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How you can go curling this winter — in DTLA

How you can go curling this winter — in DTLA
Learning to curl can get your heart racing. (Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square)

Curling is a sport rarely on most Americans' radar until the Winter Olympics. But for a one-of-a-kind social workout, curling is worth experiencing.

You can try a "Learn to Curl" session at the Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square presented by Bai, where Hollywood Curling — yes, it's a curling club here in sunny L.A. — is offering pop-up classes on Dec. 11 and Jan. 8.

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Curling is a team game invented in Scotland where players slide granite stones on pebbled ice toward a target circle area. You earn points by how close you get to the target. Team members scurry ahead of the stone to "sweep" the ice surface with a curling broom to help steer and make the stone go faster.

Super fun, no doubt. But is it really a sport? Or a workout?

"People are surprised by how much core strength it takes and pelvic stability to maintain balance," says Liza Beres, president of Hollywood Curling. Your quads and glutes get a workout from all the lunging, while your upper body is engaged via the "sweeping."

Show up for class wearing comfy shoes (you're walking on ice), stretchy pants, layered clothing and gloves. The rest of the gear is provided. Beres says many a transplanted Midwesterner and Canadian belongs to Hollywood Curling, but they aren't the majority. All are welcome.

The "Spirit of Curling" is perhaps the biggest draw. "It's the only sport I know of where it's actually written in the rules that the winning team buys the first round for the losing team… it takes the sting out of the loss. People sit, chat, talk about how to be better players and have fun socializing."

Now if our politics were only so civil.

Info: Classes are scheduled from from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Dec. 11 and Jan. 8. $5. holidayicerinkdowntownla.com

READ ON!

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