Friday, July 8, 2016


Good morning my lovelies,

How's your summer going? Are you enjoying the warm weather? Getting any time off? Have you been moving your bodies and feeling good in your own skin? It's really important at every age that you feel good about yourself, that you love and appreciate your body for all the great things it does for you every day. It doesn't forget to breathe, it continues to circulate blood and filter out toxins, in spite of the crap you might consume or the number of hours you sit hunched over a desk. It's magnificent and it loves you, it lives to serve and protect you, so like Miss Jackson sings: what have you done for it lately?

Lemme share with you what I've been doing for my body... y'all ready for this? Teaching it to dance. Yeah, you heard me. The girl who's infamous for hating dance cardio, for kicking and screaming and protesting and refusing to do dance cardio is learning to dance. Don't misunderstand me, it's a work in progress.

So why the sudden change of heart? I saw this woman dance and she was so cool, so hip, so badass, I thought to myself, I want to move like her! My very next thought was yeah, no way, never gonna happen. I don't have the rhythm, I lack coordination, I confuse my left for my right, and while I have managed over the course of about seven years to painstakingly teach myself a few really fun dances from my collection of workout DVD's, my frustration at not being able to master the steps has always vetoed my desire. ALWAYS. I'm telling you.

But one day this woman posted a video on Instagram (seven weeks ago actually, seriously I'm not stalking you Katia. Okay maybe I am a little bit)... wait let me see if I can find it and hook you up with a link so you can see for yourself... Eeeeeeeeeeeeee THIS is it. Check it out. I saw this and saw how much fun they were having and I wanted to be able to do that and have that much fun too. Now I'm not proud of what happened next, but you know I love my humiliating public confessions so I'll share. I pulled IG up on my computer and let that tiny clip play on a loop as I tried to mimic the moves. Egads! It was horrifying and hilarious at the same time, I could not scrub the smile off my face. Oh but there were tears too because I could not get my ribs to move the way they were supposed to, but that's another story.

Anyhoo, I had become familiar with Katia and Dancebody through my friend Emily and had been trying some of the free Dancebody Periscope classes. Still, trying to dance like them was a continued source of frustration and I was dangerously close to falling back into the 'I hate cardio' routine when Katia came out with streaming and as part of that package, she created breakdowns!!! Breakdowns that come in a four count. Breakdowns that do the same thing on the left as they do on the right. Breakdowns that repeat and make sense to my pea-brain! Omigod! Game changer! She launched the streaming on Monday June 27th and since then I have really focused on just repeating the same breakdown over and over and I can finally almost do it! This is unheard of. In less than two weeks (oh shut up all you naturally gifted dancers out there! seven years compared to two weeks? that's fucking progress in my books okay?! lol) The point is that while I have an enormously long way to go, for the first time in my life, I have hope that I too may learn to dance.

So enough about me, who the heck is Katia Pryce and what in the world is Dancebody? The short answer? Katia is a dancer and Dancebody is a "New York City-based workout created by dancers." Check these beauties out.

Can't you just see these chicks taking over a club and dominating!? I can. Not that I go to clubs. But I'd like to know that IF I did go to clubs I too could dominate. But again, enough about me. Let's talk about Katia and what sets her apart from other dance-based workouts.

First of all, if Katia was a religion (in my opinion) she would be Hinduism. Why? Because unlike other 'single God' based religions who claim that their way is the only way and if you don't believe in their God you are going to hell or doomed to an eternity of suffering etc, Hinduism has this philosophy that's all-inclusive. The Gods are many but the truth is one, sort of idea. They know that our little piddly human brains can't even begin to comprehend the greatness of the Creator or the Source, so they create "aspects of God" that we can cling to in order to find our way back to all that is. Does that make sense? What I'm trying to say is that Katia doesn't shun every other workout, she understands that each thing has its respective place in the whole of our wellbeing, but that if you want to look like a dancer, you need to move like a dancer. 

She is quoted in an interview as saying: I think every workout has it place. If someone came to me and needed to lose 30 to 40 pounds, I tell them to go spin for a month and then come back to me because if you dance with too much weight on your knees, you’re going to blow out your knee. 

When asked about running she said: Running is great, but I think it’s more of a mental thing for a lot of people.

You can read the entire article here.

My girl Tara, who is a marathon runner who's been out of commission for a bit recently said that running is part of who she is, it's her heart and it completes her. I agree, I think running is as much a spiritual practice as it is physical and one should never be made to feel guilty for pursuing that passion.

So what's a Dancebody class like? Is it all just dancing? No it is not. Some classes are more dance based, others focus on sculpting your body, but every class incorporates both of these components always. 

Do you remember Jane Fonda's workouts? If not, here's a little taste.

Katia's sculpting is built upon the principles that Jane delivered to us all those years ago. It's a classic, old school type of aerobics that targets every angle so that you're not just overworking your quads or hamstrings or biceps. She uses weights and resistance bands too so you're always challenging your strength while getting your heart rate up with cardio in every class. And can we all just take a moment here to say how terrific Jane Fonda looks and still looks today?

I mean seriously! When I grow up, I want to be just like Jane.

But what really sets these classes apart for me is the fact that Katia takes the time to explain to you why she wants you to move in a certain way, and if you're doing it wrong, she'll tell you. 

When I'm at home doing it on my own, I might think I'm doing it right, but then she'll stop and say make sure your heel is leading the move or that your knee is facing this way or that, going on to explain and show you the difference making you doing it with her so you can feel that difference. If you were doing it the slightly wrong way, your hamstring will take over, or your quads will be engaged when she is actually targeting the inner thigh. I need those pointers because I am not a dancer, I don't know what angle or direction does what.  It's these extra tips and bits of information that Katia shares during every class that just make the world of difference.

Here's a perfect case in point. I have very tight traps.

They are over-developed, making my neck appear shorter. I had always just assumed that this was because I have a hyper-mobile neck and a consequent age-old neck injury, so I just thought that they built up for protection. But I realize now that that might not be the case. Did you know that when you're using dumbbells in various different rotations that if you clench your fingers around the weight you'll activate those trapezius muscles? Yes, turns out it's true. But if you extend your fingers through the movements those muscles no longer engage. This is very fucking helpful information, people! We need to know this. Think of me as a total dum dum when it comes to moving my body... because I AM a total dum dum. I don't know what I don't know and I need to be told.

She also reminds you to relax your shoulders or tighten up and use that core. It's the stuff you're going to forget when the burn gets bad after a million reps of something you know? The other thing that I really love is the rep countdown. I cannot tell you how many times I've done other workouts where I'm dying on a move and I'll stop, only to discover that if I'd just hung on for a few more moments I'd have done them all. Just when you think you can't go on, if someone says there's only four more or eight more, you go for it, you push yourself further and you accomplish even more! Did I mention that I love that? I love that!

Now being a New York City-based company is all good and well but what about those of us who don't live in NYC? Hello streaming! Streaming gives us access to all of the classes that the New Yorkers might take for granted. But I have to tell you, when it launched and gave us all this content, I'm talking like a ton of classes, I for one was overwhelmed. Where do I start? How do I approach all of this? Well Noble Reader, we asked that question and the Dancebody team answered. The Customer Service team of this company is outstanding, I have never seen anything like it. They are so accessible and care so much about the clients it's fantastic. My best buddy Natalia hurt her neck a little bit during an ab sequence, so she went to them to ask what to do. Within hours several instructors had gotten back to her (including Katia) with remedies and tips not only for healing but for prevention! Unreal.

But I digress. What to do with all of this great content. The team came up with two groups. Someone like me who is uncoordinated and clumsy falls into the category of Junior Varsity, whereas girls like my beauty Myla would be Varsity because she knows how to move, has stamina and strength for days and can go all out.

Each group has their own plan and... AND... a workout calendar for the month!
This lists how many days a week you want to get your workout in and what workout to do on what day! It's a plan. It's all spelled out. I need stuff to be spelled out, it's why I was so successful on the Metamorphosis plan. I had a workout schedule, a nutritional plan, and a place to track it all.

I definitely give Dancebody and the entire team a three thumbs up, sorry but two is just not enough. I think the thing that really sealed the deal for me was this specific quote from Katia: If you combine dance cardio with classical conditioning, you can't go wrong. It gives you this super lean, tight bod, with the cherry on top that you can dance like a motherfucker.

She speaks my language!!!

If you know me at all, you know that I will (as always) continue with the workout plan that I have devoted the last seven years of my life to along with the the fantastic new addition of Dancebody and it is my intention to be "dancing like a motherfucker" by the end of the summer! Watch this space, bitches.

Thanks for tuning in and if you're curios for more information or want to check out Dancebody at home, go HERE! If you can't get the answers you want, reach out to EMILY she will definitely be able to help you.

Onwards and upwards toward your best most beautiful self, midlife and beyond babies.



  1. You know, I feel badly that I seem to only comment on the exercise posts and not on the beautiful, insightful ones! These waters do not run deep, my friend. We are talking bird bath here. :)

    Anyway, I admit after your previous KPDB post, I looked her up. I love her CosmoBody workouts on YouTube!
    So then I purchased the 2 week streaming trial. Love! The Sculpt workouts are so versatile! Can't kneel? No problem! We'll kill you with the standing portion.
    Easy to modify to low impact, too.
    The dance breakdowns are great and I love that they actually do it to songs so the tempo surprises!
    So I may bite on the monthly plan!
    Thank you Shan!

    1. You are an ocean beyond a bird bath my friend. Do not sell yourself short. I love that you are loving the workouts!! That's terrific. Seriously, here's to your great health. Dance on sister.

  2. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I'm so excited! I'm so excited! Okay, here's the question. Have you done a dance and had so much fun that you say out loud (or in your head) ... "okay...maybe one more time." When you one-more-time it you know you're hooked. You're a dancer. Dancing the freaking best!

    So which dance(s) are you learning? Must. Know. I've been bouncing around the III and IV classes (Just the dancing part....I'm really happy with my TA mat). I love the Aliyah, Scream, and Partition. (In the Katia Master Class IV, 2/04, at around the 36 minute mark she breaks down/teaches Partition....and Shiloh's III, 5/04, teaches the Aliyah song at around the 25 minute mark. So. Fun. You might already know them, but if you're ready for some new tutorials check them out).

    Oh poor much dancing in this much time under the guest bed. He now pre-emptively hides when I put on sneakers. My shoes are now the indicator he needs to know that Imma 'bout to ;) Okay my friend, let's dance like motherfuckers right up and through our birthdays.


  3. Myla you are killing me. I've only learned one so far but I can ALMOST do it by memory. Jay Z. But yes it's so fun I have done it "just one more time" so not at the MF level yet but look out! Ima get there.
    Ha ha poor lil Smalls
    You're the best buddy

    1. And practically right after writing this I tweaked my calf. No dancing for me for a few. Sad face. :(

      If you can learn one - You can learn them all. You're eyes, brain and body will start putting the pieces together quicker. And each one will get a little easier. Try to add a new one, like Scream or Bang Bang. See how you do. You got this. xo

    2. I'm working on uptown funk and all at once I feel super cool and like the biggest dork. it's very confusing for my brain lol.
      hope that leg is feeling much better.

  4. Thanks for this. I'm going out of town next week, but am going to try the two week trial when I get back. I've been doing TAs continuity , but it's just not as fun as streaming so I find myself less motivated. I've always liked the results with TA, but I realized that she doesn't train you so much as she lets you work out with her. From what you write, it sounds like there's a lot more guidance with this, which is what I need.

    1. Ha, this is so on point, she doesn't train you she lets you workout with her. She's super fun to workout out with but yes live is way more fun.
      Dancebody is live classes too so you get that energy, plus the fantastic music.
      Can't wait to hear what you think of it. By going away, does that mean vaycay? Have a great trip.

  5. Love this post! Everybody has their exercise passion, some run, some swim and some dance! Dancing is mine and I love how accessible katia's dances are. I am no rock star, but am coordinated and these are perfect. I know I probably look ridiculous ar some points, but they are so fun! I love she mixes some high and low impact and also does them on counts, 30 minutes flies by! As you know I've been dealing with a bum hip for over a year, and had to cut out all dance cardio for the most part, it has been very frustrating because for me it is a passion, but it's also the part I need to feel and be fit! The mat workout is fine alone, but adding the cardio just tones a little more. So, being able to dance again, although I modify, has been a huge celebration.
    I don't know how many others have had knee or hip surgery, and would love to hear, but it is fucking scary! I'm 48 and have a torn labrum and excessive arthritis. I went from walking 3-5 miles to now only a 1/2 - mile on a good day. My groin hurts, I can't turn over in bed without waking up to straighten my leg carefully. Caring weight, like groceries up the steps compresses my hip with each step. It really sucks. So after a year of denying surgery, I'm going to put my big girl pants on and just do it!!! I search out positive results, am reading amazing things people still do after surgery. I've found out hip surgery isn't just your grandparents old age surgery anymore. I'll be able to fully dance again, sit crisis-cross, stand up from a chair and not have to adjust my leg before walking!!!! Because I'm on the young side and fit, my doctor says I'll recover quickly and be able to do all my exercises. I strongly feel and will be curious to see, how I do recover after doing TAM for almost 6 years!!! My muscles are so strong, I'm hoping that will help! I'll also be part bionic too! Titanium!!! Recovery is six weeks total, walking the day after surgery. So the journey has been long, I've been fighting it, but now that I've decided, the carrot for me is being able to do all katia's dances pain free... Dancing like a motherfucker!!!!! I'll keep you posted...
    Keep on dancing!!!!!!

    1. Honestly I am so sad to hear that you have had to slow down on the dance front because of the hip, but I am relieved to hear that you have done some research and have found positive feedback toward getting surgery. It's never something you want to take lightly, but all of the adjustments you've had to make and the pain you've endured, after six weeks, you'll be back to even better than before.
      My friend Sophie whom I'm sure you know as a long time reader here and friend went through a sort of similar dilemma. She had real trouble with her foot and resisted surgery for ages. But that choice really limited her ability to do the things she loved, like cardio and hiking and long walks etc. She finally did the operation and she will be the first to tell you that recovery was no cake walk, but she's back up and dancing around now! So worth it.
      Keep me posted on how everything goes.
      So delighted to have you back here with me.

  6. Hi Shan & Tricia,

    Ugh, Tricia..
    Ok, so I am by no means an expert, but I did, as Shan mentioned, have a tendon operation on my ankle in December last year
    She is also quite right to say that I resisted it for soooo long (hello 6 years?!!). But it got to a point where it simply was no longer sustainable, as I couldn't walk without downing a few doses of Ibuprofen to deal with the pain.
    So, I had surgery just before xmas. My surgeon gave me an estimated recovery of between 7-9 weeks, but in reality it was more like 12-14.
    BUT, it has/is recovering.
    I'm not experienced enough to know if we ever go back to 100% post op, but I can tell you that as frustrating, inconvenient, expensive, and debilitating as the operation was.. It was inarguably the right thing to do.
    You will get there, you will recover, just try and be as patient and kind with yourself as possible.!

    1. Yes and aren't you even going to go on a trip in August that might not have been possible before the surgery??
      You are definitely better now than with the injury for sure.

  7. Are you still doing Tracy or just DanceBody? Do you feel one gives better results over the other? I asked Katia once if the secret of Tracy-style cardio is the 4-count switch, to which she sweetly replied that she's not at liberty do disclose choreo secrets. lol I'm always so obsessed with why the Tracy cardio and method worked so well and curious to see who has figured out the principles that made it work so well. What do you and your readers think? Any insights into the actual fitness principles of the dance cardio that bring the best results? Love you, from your Canadian Indigenous pal

    1. Hey! Oh I for sure still do Tracy. I am using both platforms to much success. Katia's cardio is very different to Tracy's and for me it just makes more sense to my brain. She has a different style, more hip hop and sort of a low impact groove that I really like. Tracy's cardio is much more go go go, and I can't keep up with it, maybe because of my age or my stick thin ankles?? Plus often the choreographed dances might not repeat on the left what you did on the right and my brain always feels unbalanced.
      I like to know each side is getting the same.
      Muscular structure with TA is very different to KP as well so I feel like I benefit from both.

  8. Hey there my Indigenous fitness friend, finally gave Dance Body a real try and it's so much fun. So great to be really dancing and having so much fun! Thanks for the reco! Also, which Indigenous relie gave you lovely, thin ankles? lol I think my Indigenous ancestors gave me their very solid, ahem, "strong" lower body, that could walk for miles, and miles, and miles. lol! Love to you.

    1. I'm so glad you love it! I do too, the energy of Dancebody is so fantastic and fun and I need as much guidance as I can get.
      Ha ha, yes twig ankles. I'm cree, we are a bean pole people. Lol, with flat bannock butts, thank goodness for Katia, she's changing that for me.

    2. lol, I think my Ojibwe ancestors gave me SURVIVAL genes! lol Still loving DanceBody, you can't beat the fun and positive energy. Happy holidays friend.

    3. Happy winter solstice (a day late) and happy holidays to you too. Best for the New Year!

  9. Hey Katia is looking for music suggestions so I just told her about a Tribe Called Red, wouldn't that be fun to dance too? Pow-wow is the original "dance cardio." Happy solstice to you too!

    1. That's a great suggestion! They rock my world and I love the messages behind the music.

    2. sounds like she listened and likes it, maybe we'll see them show up next month. hooray!

    3. How cool would that be! Have you heard "We are circling" by Buffy Saint Marie - it's so stuck in my head! I could bust a move to that too.

  10. just listened, it's amazing, would be great for arms/shaking the booty time. love buffy! love dance body!

    1. Ha ha ha me too! I'm so happy you liked it. She's just the best. So is A Tribe Called Red. And George Leach. Gotta love George. Not so sure I'd want to work out to him but love to hear him play. Oooooooooo Inez (formerly Inez Jasper) do you know her music? Check out Dancin' On The Run, it's a fave and would be so brill for cardio.

    2. I studied up, what great suggestions! I love this thread we have going here. Are you back East? one day we'll have to meet in NYC and go to a DanceBody class together. xoxoxo

    3. I love it too! Yes I am back in Toronto.
      That would be so cool. I loved taking a class with Tracy so I bet Katia would be an amazing experience as well.

  11. I agree with you so fully on this my Indigenous pal, I want to move like Katia too. lol She's like liquid or something, so fluid. It's addictive! lol She's looking for music suggestions again, so make sure you include some of yours. :-)

    1. She is liquid. And so in balance. Her body is lithe and strong and enviably pliable.
      Is that a facebook thing where she is looking for music? Cuz I'm not on facebook.
      Still, I'll put my mind to it as I love music!

  12. I lurk on IG, and I saw your post on combining LEKfit and DB. I love both of them, so much, and I would honestly like to cut out the Tracy. How have you found the results? Currently I'm doing about 20min of Tracy and then DB for cardio. Curious how you mix Lauren & DB. Love, your Indigenous friend xoxo

    1. Hey beauty.
      I think finding the right workout is so personal and we really have to find stuff we love to keep us motivated right? I love the energy of DB so very much, but I haven't been feeling the best lately so I find the full classes wipe me out. Still I can't get enough of Katia. So my perfect balance is an LEK sculpt class because her pace and vibe gives me the peace I need after a long stressful day - then I'll do a DB add on. Generally I choose the private classes. Most often it's an add on arm class - with dance bands or d weights, or if I'm short on time, I'll do say LEK ballet arms then jump into standing legs with Katia or a butt workout with Court. They all just make me happy. I don't even miss TAM at all.
      But again - if you dig the jam you're getting from one, make that your main workout squeeze and just add little segments from the others. Katia and Lauren make it super easy to do that stuff.