Barre Bliss At Elements

The beloved fitness boutique finds a new home in Sag Harbor.
Elements’ classes are a high-intensity, low-impact fusion of dance, barre and fitness. Photo: Hudson Hintze

By Jenna Lebovits

Ten years ago, the Hamptons was not a place professional dancer Andrea Fornarola knew well, having only visited on weekend trips with her husband and seeing clients from time to time. In 2014, during a spontaneous snowy visit to East Hampton, she stumbled upon the cedar-shingled building that would soon be home for Elements Fitness Studio. “It grew into an amazing community of clients, and a culture that was welcoming and supportive to all, which embodies everything I love about the studio life,” says Elements founder Fornarola. “We have clients that started with us over 10 years ago and are going on their 999th class, private clients that are going on their 700th sessions, and new ones visiting our studios every day.” 

Fornarola, who has been dancing since she was 5 years old, holds a BFA from the University at Buffalo, and has performed in musical theater and concerts throughout the country. What first began as a “survival job”—teaching fitness while auditioning for dance roles in New York—quickly transformed into an obsession with the Lotte Berk Method and barre. “It embodies everything I love about dance; however, you don’t have to be a professional dancer to master these classes,” she says. Drawing on her 15 years of experience and professional background in dance, Fornarola designed her signature Barre/Toned class to omit some of the classic, old-school barre positions that are often too difficult, instead focusing on exercises that are engaging and straightforward—and deliver quick results.

Fornarola describes one of Elements’ most popular classes, Dance Cardio Sculpt, as “Jane Fonda aerobics meets Madonna choreography meets Jazz 1.” Participants are encouraged to have fun, keep their heart rate up and not worry about getting all the steps right. Each of the classes has been specially choreographed by Fornarola to feel like a dance—seamless and grounded—with emphasis on the in-between moments. “We focus on finding a mind-body connection and thanking our bodies for a job well done,” says Fornarola. “One of my most popular phrases is ‘Be good to your body, because it’s good to you.’”

Cocreating a supportive space infused with good vibes is central to the studio’s mission. “This became very apparent when we were faced with the move from East Hampton to Sag Harbor, and our clients rallied. They welcomed the change, and really stood behind me and our staff of trainers as we transitioned,” says Fornarola. Elements’ dynamic, high-energy classes are an intentional blend of different modalities to create what Fornarola believes “is the foundation of functional training.” Its barre-dance-fitness fusion offerings are high-intensity, low-impact, and are for people of any age and experience level.

This summer, Elements is bringing its signature high-energy workout classes to Sag Harbor with a brand-new flagship location. The 2,000-square-foot studio—which will host year-round classes taught by the one-and-only Fornarola—features a sprawling lobby and retail area, two spacious studio rooms including a dedicated private training space, and an outdoor garden. “I love chatting with clients on the phone, catching up with them and hearing about their families—who’s having a baby, who’s getting married,” says Fornarola. “We are one big barre fitness family, and this is what has led to our success.”

11 Bridge St., Sag Harbor;