Fairway couple opens AKT Leawood, a health franchise acclaimed by Hollywood celebs


Kansas City’s Lauren Cimpl and husband Anthony LaVita help bring a dance gym concept to Leawood Town Center.

AKT Leawood is located at 5033 W. 117th St. and will have a grand opening this weekend, with a grand opening on Monday June 21st.

The studio had a soft opening in late April to introduce courses for selected new members.

AKT stands for the Anna Kaiser technique and is named after the company founder Anna Kaiser, trainer and choreographer.

AKT has grown into a well-known fitness brand in Hollywood and on social media, acclaimed by celebrities like Shakira and Kelly Ripa. The method focuses on dance-based cardio fitness routines.

The company operates 22 studios in at least 13 states, including California, Colorado, and New York, and plans to open several more new locations soon, according to its website.

“Doesn’t feel like you’re exercising”

Cimpl and LaVita say they were drawn to AKT because it focuses on changing the contents of the routines frequently and keeping the workouts interesting.

Payton Lyon, one of the fitness trainers at AKT Leawood, led a class on Wednesday night.

“I want you to have a sense of community here; I missed that especially during COVID – going to a studio, ”said Cimpl. “I just want people to come and have fun when they exercise. Then it doesn’t feel like you’re exercising, it doesn’t feel that hard. That was something that attracted me to AKT. “

Cimpl said she was excited to finally open the studio after a lengthy process and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re behind what we ever imagined, but I’m an optimist,” she said. “I think people are now realizing how much they miss going to the gym and how important cleanliness and your health are.”

Cimpl and LaVita, who have lived in Fairway after several years on the east coast, hope to bring a unique fitness opportunity to the Kansas City subway.

“I want you to have a sense of community here; I missed that especially during COVID – going to a studio, “said Lauren Cimpl. Above is a dance fitness class. Photo courtesy AKT Leawood.

“Anthony … saw an opportunity to bring AKT to Kansas City and I was like, ‘Well, I mean, I heard about it, I tried it, I had a lot of fun,'” Cimpl said. “I have the feeling that there is an opportunity to bring in something new. Personally, I’m very excited to be a small business owner in Kansas City. “

The city center seemed like the ideal central location for her clientele, said Cimpl.

“Growing up in Kansas City, 119th was really far south of where I lived in Brookside,” added Cimpl. “It was so far south and everything was new, and when I pulled out I’m now at 161th place. We looked at the Kansas City demographics, which is so different from my time here. It’s actually a central place. “

Cimpl hopes to open additional AKT locations on the Kansas City subway in the future.