At age 12 I begged my parents to let me attend the North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) for classical ballet, and they finally relented. I lived on campus there for all of my high school years (grades 9 through 12, all academic years and summers) and absolutely loved it! As a ballet major and modern dance minor, I loved taking two dance classes a day between high school academic classes.
I continued to dance in college at Appalachian (ASU), but got busy after graduation working in the pharmaceutical industry, having three children (including twins), and going to graduate school. I didn’t dance from age 26 to 41 – 15 years! At age 41, being 30 pounds overweight and in terrible shape, I went back to dance. I put myself in class with 13-year-olds, five days a week. It was humiliating and absolutely shameful to be so out of shape… but I could no longer deny the lovely thin dancer who lived inside me! Despite the embarrassment, I was finally back on my journey to reclaim my body and spirit! During those years I remember saying, “At my age, I am not missing another day!” And with that I went off to another class. I was finally home…
Within a few years I began choreographing and teaching. Over time I developed The Dancer’s Workout style of teaching, where I choreographed the actual instruction of the choreography (the cues) into the initial songs, so that the dancers could learn the steps without having to stop moving. This allowed me to provide my dancers with a powerful yet efficient (one-hour) full-body workout, using the dance technique and movement patterns we loved from traditional genres of dance (ballet, jazz, contemporary) and toning exercises. I was amazed at how quickly my students picked up the dance patterns! By applying the aerobics model of non-stop movement to dance, I was now delivering an interesting and incredibly fun class for dancers that burned 600-700 calories in one hour! The weight was literally falling off the overweight dancers who took my classes 3-4 times per week (click here for the before and after pictures). The Dancer’s Workout was born!
What TDW Means to Me:
The Dancer’s Workout (TDW) enables me to continue dancing in my fifties and beyond, which invigorates my spirit and keeps my weight under control. It is impossible to put my gratitude for this into words! Beyond this, however, is the indescribable joy I feel when helping other former dancers rediscover their passion for dance in this emotionally and physically safe environment. I am deeply passionate about finding former dancers and enabling them to reclaim their dance technique, their love of dance, and their physical conditioning through my classes! As you will see, The Dancer’s Workout classes are challenging yet exhilarating! They are completely addictive! What started out as a means to get and stay in shape transformed into my life mission! For me, there’s no greater joy than helping a former dancer find her way back home and helping a current dancer maximize her flexibility, cardio endurance, and passion for dance!