I’ve been teaching dance for at least seven or eight years, and dance fitness for about six, and I have never enjoyed teaching anything more than I love teaching Baila Barre.
Ok, yes, I did “invent” Baila Barre, so I guess I’m biased, but it’s a combination of all of the things that I absolutely adore—booty-shaking, graceful ballet movements, deep stretching, my favorite songs, and hanging out with really great ladies and gents.
Like many ideas, the idea for Baila Barre just came in a flash of inspiration—why not combine a bunch of fabulous and popular things? Latin music + dance fitness + barre fitness + yoga. The genius is in the synthesis. It’s nothing new, nothing exciting, nothing different, it’s just a combination of a few exciting and different things.
I don’t like working out. There. I said it. I hate running (Unless it’s to try to catch the ice cream truck...been there, done that). Cycling is the worst unless your destination is somewhere cool, like the beach or the bar. Lifting weights is just awful. Gyms are smelly, there are a lot of tough dudes who give you funny looks when you go for the free weights, and I’m honestly too scared of MRSA to really try to spend much time in the gym. I fall asleep at the end of yoga classes. Crossfit just scares the mess out of me. Barre studios are too expensive. And Pilates makes my neck hurt.
I’m not bashing any of those as workouts, they just don’t work out for me. I’ve danced my whole life and that’s what keeps me in shape. I can tell when I’m on my serious social dancing, teaching dance, taking class, and rehearsing grind because I’m strong, flexible, and have enough stamina to dance for four hours straight. You saw the part where I said “enough stamina to dance for four hours straight,” right? That’s the fun part. Just dancing. Listening to music and moving. It’s empowering, it releases endorphins, it usually gets you out with other people, you sweat out your body weight, and for me, it’s like flossing for the soul.
So that’s why I love Baila Barre so much. It’s all of the best parts of dance combined—high-energy music that I just go crazy during, targeted exercises that require thought and focus to execute for the best results, and then, when you’re warm and tired, juicy, feel-good stretching that is so yummy it feels like you just got a massage.
The idea of finding a workout that you genuinely enjoy and look forward to is nothing new—it’s a lot easier to embrace an active lifestyle when being active is fun and rewarding and not a punishment or something you feel like you “have to” or “should” do. Teaching Baila Barre is my way of pulling together all of the things I do on a regular basis to stay feeling good, and sharing them with attendees who are all quickly becoming not just my “students,” but my friends. So please, come and dance with me!
Thursday mornings at 9 a.m. at One Love Group Fitness (2770 Maybank Highway, in the Food Lion shopping center). Class is 75 minutes long and only $15 per person. Starting August 5th, I’ll also be offering a Wednesday evening class at 7 p.m. at One Love, also $15 per person. Start drinking lots of water now...you will be sweating soon!