Working Out with Rita Moreno


There are few people more significant in the Puerto Rican diaspora than Rita Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony-Winner Moreno. While it is my duty as a Nuyorican to know everything about this woman, I previously did not know that in 1989 Moreno decided to change the workout game by creating her own workout tape.

Thanks to the eternal magic of the internet, I was able to travel back in time to a land of spandex leotards and over-pronounced crotches to exercise with the GOAT. The workout itself, which Moreno promised in her intro would be fun and simple, was actually fun and simple because Rita Moreno doesn’t lie. However, being the uncoordinated dope that I am, I still managed to mess up the most basic choreography imaginable. But Morena didn’t judge me for it, she just encouraged me to keep going.

The workout also included some light barre-adjacent isometric work which led me to believe that Rita Morena invented the entire concept of barre and popularized it with just this single video. Am I wrong? Maybe, but right now the evidence speaks for itself. While I don’t think I’ll be returning to this particular workout again, it was nice to live out a lifelong dream of having Rita Moreno say, “I’m so glad you’re here,” to me even though it was just a pre-recorded message for women over 50 looking to get in a workout.

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