The juxtaposition of new developments and old industrial spaces has made Gowanus one of the most exciting neighborhoods in the city for hidden finds. Among those urban gems, an eclectic mix of fitness facilities, including the newly opened Muse Gowanus circus studio, have added to the area’s residential renaissance.
“Our doors have only been open one month, but it’s been wonderful so far,” said Angela Buccinni Butch, founder of The Muse, which also has a location in Bushwick. “Since it’s summer, it has been a slow start. However, we’re confident and excited to be bringing circus to this area and share it with so many new people.”
The Gowanus location of The Muse, located at 303 Third Ave., is about a quarter of the size of its Bushwick counterpart.
“Having a smaller footprint dictates what we can offer and makes it a more intimate training space for foundational work and children’s circus arts, which is our primary focus,” Butch said.
With 15-foot-high ceilings, find classes in aerials arts, from silks to Lyra, as well as ground acrobatics like tumbling and juggling, for all ages. Offerings also include Circus Fit, for more of a cardio burn, and family classes and playtime sessions geared toward the families in the neighborhood (classes from $25).
“You get an excellent workout using your own body mass and at times, it’s so much fun you don’t even realize you’re working out,” Butch said. “The community around circus is also very special. Not only are you improving your flexibility, strength, balance and coordination, but you’re also gaining communication skills.”
Beyond The Muse Gowanus, here’s a look at other fun ways to get fit in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
The 15,000-square-foot indoor tennis facility puts kids center court with one toddler-size court, five USTA-sanctioned 36-foot courts for young players and one USTA-sanctioned 60-foot court for advanced juniors and adult beginners. The Gowanus flagship opened in 2014 and a second location opened in LIC earlier this year. Family memberships from $350/year, adults classes from $38; 526 Baltic St., 718-875-5550, court16.com
This indoor climbing facility transformed the cavernous raw space of the onetime Daily News garage into 22,000 square feet of climbing surface, where you can learn the basics or improve your technique, as well as take yoga, acroyoga and other fitness workshops. Since first opening in Gowanus in 2009, Brooklyn Boulders has branched out to Long Island City, as well as Chicago and Boston, Memberships from $135/month, day pass from $28; 575 Degraw St., 917-382-1709, brooklynboulders.com
Brooklyn Fencing Center
Founded by competitive fencer Rolando Balboa, this fencing center moved from Carroll Gardens to the burgeoning fitness hub in 2014. Situated on the second floor of a former warehouse for medical supplies, the 5,000-square-foot space houses four competition-size strips and offers classes in foil, epee and saber. From $199/month, single lesson $50/20-minute session; 600 Degraw St., 212-522-5822, brooklynfencing.com
At trainer Maryam Zadeh’s boutique studio, the focus is on small — as in small classes that cap off at six participants. In the 30- and 50-minute sessions, her rapid-fire cardio and strength moves draw from rowing, boxing and Tabata. She provides express and extreme workouts designed for efficiency around short bursts of activity. $18/30-minute session, $34/50-minute session; 527 Carroll St., 917-937-6777, bkhiitbox.com
WOMEN’S-ONLY BOOT CAMP
New Body Project
Empowerment is the name of the game at the boot camp-style studio on a global social mission (it works with Save More Kids, a nonprofit benefiting underserved children in Liberia). The emphasis is on creating feel-good energy in the gym and beyond, from intense cardio and strength sessions to nutrition and mindset couching. $25/trial class, $157/21-day unlimited access pass; 10 Whitwell Pl., 347-227-2286, thenewbodyproject.com