha!
Initially, I wanted to get a feel of the studio so booked the most non-dance class ever and took Bass Camp, their version of a boot camp class. After seeing the energy from the previous dance class, I came back for Pound, Step, and Barre 2.0 and found myself hooked!
Being such a new studio, Jambox is off to a great start, but still needs to work out some kinks. The concept is really fun and has the potential to attract a certain demographic in the fitness realm and more. Here’s what I thought:
The Studio: It feels like you’re walking into a party club…for fitness! The space is illuminated with pink-purplish lights that sets the mood for a good time. Walking in, a partition creates a small lobby area to check in. Behind it is an open studio floor with a small platform for the instructor to demonstrate. Funky lanterns hang from the ceiling along with TV screens projecting silent music videos and colorful lighting add to the ambiance and energy of the class. To the left of the studio, is small room or lounge area with couches and tables for guests to wait in until class starts. The room itself is dark and has a small juice bar.
The space is also perfect for hosting private events, bachelorette parties, birthdays, and more.
The Classes: Jam Box offers five classes: Funk to Fit (dance cardio), Bass Camp, Barre 2.0, Pound, and Step. I enjoyed the dance classes, such as Pound and Step, much more than I did Bass Camp and Barre 2.0. The energy from those classes was so fun and I love that the studio is bringing back a lost art of classes that used to be so popular. Pound is fun and easier to follow, but requires speed for some movements, giving you the cardio you need. The core work in the Pound class was challenging and with the distractions of the weighted drum stricks, you almost forget you’re working out. Almost.
Even with my two left feet, Step was still fun despite all of my “mis-steps.” You need the ability to laugh at yourself. After a few classes of Step, you’ll get the hang of the basic movements and finally work some attitude into your hip swings.
I thought the Bass Camp and Barre 2.0 were odd classes on the schedule. I appreciate the variety in making this more than a dance cardio studio, but think the criteria of the classes need some reworking to be more successful. The Bass Camp class didn’t really differ from any ordinary bootcamp class. With the catchy name, I expected an added element of music or something to the format to make it more fun. Instead, a basic circuit workout in the space felt kind of out of place in the funky room.
For Barre 2.0, it was certainly one of the hardest barre classes I’ve ever taken. Brutal more like. I think the instructor made an attempt to sync it to a certain rhythm, but I didn’t leave feeling like it tied in very well. No amount of pulsing to the beat was going to distract me from the burn. Instead, I had jelly legs for days. The class isn’t designed to hold more than 8-10 people with only one bar to work on so there’s definitely a lot of mat work.
If I go back, I much prefer attending the dance cardio classes.
The Instructors: Ashley, who teaches Step, and Cathy, who teaches Pound, have amazing energy. I love their swag and upbeat attitude. They really make the class fun. They genuinely look like they are having fun teaching the class. I haven’t had a chance to take owner Dominique’s class, but have heard great things. The bass camp instructor was encouraging and super nice. He did a great job motivating the class. The barre instructor is tough! She didn’t have quite the same warm and welcoming demeanor though.
Difficulty Level: I always struggle to answer this question. Considering how often I do intense cardio, I felt the dance classes were not as challenging as some of the classes I normally take. I personally enjoy coming here for a fun, endorphin boosting workout when I’m not in the mood for something super intense and want something more than yoga. I find myself doing back-to-back classes to get in more of a calorie burn.
However, based on the people who take the classes, it looked challenging for a lot of beginners, but in a very fun way. The crowd brings in mostly women of all ages. From what I can tell, they were able to get their heart rate up and break a sweat. I recall one lady claiming she burned almost 1000 calories from one of the classes. I did notice quite a few people who would do back-to-back and some triple classes too.
Loved: Really enjoyed the energy in step and pound class. The instructors are fun and sassy. I also like hearing announcements at the end of class for any upcoming special events. Jam Box seems to host quite a few with famous instructors. There seems to be a growing community of regulars who really like the classes and their energy is infectious. I like that the instructors are conscious enough to remember names and recognize familiar faces.
Feedback: Being newly open, I’m sure there are still some final touches to add to the space. As of now, I wish there was more going on in the lounge room. It’s quite dark and a little depressing compared to the upbeat studio room. The site says there are juices, protein snacks and free wifi. I think there could be some added touches to make the room more inviting. Perhaps, bowls of snacks, more lights, or an fruit-infused water decanter.
The website is annoying. I hate that the actual site is gated and I have to input my email before I can enter and read up on the class formats, pricing, and schedule. Working with websites at work, this really hurts the web-user experience.
FYI/Costs/Parking: You’re first class is free, after that drop ins are $15. You can also take advantage of a 7-day pass for $30 or purchase class packs. I’d come in comfortable clothing and bring a water bottle. Initially, the place feels like an ice box since the AC is on full blast, but for good reason. It won’t be cold long. Unfortunately, there’s only one bathroom for changing so come dressed. There are cubbies to store your belongings. Parking is super easy.
The Takeaway: Jam Box has changed my perspective on dance cardio and I really enjoyed my experience, which is a HUGE win in my book. The instructors were so nice and energetic. It’s definitely worth a visit so make sure to grab a friend and check it out! I’d say it’s probably one of my favorite studios for dance workouts. I’ll certainly be back.
Review was written courtesy of my complimentary month of StudioHop.