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INTERVIEW: FORWARD__Space Founder And CEO, Kristin Sudeikis, On This Year’s Hamptons Residency, The Celeb-Approved Workout And More

Nicole Barylski

Choreographer and master teacher Kristin Sudeikis founded the NYC-based dance and wellness space. (Courtesy Photo)

If you're always the first one on the dance floor at gatherings, prone to spontaneous dance parties and shaking it out is a go-to way to relieve stress, you're not going to want to miss the month-long FORWARD__Space residency at Southampton Arts Center (SAC). After a sold-out summer series at the Barn in Bridgehampton last summer, 2020 Hamptons classes will be held on the West Lawn of SAC. Social distancing will be observed and the number of participants will be limited. As per usual, the exhilarating sessions will feature high-intensity dance-led movement with easy-to-follow choreography.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Kristin Sudeikis, Founder and CEO of FORWARD__Space, about the celeb-approved workout, what class-goers can expect, online offerings and more.

FORWARD__Space counts Cara Delevigne, Busy Philipps, and Sophia Bush as fans. How did your work as a choreographer inspire the dance wellness phenomenon?

KS: Yes-- as a choreographer, I am consistently imagining and creating shapes, spaces and environments (even temporarily) that can tap into telling a story of some kind. The endless curiosity in others' motivations, even for just one sweat session, inspires me to then create the next movement. I think it also comes from being a teacher since I was 12 as well as directing and choreographing-- the observation of how to set a tone and allow an intention to overflow into an experience. Allowing more of an energetic conversation to take place-- a ton of listening and then leading. I strongly believe that we can feel completely different after one sweat session. Something can shift and switch in an instant.

I also know that developing a practice of revisiting your body, your thoughts, your motivations, your possibility... This is where real transformation happens. This all set to empowering movements and led by precise and clear coaching (and incredible music) is 100% life-changing. The goal is for all people to have these spaces and places where they can do exactly this.

One way I think of wellness is this infinite exploration of the question "What fills up one's well?" Dance, music and sweat, in my opinion, have been these ways of completely filling up one's well-- creating newness, inspiration, joy, release, strength, resilience, renewal and so much more since way before any of us were here-- acknowledging the deep backspace and history of what the elements of dance, music and sweat have done and do for us as individuals and as a collective. They are deeply healing and exhilarating aspects of life. Allowing a space where FS dance professionals/performers/life coaches can lead a collective through this internal reset that results in an external newness is a gift that we, as a team, feel a deep sense of excitement and honor to be doing. Project Get The Globe dancing via FORWARD__Space is in full effect. Ha.

I also think that giving precise attention to the way we take care of ourselves physically, mentally and energetically, especially right now, is of deep importance.

After a sold out summer last season at the Barn, FORWARD__Space is back in the Hamptons - this time at Southampton Arts Center (SAC). What can workout-goers expect?

KS: Lots of safe space to dance, move and sweat together, to incredible music, under the sun (or clouds) on the west lawn of SAC. We have created an outdoor-music festival vibe, with lots of space to dance, sculpt, sweat, drop in, connect. We are all feeling incredibly grateful to be out here doing this right now.

Which FORWARD__Space classes will be offered at SAC?

KS: In addition to offering our signature FIRE and FORWARD sweat sessions, we will be offering our newest experience: FORWARD__FLOOR: 24 minutes of lengthening and sculpting down on the dance floor. For those unfamiliar with the FORWARD__Space formats: FIRE is a 50 sweat session based in repetitive movements, athletic conditioning and weight work (we provide a set of sanitized 2-pound free weights upon arrival). FORWARD is 50 minutes of high-energy dance-led movements, athletic conditioning without equipment, an easy-follow choreographed combination and a moving meditation. All of our sweat sessions are created with incredibly intentional music and instruction.

Are classes recommended for those with previous dance experience - or is it open to all levels?

KS: FORWARD__Space is absolutely for all levels! The goal is to drop out of over-thinking or keeping the movement solely cerebral and instead unlock the intuitive sense of movement that innately exists in everybody... a physical, mental and energetic reset with a ton of sweat.

In addition to the in person classes, FORWARD__Space is also presenting classes digitally via the FS Virtual Hub. Tell us about online offerings.

KS: The FORWARD__Space Virtual Hub is our online portal to the precise, immersive and expansive FS experience. The FS coaches guide you through movement and dance-based sweat sessions that all include athletic conditioning components and moving meditations. As a Virtual Hub member, you gain access to weekly live-streams and on-demand sweat sessions in FIRE and FORWARD, as well as the ability to try out FORWARD+, FORWARD__FLOOR, 4-min guided meditations and FORWARD__FAM, which is a limited series of kid-friendly, 24 minute dance sessions for the whole family. We received a bunch of feedback about kids joining in on the FS sweat sessions so we designed a few specifically for the whole fam. Our phenomenal instructor, Keith Alexander, is leading these! A warm-up for your fam TikTok vids, perhaps?

When not leading FORWARD__Space, how do you typically spend your time in the Hamptons?

KS: Oh, this is a fantastic question. Laying low while out here is my preference-- hanging at friends' homes, having game nights, dance parties or all meeting by the water for the sunsets either in Montauk or Ocean Road Beach. Love Bostwick's in East Hampton as well. This summer it has been spacious sunset nights...

Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, visit forward-space.com.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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