My Celebrity Crush: Bradley Cooper

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Back in 2009, when Bradley Cooper came down the escalator in The Hangover, my heart skipped a beat—or maybe two. That suit! That attitude! Those blue eyes! That hair! Oh, that hair…

Since then, I’ve been following him like a girl in braces follows the latest teen heartthrob. OK, maybe not just like that girl. I don’t kiss his picture before I fall asleep every night. But his style, attitude, and, of course, hair, has ensured my continued patronage of movie theaters.

So when Silver Linings Playbook came to my local theater, I was there with bells on. In the highly-awarded film, Cooper plays Pat Solitano, a man who has lost everything—his job, his wife, his house—and after spending eight months in a state institution, moves in with his parents. Determined to rebuild his life, make over his body, and win his wife back, he gets bound up in a tumultuous—yet incredibly beneficial—relationship with Tiffany, who is played by Jennifer Lawrence. Tiffany promises to help reunite Pat with his wife if he does something with her: be her dance partner.

First, let me say that their dancing in Silver Linings Playbook is hilarious, embarrassing, and heartwarming. But even more important to me—and any other woman who would rather gain weight than run—dancing is a fantastically fun workout. Think: Molly Shannon in Saturday Night Live‘s “I’m 50” skit.

I’m partial to dance classes for their energetic, let-loose atmosphere. They have a way of perking me up and getting me into the groove no matter how busy or stressful of a day I’m having. And I don’t even care if I look ridiculous, flailing about in hopes that I’ll hit the right move eventually. Hey, if Cooper can dance like a maniac on the silver screen while wearing sweats and a trash bag for a shirt, I can certainly shed all shame in front of the other dancers in my class. (What happens in dance class stays in dance class.)

What’s more, dance classes make you sweat… a lot. A single Zumba fitness class burns an average of 369 calories (or about 9.5 kcal per minute), according to research from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science. And, as it works varying large muscle groups continuously, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends dance classes as a way to improve cardiovascular fitness. (Did I mention that heart disease is the number-one killer of women in the United States?)

Want to get a Bradley Cooper-worthy workout on the dance floor? Here are three fun fitness dance classes and how to get started with each:

When we were little, most girls wanted to be a ballerina. Now, as women, we just want a ballerina’s body. Luckily, barre classes are a perfect way to lengthen your look. Using the ballet barre as a prop, these ballet-inspired workouts focus on bodyweight isometric moves, in which you hold positions like pliés and squats for a minute or more.

> Sign Up! Look for Pure Barre or The Bar Method studios in your city. They are some of the most popular barre franchises out there, and have locations across the country. Before your first class, talk to your instructor about any physical limitations that you might have. She can work with you to safely modify poses.

Today’s most popular dancercise class, Zumba, has 140,000 locations throwing “fitness parties” every week. By matching moves from Latin, Creole, and African dance traditions to top 40 tunes, Zumba’s fun, loose, and laughter-filled atmosphere attracts dancer of all ages and fitness levels.

> Sign Up! Find a party near you at Keep in mind that Zumba is a trademarked class and certifies its instructors, so while other Zumba-inspired classes may be available near you, only certified classes are listed on Zumba’s site.

A sultry way to tone your hips, butt, and legs, Salsa is a fun way to immerse yourself in not only fitness, but Latin culture. Plus, the classes are muy social, meaning your newfound amigos will make sure you never skip a class for pizza night.

> Sign Up! Dance studios, rec centers, and athletic clubs offer salsa classes for students of all ages and skill levels. Stick with sneakers—at least for your first few classes—to keep from twisting an ankle or harpooning your partner’s foot. Or just start dancing in your kitchen!


* This post is part of GenFab’s February Blog Hop.

After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.

  • It’s a little hard to argue with the choice of Bradley Cooper. I’d have to be blind to disagree. So I won’t. I will commend your choice and ask if you are good at sharing. Your men, that is. Kidding. Just Kidding. Enjoyed the post!

    • Tammy, I’m happy to share my celebrity crush with you.. As long as you remember this moment and are gracious enough to return the gesture when opportunity calls….

  • You’ve inspired me to take a dance class and see the movie!

    • Me and Bradley inspired you to dance Carpool Goddess! Dance is a fabulous total body work out. Go for it!

  • Lee

    That is so my crush too! I tell my kids he will be their next step dad. I would NOT kick him out of bed and you, my dear, have incredible taste!

  • He was so terrific in that movie and it probably did do a lot for dance!

    • Very true Carol. He got me wanting to hit a dance class.

  • I MUST go see Silver Linings Playbook!

  • Yes, I agree – he’s so very hot. Watching him in “Silver Linings Playbook” was one of my favorite film experiences of 2012.

    • Thanks Sharon. I love how you described watching the film as one of your favorite film “experiences.” I was moved by it too.

  • Bradley Cooper is one of my daughter’s faves… Quite possibly because we used to watch him on Alias many years ago. I haven’t seen “Silver Linings” yet. I’ll have to check it out.

  • He is adorable! Loved him in the Hangover – and even liked his character in Wedding Crashers!

  • I agree with you that Bradley Cooper is yummy…I’ve been so wanting to see Silver Linings Playbook and have not. I’m not sure if it’s still in theaters so I may have to wait to get it off of Apple TV. Also, I have this fantasy of Bradley Cooper playing the role of my husband after my memoir is made into a motion picture – hey, a girl can dream!

  • I feel so out of touch reading many of the GenFab posts today. So many celebrities I do not recognize. Silver Linings sounds like something I might enjoy, though, I will look for it. Thanks!

  • I thought he was pretty but nothing more . . . until Silver Linings Playbook. I’ve seen that movie three times and might see it three more, and he is spectacular in it. Thanks for the fitness tips, by the way!

    • Donna, invite me the next time you want to watch Bradley. You’re welcome for the tips. Thank you for stopping by.

  • I love dancing as exercise. When I’m having a hard time getting motivated to exercise, sometimes all it takes is turning some music on!

    • Your name suites you, Joy. Dance is one of the most joyful activities. Thanks for your comment.

  • Ever since seeing Silver Linings Playbook, I haven’t been able to get his blue eyes out of my mind! lol And I agree about the dancing – best exercise ever!

  • Helene

    He is dreamy, for sure. And he proved himself in Silver Linings to be a very fine actor.