To our surprise at finding Shanghai’s own SuperModelFit offers “Twerk Basic” for booty beginners. Could this studio really hold the key to unlocking Shanghai’s pro twerker?
Founded by supermodel Masson Ge, one of the first women in China to grace the covers of Bazaar and Elle, SuperModelFit promises the focused fitness training necessary to build a model-worthy body. Aside from their core training regime—with catchy names like “Super Butt” and “Sexy Back”—Ge and her crew offer a handful of special classes, of which Twerk is one. “This is the only professional twerk class offered in Shanghai,” says Ge proudly, stunning even in sweats with a shock of red ombré hair. “My friends and I used to go work out together, but I could never find a studio that I could feel comfortable in or that could give me the workout I wanted. So I decided to found my own.”
SMF’s pricing comes in a variety of levels; single classes without membership cost a whopping ¥300, but get cheaper with more perks as the levels go up. GuavaPass users can also take up to three SuperModelFit classes a month.
This women’s-only fitness studio is a bit tricky to find, as it’s tucked away in an unassuming residential complex. Inside is a cross between a spa and your best girl friend’s apartment—you’re provided with an embroidered towel and numbered water bottle beforehand, and a banana protein smoothie after the whole affair is over.
We can’t attest to the seriousness of the other classes, but it was hard to not start grinning before even walking. Instructor Asuka was blasting a handpicked playlist of America’s finest trap and twerk music, and the class commenced with stretching. The exercises are very much like those in dances like belly dancing: focused and meant to isolate certain movements. We assumed a couple of pretty compromising floor positions—thankfully it was only ladies there. Once we learned the basics, we took on a short twerk routine to put the new moves in action.
As a teacher, Asuka’s style tends more toward watch-and-learn, though she will make some corrections. Her English is adequate—she’s from Hubei—but damn, her twerking is more than. Plus she’s one of the first people we’ve met who was able to break the dance down for us into a series of functional exercises. It’s a great class well-suited for beginners—but that said, she told us it would take close to eight classes for us to become twerk masters. (For those who need more serious twerking in their lives, the intermediate class is on Saturdays.)