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.