Meet Your Instructor
I started dancing at the tender age of 4. I danced ballet and tap until the dance company in the small, rural town where I grew up moved away. In college I again took classes in modern, jazz and ballet.
Not ready to hang up my dance shoes, as an adult I began training as a ballroom dance instructor and taught for a studio as well as giving private lessons. I went on to open my own business teaching ballet, tap, Latin dance and Zumba in Seattle, WA. I continued taking a variety of dance classes for my own enjoyment and personal development, including Argentine tango, African dance, samba, belly dance & bachata.
During one of my classes in Seattle, a student suggested that I should have online classes because she traveled often for work and missed class while she was away. I have since moved to Portland, OR and decide to move my classes to a 100% online format. Drawing on my love of all things dance, I decided to develop dance choreography that wasn't meant to turn you into an expert in any dance, but where the main focus was simply the enjoyment of movement and dance.
When I dance I feel freedom and happiness. I hope Dance Beyond Fitness gives you that same "happy place" where you can retreat to, away from the stresses of everyday life!
Dance for the pleasure of it!! Dance releases endorphins that decrease stress and increase pleasure. Don't you deserve a little pleasure in your day??
Dance is an excellent way to stay fit and develop muscle strength. Certain dance techniques target specific muscles, including (but not limited to) abdominals and calf muscles.
Dance not only builds muscle strength, but it builds endurance and flexibility as well.
The Story Behind Dance Beyond Fitness
How it All started...
How did it all start? How is Dance Beyond Fitness Different?
I've been dancing for many years. I've always loved to dance! It's been my passion ever since I was a small child in my first ballet class. I loved to dance so much that I started a business in Seattle, WA (USA) teaching dance and dance fitness (Zumba®). I was training as a ballroom dance instructor prior to that, but I wanted to make dancing my full-time gig. But, when I first started teaching dance for fitness, I was really concerned with the people who felt like they didn't "sweat enough" or "jump enough" or get enough "aerobics". Then, one day in bachata class I was speaking with another Zumba® instructor. She said her Zumba® classes were 100% dance, no apologies! That was a game changer! I started following that same philosophy and guess what? Enrollment increased and my students were pleased with the new choreography! Everyone who took my Zumba® classes knew that they would be getting an actual dance workout and they loved it! I no longer teach Zumba®, but I have brought this same philosophy with me to Dance Beyond Fitness. So I set out to build my business. And, along the way, I discovered some other issues I wanted to solve to make dancing accessible to everyone.
Dance Beyond Fitness
6 problems, 6 solutions & 1 company
1) I HATE GOING TO THE GYM. Yep! That's right! The fitness instructor that hates the gym. I get bored. I can't stay focused and I am definitely not putting forth 100% effort at the gym. If this were my only alternative, I'd be at home sitting on my couch and eating Cheetos. "It's just not fun!!!," I whined like a child. But dance is fun...
2) BUT WHY IS "DANCE" IN THE TITLE THEN? (THE PROBLEM WITH "DANCE FITNESS") I know! I'll take a "dance fitness" class! So I searched and searched... AND SEARCHED.... But all the "dance fitness" classes seemed to be more "fitness" and not so much dance (See my own struggles with this above). Tired of classes that claimed to be “dance” fitness, only to find yet another aerobics class set to music, with little (if any) authentic dance moves, I decided to build my own dance classes. JUST DANCE. I've always loved to dance and dance is great exercise all on its own. But which dance class to take...
3) HOW DANCE BEYOND FITNESS IF DIFFERENT THAN A DANCE CLASS. Dance Beyond Fitness is 100% dance, but in a dance class you are limited to just one style. What you will find at Dance Beyond Fitness is an exciting fusion of various dance forms, using real dance steps. From salsa and hip hop to ballet and bellydance, the choreography let’s you take dance to a level beyond fitness. Don't get me wrong, I still take lots of dance classes and workshops to perfect my skills, but I wanted my students to be able to sample a variety of dances just for fun. Speaking of which...
4) GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN! Dance classes are fun for me, but for others they are intimidating. They are worried that that they will be judged or criticized. They feel self-conscious. I wanted to build a safe space for dancers of all levels - space where everyone can just enjoy the wonderful feeling of moving to the music. Dance like no one is watching (And if you are dancing in your living room, probably no one is watching... except maybe your nosey neighbor.) There are no judgements here. You are NOT too old, too fat, too thin, too rhythmless, too clumsy, too ugly, too inexperienced... whatever. You are welcome here! I want everyone to know the joy of dance! You are enough just as you are! Awesome! I'm in, but...
5) LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION. (... and the ever elusive time-factor) I took a break from teaching dance when I moved to a small town in Northern Wisconsin... and I was f*ing miserable without dance!!! When I was teaching dance full-time I never had to fit time into my schedule to dance. There was an automatic 40-50 hours build right in. Bonus! I just assumed I would find plenty of time for dance even though I wasn't teaching. Wrong! First of all, I had to drive 6 hours (round-trip) to Madison, WI just to find a dance. I now live in Portland, OR where dances and dance classes are plentiful. But what if you don't? What if you travel often? I remembered a former student of mine who said she loved my classes, but she had to miss so many because she traveled often for work. She said she would love it if my classes were online so she could do them in her hotel room at night. Great suggestion! I think I will take you up on that. Dance Beyond Fitness is 100% online. Dance from wherever you are in the world. Love to if only I had the time...
6) SPEAKING OF TIME... THE TIME FACTOR. Yes, the ever elusive time. It never seems like we have enough of it. This was the final piece of the puzzle for Dance Beyond Fitness. What if you didn't have to change, drive or walk to the gym/studio, spend 30-60 minutes in class, and possibly need a quick shower before going about your day? When my kids were little we had impromptu dance parties in my living room all the time. What a great way to elevate your mood!! But wait! I can always squeeze 5-10 minutes into my day! And this is how the Dance Clip was born! For all over you overworked, traveling, full-time moms, full-time workers, part-time workers and anyone who's having a hard time carving out the time to move during your day...
This 5 minute dance routine is for you!!!