Forward Space was founded by world-renowned choreographer, artistic director and master teacher Kristin Sudeikis. Sudeikis imagined a new type of workout for those who used to dance, love to dance and want to keep dancing. She and her team offer a sanctuary-meets-club environment, but the studio is so beautiful it looks more like an art installation than gym.
Sudeikis’ highly qualified dance instructors craft accessible yet challenging classes. The result is a high vibrational, energetic good time and she stresses that no experience is necessary. Sudeikis believes there is an athlete and artist in each of us and the class allows everyone to simply unlock what’s already there.
“Dance in its truest form is pure freedom—and the purpose of Forward Space is to bring that very feeling and experience to everyone who walks through the door,” she says. “Our community is committed to elevating, empowering and expanding the universal relationship with dance, music, wellness and sweat.”
What was the inspiration behind Forward Space?
KRISTIN SUDEIKIS: Many things. One of which was to fulfill the demand and answer the question, 'Where in the city can I go to just dance, where it doesn't feel intimidating yet moves beyond the typical aerobic-type dance.'
I started working on creating a space and experience where we could be drenched in light and sweat, met with transformative energy and surrounded by impeccable sound—a space and experience for people to connect to their physical potential via the dance floor. I envisioned it as an underground music and dance venue meeting an athletic, artistic sweat session.
What concepts did you think about when creating the class?
KS: The Forward Space concept is derived from a myriad of my experiences within art, music, performance, story-telling, fashion, wellness and dance.
I, along with the FS company, worked to create a place where guests could partake in this ancient, transformative, joie de vivre feeling of dance and movement multiple times a week. The result: a precise and explosive delivery of dance and athleticism in a music-filled environment.
The Sanctuary is beautiful! Tell us about the design process.
KS: Thank you! We designed it with SoHo House’s brilliant architect Jess Nohan. Our approach to The Sanctuary, which is the front area of the space where guests check in, is less is more. I wanted to provide a clean, clear, future-feeling palate for people's eyes and minds when they arrive—the hope is that it serves as a juxtaposition to all that we have coming at us via our phones and the world at large. It is a space where one can exhale.
Why Soho for your first location?
KS: I knew [I needed] to open our first location in downtown New York City because of its history, culture and endless stories. It is a nod to the rebels, the artists, the dreamers and the outsiders who come to NYC soaked in originality and ready to move their individual path forward with like-minded, hustle-driven people. This was not an easy find. We viewed around 50 spaces before landing in our first Forward Space location which is 24 Spring Street.
What do you want people to know before they come in for their first class?
KS: That we start every class in the splits. Ha! Kidding, kidding.
That they are exactly where they need to be and if I go left while they go right—it's all good! The beats are high and the lights low. Also, prepare to sweat.
What's been a pinch-me moment during the process?
KS: One happens to me every day. Absolutely every day. I'm affected daily when witnessing our guests walk away with a new sense of connected possibility, with this unstoppable look in their eye. I feel strongly, and I know many others do too, about our need for places like this to exist where both our mental and physical systems are stimulated, challenged and renewed.
What are you looking forward to for summer '19?
KS: We are looking forward to the continued expansion of Forward Space and the opportunity to provide music and dance to as many people as possible. Two exciting summer highlights are our residency at The Barn in Bridgehampton for the entire month of August and celebrating Worldwide Pride (head to www.forward-space.com for details on Pride events).