By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Get into the groove: Madonna teaches a dance class at the opening of her new gym in Mexico City
It's not exactly the first location one might associate as the chosen spot for a grand gym opening from the Queen of Pop.
And one might have thought there may have been other more worthy projects she could have put her very famous name to.
But as it is, Madonna has opened the doors to her brand new Hard Candy gym in Mexico City, and treated a hand selected troupe of new members to work out with her.
5,6,7,8: The Material Girl's new venture is called Hard Candy Fitness
Standing at the top of the class in head-to-toe Nike fitness gear, the superstar led a group of 20 hand-picked members through a routine to music by Paul Oakenfold, the DJ who opened her tour last year.
And there is no mistaking who owns the gym.
A huge mural of Warhol-esque images of the Queen of Pop greets each client as they walk through the sliding doors.
The 30,000-square-foot building is located in the city's upscale Bosques de las Lomas neighborhood.
High energy: The singer led 20 hand-picked gym members through a routine with music by Paul Oakenfold, who opened her last tour
Grand opening: The fitness fanatic cut the ribbon at a ceremony earlier
Earlier in the day she attended a ribbon cutting ceremony dressed in a black and white striped dress and thigh-high boots.
The star said she chose Mexico City because it was a stop on last year's Sticky & Sweet tour, which grossed $408 million and she liked the energy of the people.
The gym's name, which shares the title of her last album, she said, is the perfect combination of 'hard body' and 'eye candy'.
'It's a sexy name that gives you the opportunity to have fun and to build strength as far as the imagination will allow,' the singer said.
New franchise: She chose the city to open her first gym because 'she liked the energy of the people'
Good example: The 52-year-old health junkie showed off her own toned physique in a mini dress and thigh-high boots
'She chose the graphics, colors, the machines,' said Chris Dedicik, general director of California-based New Evolution Ventures, Madonna's partner in creating the gym.
'She has weighed in on the choreography of all the classes and given them a twist to make them more dynamic, more special and to better reflect her style.'
Members can do cardiovascular exercises on five types of advanced-technology machines chosen by Madonna, many with individual viewing screens and iPod docks.
The yoga instructors are trained in various styles of the ancient Indian art, inspired by the knowledge the singer has accumulated in her travels.
Material Girl: Madonna's face lines the walls of her new gym in Mexico, called Hard Candy Fitness
'Harder is better': The singer hand-picked the graphics, colours and the machines
The yoga room will also have a special wall used in Iyengar yoga, one of very few in the world according to Dedicik, with ropes and steps to help people with less physical ability. A balcony outside will feature plants and Zen-style decor, all at the singer's request.
'If any of you have seen my shows, you know that I don't skimp on them and the same is true for the gym,' she said. 'We spend what it takes to make a globally first-class gym.'
Membership runs 2,000 pesos a month, about $160, generally in line with what the best gyms charge in Mexico City.
She's watching you! Madonna's presence looms large throughout the facility
The one-time fee for joining is 10,400 pesos, about $830, which includes the first two months of membership. Those who signed up before the opening paid an initiation fee of 8,900 pesos, a little over $700, also including the first two months.
Members who have signed up so far didn't seem to care about matching Madonna's workout feats. Those using the gym during a weekend preview said they liked the equipment and features and cited proximity to their home or work as their reason for joining.
Ronen Waiss, businessman and Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Mexico, said his office is two doors away and he registered long before he was told it was a venture by Madonna.
Madonna mania: Hundreds of fans queued outside for a glimpse of their idol
'I think it's super sexy and motivating of course, but I didn't know till after I joined,' said Waiss, 32.
'But it's attractive to me because it's close and has the best computer technology. That's what caught my attention.'
Clara Ruiz, a 59-year-old housewife, said she, too, chose the gym for location. But she likes the facility and wishes Madonna success in her new venture.
'She has a lot of experience in this,' Ruiz said. 'She's done it all her life. I think she chose what for her is the best.'
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER