Saturday I ventured out of my comfort zone and revisited the joy of my childhood...dancing. My local yoga studio was hosting a workshop called Mind Body Expressions.
Here's the class description:
DANCE PARTY FOR WOMEN- Yoga Story will host a DANCE PARTY Dec. 1st that you don't want to miss. Health/Fitness Professional, Katherine Shoulders, will teach her creation MIND BODY EXPRESSIONS from 5:00 to 6:15. A MIND/BODY EXPRESSION (M.B.E.) class integrates fitness with joy and playfulness, allowing room to dance, move freely and have fun. The movement in M.B.E. is continuous and easy to follow. This exhilarating class will rock your body, soothe your soul and leave you smiling. M.B.E. let's you dance, from the inside out, just the way you do at home when nobody's looking. If you like good music and want to have fun while you're exercising then M.B.E. is for you. Dancing barefoot is a great way to stay connected and shape your legs, developing long lean muscles. All of us are dancers whether you think you are or not. No previous experience is needed to enjoy this DANCE PARTY.
It took a few of the weekly studio emails for me to get the courage to sign up for this class. I took dance all through out my childhood and into high school. I loved dance and spent several days per week at my dance studio but it had been years since I had done any formal dancing. I was worried about the choreography and whether it would be complex. I was worried about whether it would be too hippy of an experience since the yoga studio was hosting it. Basically I let my brain get in front of me and I thought too hard about the class.
Then last week the studio sent out an email with some of the playlist for the dance party and I was sold. The music sounded like so much fun and not at all like the hippy experience that I was worried it would be. I signed up!
On Saturday I headed to the studio and it was full of women with various comfort levels displayed on their faces. I talked with the woman near me and she also admitted to being a little nervous too. A few minutes later a friend from Junior League walked in and I got a chance to catch up with her.
The yoga studio is a hot yoga studio and they kept the heat on for the class too. We got started with a little background on the instructor and the class style. Katherine Shoulders developed this class several years ago by combining the training she received in some new age classes with more relevant music! She walked through out the room and offered each of us a card. This card contained a Be phrase and she promised that the phrase we picked was the phrase we needed to pick in our life in that moment in time. We all got a chuckle when Cindee the studio owner picked the first card and it was blank. She re-picked and got a phrase that had meaning to her. I picked the phrase Be Centered and at first I wasn't sure how it fit into my needs but I tucked it away with my water bottle and got ready to have fun dancing.
Katherine guided the room to form two loose lines to allow each other plenty of room to move about. Then she guided us through some of the basic steps that we would do. I would describe a lot of the movement as a basic rock step, some ball changes, and even a few grapevines.
The class didn't involve very complex choreography but was enough movement to get your heart rate up. The heated studio also increased my heart rate and sweat factor for sure! Within a few minutes, everyone had loosened up and was feeling the beat of the music. The playlist was a lot of fun...very little new age music and mostly fun but impactful songs. There were so many great songs that it's tough to remember them all. I definitely loved dancing to Firework by Katy Perry!
I had forgotten how amazing it feels to just flow with the music. My arms remembered all the years of dance instruction and I felt my fingers and hands return to traditional ballet position. I don't remember the proper way to describe ballet hands...but if you took dance I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. During the more powerful songs, I loved feeling strong as we double punched along to the music. The class just flew by and before I knew it we were slowing things down for a cool down.
Overall, I would definitely try out this class again in the future. I wasn't thrilled about the price tag at $25 per class though. Cindee offered attendees a class of wine following the class and everyone chatted over a drink.
I was worried that my feet or calves would be sore since it was a barefoot class but today I felt fine as I headed out for my long run. Around mile 3 this morning I was starting to feel some soreness and it hit me why I had drawn Be Centered. I have spent so much of the past year focusing on how off-kilter my body has been with my wonky right hip. This was just the reminder that I needed to focus on running even with the strength of both my legs and not the weakness of one. I was able to find comfort in my phrase and rocked out an 8 mile run.