Living where I do, I am extremely lucky because there are so many awesome fitness opportunities. A lot of these opportunities are in the city of Philadelphia, about 20 minutes from my house. I have taken a few classes with Philly Dance Fitness, and it is an ass-kicking workout every time. But when they posted about their “Taste of Philly Dance Fitness”, I was so excited to sign up. The way the workshop was set up is that you get small “tastes” of some of their amazing classes. In the middle of the classes, there was a healthy snacks demonstration. This was the first of two workshops they are doing in this style. Below you will descriptions of the classes I was able to try.
Zumba was a great way to come out strong as far as making me move. I’m sure everyone knows what Zumba is, but if you don’t it’s a high-energy cardio routine. It has movements that are repeated several times and it’s often set to Latin American style dance music. It is a great way to sweat, and all the instructors for Philly Dance Fitness are easy to follow and really push you to have a great workout. I was already a big Zumba fan, and this class did not disappoint.
Cardio Pop is very similar to Zumba, in that you reuse/repeat certain moves in the routines. The main difference is that it’s set to familiar songs that you will find yourself jamming out to. Based on who is teaching it can be more of a dance style, and then others more about strength and sculpting your muscles. Having more than one teacher at the workshop gave us the best of both worlds.
POUND Fitness is probably the coolest workout ever. I had never heard of it before, so I Googled it and was super excited to give it a try. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a cardio workout using bright green plastic drumsticks. They used yoga mats to also muffle the sound on the floor, or else it would have gotten really loud really fast. The instructor first told us that you are NOT to treat the sticks as a beautiful extension of your arm, but instead to use your power to get into the rhythm.
Dance Party Boot Camp is an extremely intense HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. I feel like I went through a boot camp, and you know 100% that you will be feeling the ache from it tomorrow. I cannot stress what an amazing cardio workout this is, probably the best “boot camp” style workout I have ever gotten.
Halfway through we took a break for, “Fuel Your Fitness: Quick & Healthy Snacks” presentation and light bites. Andrea, who studied plant based cooking, came in to talk to us about healthy eating and share some recipes. I won’t be giving away all the info, just some highlights. She started by telling us the best way to select and cut fruit, while we munched on delicious pineapple and grape skewers. The she went on to discuss meal prepping, and how she goes about but cooking for the week. I love the idea of making a large batch of quinoa for the week, and she suggested adding things like tomato sauce or broth to it, it add different flavor. Plus she blanches her veggies to keep them nice and crunchy. We had some delicious quiche type bites, which were made from chickpeas. Followed by a no bake carrot cake bite, that was absolutely amazing. We are supposed to be getting the recipes emailed to us, and I cannot wait to try my hand at making those for some co-workers. After that she packed up some snacks of quinoa and veggies, an orange, and chickpeas to go. It made me mindful of if I am working this hard to make my body feel great with physical activity, why not also make sure I am choosing the right nutrition.
Tap Tonic is continuous tapping, in the best way possible. I was really bummed because I couldn’t find my tap shoes, they have been MIA for awhile now I just haven’t caved yet to buy myself a new pair. This class is “basic” tap steps, but done continuously to give you are cardio workout. If you are a beginning tapper it’s fun to learn the basic steps, but if you already know the steps you will still enjoy the class.
Jazz Tech was very much in the style of Bob Fosse, and for lack of a better word “jazzy”. It was a lot of attitude in the dance, and very much what you would expect in a typical jazz dance class. Quite a bit of turns, kicks, and putting attitude into whatever you were doing. During this section we learned some choreography set to the music from the movie, “La La Land”.
Barre (BalletEXTREME & Barre Fit) combined the two classes offered to give you a glimpse at both. Both classes used exercises from ballet, but in barre it also incorporates Pilates exercises as well. This workout is extremely (as it said in the name BalletEXTREME) tough on your abs and legs. All the plies and some cardio mixed in, has you really feeling it.
Frisky Friday Striptease was supposed to be next, unfortunately time was running short. So it was cut from the workshop to make sure we were given a good stretch post workout. This is a class I always refer to as, “sexy dancing”. This is something I might try in the future if I get up the nerve.
Power Stretch & Sculpt was the perfect way to slow it down. When I say slow it down, I do NOT mean make it easy. Even though it was low-impact, it is still meant to strengthen your muscles. But with it being at the close of a 3-hour workshop, the teacher focused on the stretch part of things. She took us through some really great whole body stretching that felt amazing.
One thing I have to point out is that for every class the instructors are top notch. They are so much fun, personable, and give you such an amazing workout. From the minute you walk in until the minute you leave, they aren’t trying to sell you more class cards, or press that you buy a membership. They let the classes sell themselves, and focus on making you feel as welcome as possible. Now this was suppose to just be a one-part entry. But not even halfway through the first workout, I knew I have to go back for the next. When I left I felt so accomplished and energized. I had that really good ache you get from an intense workout all the next day. If you read this and live in the area I highly recommend you signing up, and I’ll see you there!