As part of SF VitalGuide launch season, we’ve been talking to San Francisco’s coolest wellness experts to learn where they eat, sweat, shop and escape. This week Lindsay Meyer and Kara Goldenberg of the COMPANY, SF’s newest workout and the city’s very first dance cardio studio. The ladies behind the COMPANY share where to get the ultimate post-workout shake, which athleisure items are worthy of stockpiling and where to get away.
What inspired the COMPANY?
L: I danced competitively growing up and through college, and even as a grownup in SF I was dancing in various forms. Before I found cardio dance I was more into formal dance and then I started teaching barre in Cow Hollow. A mutual friend in the NY dance cardio world introduced Kara and me, and Kara can tell you about her background, but it was such a complementary fit!
K: I moved here 9 months ago from New York and realized there was no dance cardio. I had been doing tons of it at Bari in Tribeca and I got here and there were no options like what I had experienced in New York where I swore by this kind of workout. The owner of my favorite barre studio in New York ended up introducing Lindsay and me and that’s how we started the class!
How did you find your gorgeous space in the presidio?
K: Through a lot of online hunting. We were looking for a studio that would rent us space by the hour and we found this beautiful studio in the Presidio that has these high ceilings with a lot of light. The location is easy to find and there is actually parking, such a rarity in this town.
L: We also felt like there was a dearth of dance studios in this part of town. In the Mission you have the great ODC and Lines. There are others in SoMa. In the Marina we just didn’t have fun dance options for adults!
The choreography seems very ballet inspired, is your workout wardrobe ballet-inspired?
K: We wear sneakers in class, and I take mine very seriously. Dance cardio can be hard on your feet! I like Brooks PureFlow and the Newton brand. They provide the right amount of support which is so important when you’re jumping and dancing. As I mentioned, I like sneakers but when it comes to leggings, I have a sickness. I love them all. I don’t stick to a specific brand but I love Bandier and Carbon 38. I find a lot of new brands on those sites or if I see someone in a class with leggings that I like I ask them where they got them and get a pair for myself.
L: I seriously don’t know anyone with more leggings than this girl! As for me, I prefer to stick with solid colors, so I own a ton of black leggings that I love and wear everywhere. I don’t have one favorite brand although I do have a lot of admiration for a brand called ADAY out of London and I have like four pieces from them. It was started by a friend of a friend and focuses on styles that you can wear to class and then transition it to other parts of your day. They do a lot of with black and navy, which I gravitate to. I also like things that have just a little bit of sparkle.
What's your favorite pre and post-class bite in SF?
K: I think it’s important to have protein after a workout, and so I try to get in at least 20 grams after a session. The smoothies at Barry’s Bootcamp are great. I always get the Skinny Chocolate with PB. So good.
L: After a workout I like to make my own smoothie with greek yogurt, chia seeds, almond milk, almond butter and frozen strawberries.
What other workouts here in SF and elsewhere do you love?
K: I love Barry’s Bootcamp. I also recently started going to Core 40 which is such a serious core and ab workout. When I’m workout out on my own, I like to bounce on my trampoline at home.
L: I like to do a lot of Pilates, and would probably say my favorite Pilates in SF is Mighty Pilates in Presidio Heights. I used to teach barre and I still do a fair amount of barre when I can at studios like Pop Physique. As far as unique classes, I’ve been seeing rowing classes blow up in New York and there is a new rowing cardio class in San Francisco at a studio called Apex Wellness in FiDi. As far as cardio, I love Flywheel. My boyfriend and I have a lot of friends in the Mountain View area so we’ll stop in Sunnyvale for a class on the way down.
You’re teaching and workout out so much, who are your go-to wellness practitioners in SF when you need to recharge?
L: My boyfriend is a former professional triathlete. He used to get a ton of sports and recovery massages for so many years. So now I just make him give me massages! As far as other pampering, I love to get facials and can’t wait to try the spa at Credo Beauty on Fillmore. The one thing I never do is get manicures, it’s seriously been years. I have a strong belief about the toxicity of nail polish, so in that case I take care of myself by not having a nail routine.
K: I don’t do as much as I should. I’ve done one massage since I’ve moved here in the last 9 months! But I will when I can.
Where do you go to escape the city craziness?
L: When I really need to get away I go as far as I can. I love great hotels - Park Hyatt Dubai, One and Only Bahamas, I can go on. Closer to home, I love Kabuki Springs here in Japantown. For a weekend escape, I like Healdsburg, and we’re wine club members at Portalupi which I love visiting.
K: I’ve recently been making trips out to Marin. All of the Bay Area is so new to me, and we’re actually thinking of moving out there. Otherwise, I fly out to NY for more craziness!
The Bay Area has some great outdoor destinations - do you have any favorite outdoor activities, hikes, paddle board locations, etc?
K: I recently went out to Land’s End and hiked back into the Presidio, that was pretty awesome. I also frequent a lot of playgrounds with my son!
L: I go OnBoard SUP. It’s in Sausalito, off of Marinship way. They have paddleboard Pilates and paddleboard yoga. I enjoy going out to the 7am standup class before going to work. I feel like that is such a special Californian thing to do that you can’t have anywhere else.
How do you get your dance cardio fix when you're on the road?
K: If I have an open space, I will dance. That’s just me. If I’m traveling to NY I can take class there, easy.
L: I use ClassPass so I try to pop into more local and homegrown studios when I’m traveling outside of dance cardio hotspots like LA and New York. I’m from Minneapolis and when I go home I’ll go to a great HIIT studio called Alchemy. It’s not dance cardio, but it’s a great workout. In New York I really love Chaise fitness. It’s a combination of cardio barre and Pilates. You use bungees, a Pilates chair, it’s great and not as well known as it should be!
What are you looking forward to this season at the studio, in addition to the Very Vital Sunday event we’re doing together?
We are planning on adding a weekend class for Saturday early morning by summer. We’ve had so many requests for it. And of course the Very Vital Sunday class with Well + Away on April 24 is going to be a fabulous afternoon.
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For more information and to book the Very Vital Sunday Class on Sunday, April 24 from 1-3pm please visit the COMPANY.