Heartbeat House

Heartbeat House in Atwater Village, CA, is a friendly, relaxed neighborhood fitness studio offering over two dozen dance workouts each week....

  • About The Studio
  • Meet The Director
  • Studio Details
  • Visiting The Studio

About Heartbeat House

Heartbeat House in Atwater Village, CA, is a friendly, relaxed neighborhood fitness studio where no one cares if you’re getting all the moves right in a dance class. A true neighborhood establishment, the studio is nestled amidst small shops and restaurants that line GlendaleBl. With its low-key vibe, laid-back attitude, and wide range of dance offerings, Heartbeat House is a haven for casual dancers intimidated by large, professional studios.

Heartbeat House manager Kumbi Butler encourages newcomers to try a class and find out what it’s like to move your body just for the fun of it. At Heartbeat House, she says, it doesn’t matter if you get everything right or how you look doing it.

“Once you do it and you see how good it feels,
it opens up a whole new world.”

“Open yourself up, experience something new, and enjoy yourself, have fun,” Kumbi says.

Designed as an alternative to the gym, Heartbeat House offers exercisers 50+ workouts each week from which to plan their own fitness program. The schedule features broad offerings in dance—particularly international dance styles and cardio dance workouts—supplemented by a variety of yoga, strength, and dance conditioning classes.

You’ll also find a smattering of specialty classes at the studio. Heartbeat House’s music and dance classes for mothers and toddlers are taught by highly qualified instructors. Sometimes the studio even offers toddler yoga. A class for seniors age 60+ is named Still Moving.

Heartbeat House strives to make its classes accessible. An extensive series of low-priced community classes makes yoga affordable for most. And students lacking funds can earn free classes from the regular Heartbeat House schedule in return for volunteer work at the studio.

In the East Side hamlet of Atwater Village, north of Silverlake, sense of community is strong and many neighbors support local businesses. Passersby often come in to inquire about classes after glimpsing the fun going on through the studio’s broad plate-glass windows.

Beneath a cheery red awning, posters strung across the storefront describe the studio’s offerings for those not yet ready to step inside.

Heartbeat House expanded into a neighboring space in 2010. The studio’s new lobby is on one side, with observation windows along the wall and soundproof doors leading into the now-larger dance studio. The whole space, from the entryway to the spacious new restroom, is painted in soothing shades of cream and sage. In the lobby, bench cushions upholstered in bright red to match the outdoor awning add a splash of color.

Beginners Welcome!

Especially in a town with so many professional working dancers, Heartbeat House manager Kumbi Butler says, people can feel intimidated by going to a dance class. Sometimes the hardest part is just to walk in for the first time.

“Once you do it and you see how good it feels,” Kumbi says, “it opens up a whole new world.”

Kumbi developed a love of movement early. Growing up in Boulder, CO, she started ballet at age 4 and gymnastics at 6.

The discipline, focus, and fearlessness she gained from acrobatics growing up, Kumbi says, have helped her throughout all aspects of her life.

And participating in dance and athletics taught her valuable body awareness.

“It’s natural for us to do when we’re younger,” Kumbi says. “It’s just when we stop doing it, is when it’s hard to come back.”

And that’s her invitation to those of us who’ve lost touch with a child’s natural ease and sense of connection with the body: Come back!

For Kumbi, the best part of being at Heartbeat House is seeing students who were initially nervous blossom:

“To see people . . . do something they never thought they could . . . just to dance in a very free way, with no restrictions and no sense of insecurity or pressure. To see people do that for the first time and really just love it is the most rewarding” experience, she says.

A Great Class Starts with a Great Teacher

If she weren’t so busy managing and teaching classes at Heartbeat House, says Kumbi, “I would take every single class here.”

And she means it. At the gym, Kumbi used to take classes back to back to back.

“I just feel like there’s a benefit in all the classes,” she says.

What Kumbi really cares about, for herself and her Heartbeat House students, is the quality of the instructors. A great teacher can help you get the most out of a fitness class, regardless of the activity you choose. So Kumbi strives to offer a full and diverse schedule of classes taught by instructors she would work out with herself. 


Meet Kumbi Butler

Heartbeat House Manager Kumbi Butler developed a love for hip-hop culture in high school. Managing a studio after college, she trained with legendary break dancers who traveled there to teach during the Colorado Dance Festival. Kumbi first became involved with Heartbeat House when she was invited to substitute teach a yoga class.



All the Details: Heartbeat House

Contacting the Studio

Phone and E-Mail

The best way to reach the studio is by e-mail. Reply turnaround time for e-mail is usually within 24 hours.

Reply turnaround for a voice message is usually within 48 hours.

Studio Hours

The studio’s hours are approximately the same as the class schedule for that day.

The studio may often be closed in the afternoon if no classes are scheduled. However, Heartbeat House is moving toward a full-day schedule, with additional children’s classes to be added in the daytime.

Social Media

Twitter (username: heartbeathouse)

Heartbeat House is active on Twitter. The studio tweets about new classes starting, and every Friday Heartbeat House plays a game of Free Class Friday at noon! (See Specials and Affordable Options section below.)

Facebook Page

Heartbeat House is active on Facebook, mostly posting flyers for new classes starting at the studio. You now can also participate in Free Class Friday on Facebook as well as Twitter.

MySpace Profile

Heartbeat House is rarely active on MySpace, but has a nice profile with some information about the studio.

Studio News

Heartbeat House Newsletter

Heartbeat House sends out an attractive and informative HTML e-mail newsletter every month. It contains short articles on topics such as fitness, nutrition, and holistic wellness, as well as updates on new classes and other studio news. Plus, there’s always a dance quote at the top to inspire you!

How to Sign Up for the Newsletter

On the Heartbeat House web site, you can find the signup form for the newsletter on either the Newsletter or the Contact Us page.

If you register as a new student at Heartbeat House and check the box on the registration form to allow the studio to e-mail you about topics besides class information, you’ll be subscribed to the newsletter automatically.

The Newsletter page on the Heartbeat House web site doesn’t always link to the full newsletters, especially for the most recent. Sometimes it does. But if you only see a couple of articles online, that’s not the whole newsletter! The e-mail version has more.

Teachers’ E-Mail Lists

Some individual teachers may have e-mail lists to communicate with their students. If you opt in on the new student form to allow e-mail from the studio besides class information, you’ll be automatically added to a teacher’s e-mail list (if the teacher has one) if you take their class.

LeX, the teacher of the Sunday Hip Hop / Cardio Soul class, has a mailing list. Typically, you’ll receive an e-mail from LeX once every month or two reminding you of the upcoming class or inviting you to a dance-related event.

Class Information

Class Schedule

The class schedule is online (see Studio Info box at top of page). Dates teachers are planning to be out and the names of subs are noted on the schedule. The studio keeps subs updated online on close to a same-day basis. But always call to confirm class!

To allow 5 minutes of transition time between classes, almost all Heartbeat House classes are on a 55-minute format (yoga classes meet for 75-90 minutes). Classes start promptly, so it’s best to arrive a few minutes early.

Class Prices

Information on prices for single drop-in classes, class packages, and community classes is on the Prices page of the Heartbeat House web site.

Hip-Hop Class Attendance Options

LeX’s Hip Hop / Cardio Soul classes (based in old-school hip hop) can be attended on a drop-in basis.

Sweepy’sPoppin’Soul class (when offered) can be attended on a drop-in basis, but you may also receive the option to sign up and pay for a session of about two months of classes in advance, at a lower price per class. Sweepy teaches popping and other old-school styles of hip hop.

Specials and Affordable Options

Long-Term Ongoing Specials and Affordable Options for New Students

For local residents only, classes are $5 each for your first seven days at the studio. This includes the regular Heartbeat House classes (not the community classes, such as yoga). More details can be found in the studio’s flyer, or call or e-mail for information.

Long-Term Specials and Affordable Options for All Students

Birthday Week

Classes are $5 each the week of your birthday. (So fill out the blank for your birthday on the new student registration form!)

Volunteer Program

You can earn free classes in return for volunteering at the studio. Talk to the staff for details.

Community Classes

Heartbeat House is proud of its selection of low-priced community classes. There’s a community yoga class almost every day of the week, with multiple styles offered such as hatha yoga, flow yoga, and kundalini yoga. Community classes also include other offerings such as tai chi and Still Moving, a class for seniors who wish to be active.

KCRW Member Discount

The KCRW member discount has been discontinued as of fall 2012.

Free Class Friday

Every Friday at noon, Heartbeat House plays Free Class Friday on Twitter and Facebook. The studio posts a question that can be answered with information found in the most recent Heartbeat House e-mail newsletter (see above in Studio News section). The first person to reply with the correct answer wins a free class!

The only rules are that you can only win once within 30 days, and if you’ve won three times it’s time to let someone else have a turn.

New Classes

When the studio adds a new class to the schedule, the first class is free for everyone to try.


Visiting Heartbeat House

Policies and Things to Know

Being On Time

Heartbeat House requests that students make an effort to arrive a few minutes early for class. Classes start promptly at the scheduled time. To allow 5 minutes of transition time, almost all classes are now on a 55-minute format.

Students may join class if they are up to 15 minutes late. However, it is recommended to arrive in time forwarmup, as this minimizes the risk of injury to you or disruption to a class already in progress.

Please Help Preserve Quiet for Yoga Classes!

If you are in the lobby area while a yoga class is in session, please respect the students’ yoga practice by keeping your voice low or stepping outside the studio to continue your conversation.

Soundproofing in the new studio has improved the level of quiet greatly, but your courtesy is still appreciated to provide the best yoga experience for your fellow Heartbeat House community members!

Class Payment

The studio accepts cash, check, credit and debit. Please be sure to sign in and pay before entering class.

Age Range

The minimum age for adult hip-hop classes at Heartbeat House is 12. However, the studio is oriented to adults seeking fun and fitness, so you’ll generally find mostly adults in adult hip-hop classes.

When the studio schedules two-month sessions of Sweepy’s Poppin’ Soul class, that is an all-ages class with a wide age range.

Observation Policy

You can observe class from the lobby through the studio’s glass doors or large observation windows.

First-Time Students

It’s best to arrive 15 minutes early for your first class. This will give you extra time to fill out the registration/release form and get checked in before your class begins. (You won’t be able to enter class until your registration form and payment are complete.)

Heartbeat House is a welcoming studio that wants you to have a relaxing first-time experience and enjoy your full class!

Water and Snacks


The studio will refill your water bottle from the room-temperature water cooler for 50 cents. Refrigerated bottled water is also available for $1. Please pay for your water at the front desk before getting it from the mini-fridge at the back of the lobby.


The studio sells energy bars, such asClifbars, at the front desk.

Restaurant Meals

Heartbeat House is located within a block or two of cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants of a variety of cuisines.

Studio Features and Amenities

Changing for Class

A large unisex single-occupancy restroom is at the back of the lobby. It’s more than spacious enough for changing clothes, and even includes a single shower stall.

The additional, smaller restroom is reached by crossing the dance studio, so it may not be accessible when a class is in session. (Walk through studio doors from lobby, turn left, open door on back wall, and turn left again.) This unisex single-occupancy restroom is really a bit too small to comfortably change clothes in, although otherwise nice!

Front Lobby and Outdoor Seating

The front lobby, shaped like a wide hallway, has cushioned bench seating and a view of the street through the front door. The lobby is painted in dark sage and terra cotta, with bright red cushioned benches and other seating for visitors. Soundproof glass doors lead into the studio.

There are wooden folding chairs on the sidewalk directly in front of Heartbeat House. In addition, the cafe-style tables and chairs on the sidewalk a few yards north of the studio are available to the Heartbeat House community. They’re provided by Atwater Village, and don’t belong to a specific business. So if you bring a snack or sandwich to class with you, or just want to enjoy the sun, this may be a nice place to sit.

Dance Floor

Heartbeat House has a sprung hardwood dance floor.

Exercise Equipment and Supplies

Small towels are available free of charge for use while at the studio. There is a basket of clean workout towels (and a basket for used towels) just inside the studio door.

Yoga mats and other equipment needed for classes is provided free for use during class. You don’t need to purchase your own equipment to take any of the classes at Heartbeat House. Just bring yourself!

Clothing and Other Goods

The studio often has items such as Heartbeat House t-shirts and tank tops, fitness DVDs, and colorful decorated “shimmy belts” (for belly dance) available for purchase.

Navigating to the Studio

Finding the Studio

Heartbeat House is in the middle of a block, on the west side of Glendale Bl. It may be a little tricky to spot as you drive by for the first time, as it’s among a crowded block of storefronts. However, keep an eye out for the big, bright red awning! Once you’re on foot, it’s easy to find.

Travel Alert: Parking Meter Enforcement

Parking meters near Heartbeat House have longer hours of operation than in many areas: 8 am-8 pm Mon-Sat. And meter enforcement is strict! Heartbeat House will be glad to make change for you if they can.

Travel Alert: U-Turns on Glendale Bl

Due to an unusual street layout, if you approach from the south and want to park on the west side of Glendale Bl, where Heartbeat House is, you’ll need to overshoot the studio by a few blocks to make a legal U-turn.

Parking Options

Street Parking

There’s plenty of street parking in the area of Heartbeat House. Parking on Glendale Bl, and some parking close to Glendale Bl, is metered. Once you get a block or two away from GlendaleBlon the side streets, parking isunmetered.

When parking, always check street signs on the block to verify details!

Regulations Applying throughout the Area

  • Parking Meter Rate: $1 per hour as of last check.
  • Parking Meters and Time Limits Apply: 8 am-8 pm Mon-Sat.
  • Time Limit forUnmeteredSpots: Unlimited,except during posted street cleaning hours.

Parking Time Limits on Glendale Bl (all spots are metered)

  • In front of studio or within a few blocks on same side of street: 2 hours.
  • Starting a few blocks north of studio, same side of street: 1 hour.
  • On opposite side of Glendale Bl from studio: 1 hour.

Side Street Parking—West of Glendale Bl

  • Time Limit for Metered Spots: 2 hours.
  • Street Cleaning (no parking): 8-11 am Wed or Fri.

Side Street Parking—East of Glendale Bl

  • Time Limit for Metered Spots: 1 hour.
  • Street Cleaning (no parking): 8-10 am Thu or Fri.

Store Lot Parking

Heartbeat House tells us there are free lots behind the stores across the street from the studio that it’s okay to park in. (Ask the staff for details.)

Public Transportation

Heartbeat House by Subway

Heartbeat House is not near a subway stop. Probably the closest you can get on theL.A. Metro subway is one of the Red Line stations in Hollywood. From there, you can transfer to the L.A. Metro bus for roughly a 30-minute ride (depending on bus route).

Heartbeat House by Bus

The L.A. Metro bus appears to have good service in the area of Heartbeat House.

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