Madonna’s personal trainer, Craig Smith, teaches sweat-filled hip-hop classes to everyday people.

When someone offers you the opportunity to take a dance class with Madonna’s personal trainer, you don’t turn it down. Madonna is forever young. I mean seriously, sometimes I wonder if she is actually aging. Did she find some secret fountain of youth that no one else knows about? Or is it simply all of her hard work at the gym and intense dance routines that keep her looking fresh and fit despite being 56 years old? I was desperate to find out.

The mysteriously ageless woman herself, Madonna.

So, I set out on an adventure to discover the truth. I embarked on a journey to Broadway Dance Center, where Madonna’s Hard Candy Fitness classes are being taught for a limited time. I must preface this by saying: I’ve taken a dance class one, and only one time when I was just a wee 3-year-old. Stepping into the vast BDC building, I was quite intimidated. Every svelte little ballerina I passed seemed seriously talented despite probably being in high school. I, however, was a 23-year-old sweating from my short walk from the subway. But, I trucked along with confidence.

One of the few photos from my short-lived experience as a dancer.

One of the few photos from my short-lived experience as a dancer.

When I arrived at my studio room, I peeked into the class that was taking place before mine. These people were not messing around. There were some serious high kicks and leaps happening in there. Everyone was decked out in high-quality leotards, tights, and professional dance shoes. I briefly panicked thinking that my class would be just like this intermediate level spectacle. I imagined attempting Rockette-level kicks in my amateur-looking Nike shorts and Yummie tank top.

As these skilled dancers trickled out, I sheepishly made my way to the back of the room, afraid of what was to happen next. I was relieved to see regular-looking people slowly filing into the studio wearing casual outfits similar to mine. We all took our places and our instructor, Craig Smith, confidently strolled in. In case you don’t know, Craig is Madonna’s personal trainer and creative director of Hard Candy Fitness, Madonna’s brainchild exercise brand. He simply oozed cool. I was oozing anxiety.

Craig Smith, madonna's personal trainer

Craig Smith of Hard Candy Fitness

Craig announced that the entire principle of Hard Candy Fitness is to deliver a hardcore sweat sesh, all while having fun and learning dance routines inspired by Madonna’s shows. Because of this, we would not stop moving the entire class. Unlike traditional dance classes, where you stop and start again to learning new moves, our heart rates wouldn’t have the chance to drop, resulting in the best workout possible.

The class started some cardio-filled warm-ups accompanied by some awesome hip-hop remixes. After 30 minutes of loosening our muscles while hopping around to the beat, we were ready to begin the hour long dance portion. Craig slowly broke down each move, and I oafishly attempted to follow along. I have the dance skills of a dad at a barbecue, so fast-paced hip-hop moves do not come naturally to me. But, I gave it all of my effort and slowly began to catch on to the routine alongside the rest of the group. I was sweating and gasping for air, but you better believe that I was able to complete the entire sequence by the end of that hour.

Despite my continuous struggle to learn the super cool dance moves, it was an absolute blast. They are not kidding when they say that Hard Candy Fitness is “addicted to sweat.” After leaving class, I was the sweatiest person in Times Square — and that, my friends, is not an easy feat. That place is filled with moist, flustered tourists running from one landmark to the next, and somehow I was the dampest. I was also sore for three days afterwards, but no pain, no gain! Plus, I was trained by the same person who trains Madonna, and how many people can actually say that?

Want to sweat it out like I did? Broadway Dance Center is offering Hard Candy Fitness classes with varying instructors every Monday and Wednesday from now until July 15th. Book your class here.

Start a Conversation

Your email address will not be published.