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Years ago in Manhattan, there was an exercise studio to the stars where people like Ali MacGraw took grueling classes that left them toned and lean. We tried these classes (known as Lotte Berk) and found they left us with the posture--and flat stomach--of a ballet dancer. 

Today we’re having déjà vu, exercise-style. 

The Dailey Method studio in Venice teaches a barre-and-mat exercise class that’s harder than any others we’ve tried lately, one that has a rigor that reminds us of our long-ago New York regimen. That’s because San Francisco-based founder Jill Dailey trained at Lotte Berk and in other disciplines before creating her own blend of Pilates, kinesiology and yoga.

A strong emphasis on precise placement makes a leg lift of even a few inches become lactic-acid-inducing labor, and a small glutes move left us sorer than a vaccination. But we’re not complaining--after just one class, we swear our jeans felt looser. 

Classes are $22 each, though the studio offers newbies an unlimited month for $100--ostensibly to immerse students in the method. We think it’s brilliant marketing, since these classes and their results are positively addictive.

The Dailey Method, 1327½ B Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; 310-396-1500 or

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