By Sari Beth Rosenberg

When BFX Studio, one of the hottest new fitness boutiques in NYC with locations in Chelsea and the Financial District, promised me a workout with a smoke show, I immediately thought they meant as in the machine. It turns out that the instructor of one of their signature BFX Burn classes, Derek Stratton, was the smoke show.

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Not familiar with the term either? In this case, it means an incredibly handsome instructor with seven years of professional dancing experience and a functional but aesthetically-minded group exercise class that will fire up your usual fitness routine.

One factor that contributes to the hot environment in Stratton’s BFX Burn classes (a full-body HIIT workout involving TRX, kettle balls, and UGI balls designed to singe fat fast) is that he ends each workout with partner work. With provocative titles like “Hold Me Close,” “Look Into My Eyes,” and “Work For It,” partners are instructed to complete exercises together. This is quite the intimate twist to your usual gym class (especially if you get to partner up with an in-class cutie!).


Stratton got the idea to integrate partner work routines into group fitness thanks to his five years dancing for the Pilobus Dance Theater company. “There’s a tremendous amount of core strength and overall body strength that you gain from working with another person who is acting as a live, moving weight,” he explains. 

Thanks to all the hot new technology at BFX and Stratton’s steamy class, you will be sure to create your own smoke show inside and outside the studio. Who needs a smoke machine, anyway?!

BFX Studio

555 6
th Avenue in Chelsea: 917-382-5573

30 Broad Street in the Financial District: 212-232-0050


$30/class; $140/5 classes (plus tax)

 Photo credit: Mitchel Gray for BFX Studio

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