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Photos courtesy of Cosmic Fit Club
Photos courtesy of Cosmic Fit Club
Cosmic Fit Club is bringing fitness classes on acroyoga, acrobatics, gymnastics and more to Long Island City.

Located just around the corner from the Court Square transit hub, LIC’s newest addition to the fitness scene, Cosmic Fit Club, opened in early May and is hoping to make a lasting impression on the neighborhood — such an impression that owner/performer/yogi/acrobat Joy Chen is intending on “changing the face of fitness as we know it.”

With a background in dance, yoga and acrobatics, Chen grew up taking traditional Chinese dance lessons at a young age in Manhattan’s Chinatown, where she was raised. During college, she pursued yoga as a complement to her dance training and was quickly hooked.

After getting certified to teach yoga around six years ago, she was hired by Brooklyn Boulders, the biggest indoor rock-climbing gym in NYC. There, she honed her teaching skills, developed very popular core conditioning classes and brought acroyoga classes to rock-climbers and other fitness enthusiasts. At this time, she started moving into acrobatics and circus training as an expansion of her social life.

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“Soon I was dreaming of opening my own fitness studio which would have a more ‘playful’ approach to body weight strength training and offer a multiplicity of different class types and formats, including ‘open workouts’ or jam sessions where practitioners in all different sports — gymnastics, dance, acrobatics, yoga, calisthenics, weight lifting, etc. — could get together, share the same open floor space and share their skills while socializing and hanging out,” she said. “Cosmic Fit Club has just been open for less than one month, but it’s evolving into that very nontraditional gym.”

Cosmic Fit Club’s mission is to cultivate the feel of a small studio within an expansive space. Their building is outfitted with 20-foot ceilings, skylights, mirrors and special lighting effects.

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Chen and her staff of 13 are committed to bringing together athletes and artists from all different sports and mediums to share skills and community.

“Our creative class programming centers around a variety of movement disciplines that require no special machines and can’t be found anywhere else,” Chen said. “Our philosophy is that your body is your best machine, and to this end, we’ve built a cool space where adults can ‘play’ as they ‘train’ and where we can teach members and guests how to explore the universe of their own bodies through playful, functional movement, to experience new worlds through special workshops and events, and become stronger, more balanced and fit!”

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Cosmic Fit Club is in its initial stages of being officially open, and so far, its primary client base consists of many of Chen’s former yoga, acrobatics and core conditioning students, as well as local members of the community who are a bit turned-off by traditional gym machines and gym culture.

Chen describes her members as typically having an artistic and creative bent — hard-working New Yorkers looking for an escape from the stressful pressures of work and seeking an opportunity to make meaningful connections with other people.

“Acrobatics, for instance, is a very close contact sport,” Chen said. “You work in groups and sometimes carry, lift and balance people you’ve only just met. Trust and communication are some of the things we promote through the physical practice of partner acrobatics, and it’s one of the social benefits our clients get for joining our studio and taking classes with me and our other instructors.”

For those who crave variety in their workouts, Cosmic Fit Club might just suit their needs.

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“Our members may get easily bored or find it hard committing or focusing to just one sport or one discipline,” Chen said. “We cater to people who might just be at the very beginning of their fitness journey but who like to dabble and try different things, as well as serious recreational acrobats and other fit people who want to get to the next level in their training.”

Cosmic Fit Club offers 30 small group fitness classes a week in a range of disciplines including core conditioning, calisthenics, yoga, blacklight yoga, acroyoga, acrobatics, handstands, kettle bell training, strength training, personal training, gymnastics, dance and more.

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Classes are taught by some of the most experienced yogis, dancers and acrobats in the industry. On staff are former star performers for Cirque de Soleil, and the Big Apple Circus.

One-on-one personal training sessions are available through individual scheduling and additionally, Cosmic Fit Club is host to special fitness events and workshops on the weekends taught by professional circus performers, internationally renowned yoga teachers, and influential names in fitness and health.

Consider yourself a part of this world and looking for someplace to connect with others in your field? Joy and her staff offer Friday, Saturday and Sunday night open workout “jam times” where practitioners from different disciplines including dance, yoga and acrobatics can mix and mingle, share their skills and have fun together in an atmosphere lit up by club lights and special projection effects.

As longtime residents of Kew Gardens and Rego Park respectively, Joy Chen and her business partner, Phil, were interested in locating their first studio in Long Island City because they felt the vibe of the neighborhood fit their forward-thinking studio.

“So far the local community has been great,” Chen said. “We had a table at the LIC Springs block party on Vernon Boulevard a few weeks ago and we had tons of people visiting our table, smiling and getting a taste of the acroyoga classes we offer.”

The business partners saw LIC as being the area where great new things are brewing in terms of industry, real estate development, arts and culture—perfect for their “futuristic” and “cosmic” themed studio.

“Our studio is located in a building that also houses artists and musicians and a recording studio,” Chen said. “Everyone [in the community] is excited we fixed up a former warehouse space and re-activated and re-purposed the space into something that promotes health and wellness and positivity.”

They also chose Queens because they both consider this community home, and they saw an opportunity to create something special and unique in the most ethnically diverse borough in the city.

While there are numerous fitness options in western Queens, the staff at Cosmic Fit Club say this business is like no other, with multi-disciplinary sport, art and programing all under one roof.

“This is where Cosmic Fit Club comes in,” Chen said. “We hope to bring the community together and help define ‘the future of fitness’ together in LIC, NYC and the region.”

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