It’s dance. Pure, uninhibited, exhilarating dance.

In October 2018, Kristin Sudeikis opened a studio on Spring Street in New York City called FORWARD_Space that offers 50-minute sessions in a “sanctuary-meets-club environment.”

When I arrived, I expected a typical cardio dance class. I attempted to follow the choreography that, let’s be honest, as with most other classes, you can’t master in a single session. But that’s not the case with FORWARD_Space. With Sudeikis as my instructor, I left the confines of my mind and entered a world of escapism through movement.

I grew up around music and dance, and hadn’t felt a relationship form so quickly at any studio like it did at FORWARD_Space. And Sudeikis not only brought out the sexy in everyone in the room, she brought out the real. Amid all the choreographed movements is free expression. Everyone is encouraged to let loose, and dance for themselves.

It was bold. It was silly. It was interactive. It was dance. I sat down with Sudeikis to find out more about her growing company.

How would you describe FORWARD_Space?

FORWARD__Space is dance, music, wellness, and sweat. I, along with the company, created a place where guests can partake in this ancient, transformative, joie de vivre feeling of dance and movement multiple times a week. The intention and result: a precise and explosive delivery of dance, human connection, and athleticism in a music-filled environment.

What was your initial inspiration?

Many things inspired me to create FORWARD__Space — dancing, storytelling, and also a desire to fulfill the demand and answer the question, “Where can I go to just dance where it doesn’t feel intimidating yet moves beyond the typical aerobic-type dance?”

I wanted to create an experience where we could be drenched in light and sweat, met with transformative energy, and surrounded by impeccable sound — where people could connect to their physical potential via the dance floor. That’s something that I’ve been creating in various spaces since I was a teenager.

What’s your background in dance?

I’ve been dancing since I was three, teaching and choreographing professionally since I was 12, and started traveling to NYC and LA to train when I was 13. Most recently, I choreographed videos for Mumford & Sons and Alison Sudol, and choreographed and co-directed a video for Ben Harper. My dance company, Kristin Sudeikis Dance, premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2017, and a portion of our proceeds went to the American Civil Liberties Union.

I have also choreographed for an FKA twigs x NIKE installation, New York Fashion Week, the Whitney Museum’s Biennial with The New York Times, the Obama administration’s White House Easter Egg Roll, SXSW, and more.

How do you create your playlists?

The music is everything. It is the wave we ride in class. It is also what inspires the choreography, the tone, the expressions, and movement. I am constantly researching and discovering music while playing with different variations of when and how to infuse certain moods. Each song invokes a different frequency in the space, and I love attuning to that as I create for each specific class.

I also do this when choreographing for a dance concert, film, or company. I absolutely love making the playlists. Always have.

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This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper. Read more about #EverythingEastEnd here