"I have a reputation as...the tough instructor," said Ariel, and I realized a second too late that by giving her my name I was also telling her exactly what to yell when my kicks in the upcoming workout were not kicky enough.
Ariel is in town through Friday to introduce Houston to Happy Hour, the dance-based cardio-interval class founded by Anna Kaiser of New York's AKT. It's part of a four-city promo campaign by Target to celebrate Kaiser's new athleisure collaboration, C9 Champion Limited Edition by Anna Kaiser. (And, full disclosure, Ariel did not in fact yell at me during class, but she did adjust my position to get the optimum angle to work my triceps.)
I joined the second of a dozen free Happy Hour workout classes taking place in the parking lot of the Target in Sawyer Heights between today and tomorrow and it was everything I had been led to believe: challenging, varied, fast-paced and fun. The juice shots and braids offered on-site were a neat perk, too.
But the purpose behind this whole shebang is the new line, and there's a lot to like about it. The new has a lot of black—as you'd expect from a New Yorker—but each piece has something to help it stand out, like mesh, sheer panels or tiny cut-outs, all of which feel very extra on a line that starts at $12.99 and tops out at $41.99. There are color pops of peach and navy, and the main print is a gray abstract that Republicans would describe as camo and Democrats would call watercolor-esque.
As a major bonus, the entire line is available up to size 4X and also includes a couple maternity styles, which is a refreshingly inclusive take on stylish fitness apparel. It's a great reflection of the Happy Hour class, too, which was filled with women of all sizes and fitness levels jumping around to Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)." Another bonus? Everyone can check out free custom workouts inspired by Kaiser's workouts through mid-February.