Travel & Leisure

The Eight Best Unusual Fitness Classes to Try in Melbourne

Everything you need to let loose your inner superhero (or Beyonce).
By Shannon McKeogh
October 19, 2015

Gyms: musty, boring, full of intense bodybuilders and just so 2012. Why would you slog it out on the treadmill when you can dance in the dark? Why lift weights next to a grunting lifter when you can hang upside down bat-style in aerial yoga? Or shake those hips at a Bey Party?

Exercise doesn’t have to be your bog standard running, squats and bicep curls. Creative and unusual alternatives are being offered around Melbourne. Try a different way of working out, and you may just enjoy it.


All the single ladies and non-single ladies plus gents are welcome to learn the dances to Queen Bey’s famous tracks for fun and to tone your bootylicious bods. Held in the tiki surrounds of LuWow in The Forbidden Temple on Thursday and Friday for $15 a session, it’s a party vibe with the opportunity for after-dance cocktails in easy reach. Beyonce-inspired outfits such as leotards, sequins and glitter are strongly encouraged, but no need to take it too seriously. Beyonce wouldn’t like that. Note: the same group is launching Bey Yoga on November 21 at Kal Studios.

Thursdays and Fridays 6-7pm at The Forbidden Temple, LuWoW, 62-70 Johnson Street, Fitzroy


If you like yoga but think your Vinyasa Flow would be improved with the rocking beats of MJ or Lady Gaga, you’ll find your centre in these classes. Held sporadically throughout the year with different themes across Melbourne, you can expect glitter, fluoro, a DJ and a high-intensity two-hour workout combined with plenty of kitschy freestyle dance. Disco Yoga is a weird mix of spiritual yoga and party atmosphere, and not for the introverted soul. This event will cost you around $45.

The next Disco Yoga is Halloween themed and to be held at Chunky Move, Southbank.


'Dance like nobody’s watching' isn't a saying for nothing. Founded in Fitzroy and now a worldwide movement, No Lights No Lycra invites you to reunite with the joy of dancing for fun and exercise to a mix of pop tracks from across the decades. They do it by switching off the lights. With no instruction, it's really just about letting loose, expressing yourself and embracing your inner daggy Dad dancing — because who can see you anyway? The class will cost you $5 - $7 for one hour to dance the way you feel.

Held across various locations throughout the week in Melbourne.


Jump things. Climb. Vault. Parkour is an exercise that proves that you don’t need to join a gym to get fit; you can scale your neighbours backyard fences instead. Though it's probably best not to do that either, when you can go to the safe environments of Coburg Park and Southbank, and for $20, join a parkour class. This attitude and training style is about moving through urban environments like a ninja. Flipping, jumping across skyscrapers and other cool (but dangerous) tricks you may have seen on YouTube are not taught here, because legality.

Southbank every Sunday 2.45pm–5pm, Coburg North first Thursday of every month 7-9pm.


While most of us are still in the land of nod at 6.30am, a select few crazies are ready to “rave their way into the day” at the motivational yoga/dance party Morning Gloryville. As well as yoga classes and a DJ ensuring early risers get their sweat on, there are plenty of juice bars, vegan treats to help ravers reach natural highs and free massages to soothe their aching muscles. Every event is different, but the Morning Glory style ensures that glitter, performance artists and bright colour will be a given. Prices range from $16 - $26, and events are held sporadically throughout the year.


Before running away and joining the circus, maybe try a few classes and see if it’s the life of which you’ve always dreamed first. The Circus Spot offers a range of classes for the acrobatically enthusiastic — trapeze, aerial hoop, tissu and tumbling — spread across studios in Fitzroy and Pascoe Vale. There are drop-in and term classes available depending on what you’re after, with casual classes costing $15. Skilled instructors will help you through the basics and guide you towards circus super-strength. If all else fails, you can always have a career as an amusement ride operator.

Pascoe Vale (main studio), 204 Sussex Street, and Fitzroy, 304 Gore Street.


In anti-gravity (or 'aerial') yoga, you use a hammock for support, balance and to fly like a bird. Hang upside down like a bat, and try superman pose to swing side-to-side. It’s still yoga, so there’s a lot of balancing poses and tonal strengthening, but in the air. It’s a hell of a workout for your core and you will develop awesome arm strength from the jungle-like postures. What it’s not so great for is vertigo, and for the less coordinated among us, be prepared to knee yourself in the face. Anti-gravity doesn’t come cheap — casual drop-in classes cost $30.

106 Leicester Street, Fitzroy.


Remember hula hooping? Those were simpler times when success meant keeping a plastic toy moving around your hips. Turns out this kids' plaything is not a bad way to get moving and shaking. Hoops, Thighs and Buttocks have the philosophy that workouts don’t need to be so serious. They offer two fun classes: Booty Camp (some hooping combined with a variety of other dance aerobics) and Show Us Your Tricks! (100% pure hoopage). The classes are led by talented hula hoopers in Brunswick, Fitzroy, Northcote and St Kilda and are $20 per hip-shaking session.

Various times and days across Brunswick, Fitzroy, Northcote and St Kilda.