Formation Studio brings versatile dance-fitness classes to Mount Pleasant

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      Vancouver’s wide array of fitness classes range from spin to rowing to boxing to pilates—the list can seem endless, but it makes sense in city that puts a strong emphasis on adopting healthy lifestyles.

      Formation Studio (16 East 5th Avenue) is the latest spot where you can work up a sweat in style.

      Previously known as RSVP33 (which offered fan-favourite beginner dance classes to songs by artists like Bruno Mars and Ariana Grande), the shiny new Mount Pleasant location is a dance-based fitness studio that offers energetic and confidence-boosting group classes.

      Co-founders Saschie Maclean-Magbanua and Roman Magbanua are the brains behind the business, which evolved from a couple of Beyonce dance classes the former organized as a therapeutic escape after she lost her younger sister, Chantal Yvonne, in 2014.

      The combination of problems arising with studio rental availability and miscommunication regarding studio bookings and cancellations led the duo to rethink what they really wanted for RSVP33 and its clients, which eventually led to the creation of Formation Studio.

      “We’ve really innovated every technique of how we approach fitness and movement and dance and learning in that aspect,” Magbanua explained to the Straight in an interview.

      Formation Studio's living room space allows guests to relax and unwind after class.
      Tammy Kwan

      Formation Studio offers three core classes: Power (a music-driven strength and conditioning class), Freedom (a non-stop movement and cardio class), and Presence (a beginner-friendly choreography class). All classes are taught to the beat of mood-boosting music, including hip-hop, rap, pop, and R&B.

      Its fitness routines are a fun alternative to those lonesome (and often intimidating) gym sessions where it can be hard to concentrate on weight-lifting and running on the treadmill.

      “The identity we created with RSVP33 was the safety and approachability with what we’re offering,” MacLean-Magbanua told the Straight in an interview. “Creating a space where it facilitated and enhanced that feeling of comfort and safety and motivation was something we considered throughout the entire design process.

      The minimalistic but relaxing interior design approach is also attractive: the 2,500-square-foot space was designed by Suki Creative and features everything from a living room space filled with greenery and pouf seats, natural wood and concrete elements, as well as plenty of natural lighting.

      Amenities range from towel service to gender-neutral bathrooms and showers, and from a water-bottle filling station to post-class face mists.

      “We want to show people that dance is not intimidating,” MacLean-Magbanua said in a press statement. “It’s fun and incredibly rewarding. No experience is necessary. We welcome everyone to come and join this wonderful dance party of a journey with us.”

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