Look for a curious alley off Bergstaðastræti, around the corner from the hustle and bustle of Reykjavík city centre. There, quietly tucked away in a small courtyard, you’ll find Kramhúsið, one of my favourite places in Reykjavík.
Kramhúsið is a dance and yoga studio with a big heart. A beloved haven for Reykjavík locals who want to tend to the body and soul. The self-proclaimed ‘chakra of downtown Reykjavík’ has been providing energy and creativity-boosting classes for over three decades.
See also: Health in Iceland
The ethos of Kramhúsið has always been to enrich the cultural landscape of Reykjavík. Their current curriculum is a diverse mix of dance styles and yoga practices.
Among the plethora of classes available are afro, ballet, belly-dancing, breakdance, Flamenco, Pilates, Zumba… and the list goes on. They also offer classes for kids and even have dance classes based on the emotes available in the popular video game Fortnite. Who knew flossing counts as exercise?
The studio emphasises having an environment where people feel comfortable moving their bodies. For example, they offer gentlemen’s only yoga classes, for fellas who might feel self-conscious in a mixed-gender yoga class.
See also: Yoga in Iceland
One of the newer offerings at Kramhúsið is the safe space dance classes. They are Kramhúsið’s answer to women telling them they want to dance but feel too old, fat or uncoordinated to attend a dance class.
Kramhúsið is the birthplace of the budding burlesque scene in Reykjavík. The godmother of Icelandic burlesque, Miss Mokki, has been a teacher at Kramhúsið for years. Having personally attended a burlesque sample-class taught by Miss Mokki, I can confirm that burlesque class is the best way of proving to yourself that every body is a beautiful body.
Reykjavík Kabarett’s cabaret shows are a must-see for any fans of body positivity visiting Iceland. Some of the students who got their start in burlesque class in Kramhúsið now regularly perform with Reykjavík Kabarett.
Most of the classes are 4-6 weeks long, but for those who are planning a shorter stay in Reykjavík, Kramhúsið has a timetable of Drop-in classes available. They also offer one-off classes for hen and stag parties or any other group that wants to shake a tailfeather.
In summation, Kramhúsið is a lovely place that cultivates an atmosphere of inclusivity. There, anyone who wants to can share the joy of moving your body with like-minded movers and shakers. All I can say is: Go there, your body and your mood will thank you for it.
See also: Culture Tours in Iceland