What moves you? During the pandemic it wasn’t much and as a result we’ve lived a prolonged sedentary lifestyle that has drained our energy and impacted our overall health.
Research has proven that sitting for too long comes with a host of health concerns— weight gain, increase risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and risk of depression. Fortunately, there’s a form of exercise that has proven to increase cognitive function, physical performance, and social bonds all at the same time— dance!
Dance is a form of synchronized self-expression. Music stimulates our mind while dance activates our physical movements, and the combination of the two is transformative. Our brains light up— literally— as we recall choreographed motions and piece them together, strengthening our cognitive and muscle memory each time.
As a workout, dance is freeing. It bridges social bonds that, even if only for one class, creates a unified movement (to the best of our ability, at least), and allows us to relax mentally as we engage in physical activity. Whether it’s done in sneakers or heels, one hour of this cardio exercise can change your entire day and enhance your mood.
Katia Pryce, founder of DanceBody in 2013, was at the forefront of reopening fitness studios in NYC back in March, emphasizing the importance of dance on both physical and mental health amid the pandemic. Now, DanceBody is back and stronger than ever with locations in NYC (NoMad and Tribeca), The Hamptons (East Hampton and Montauk), private sessions, and livestream services.
The workout is anything but your typical dance class, which is likely why notable names such as Molly Sims, Kate Hudson, Mark Cuban, and Leah McSweeney have been known to sweat alongside the team. It’s part high energy movement, part sculpt, and pure challenge. Unlike other dance classes, DanceBody uses music as a medium to incorporate light weights and specific motions to target muscle groups— a true symbiosis of dance and fitness.
“Dance cardio is my coffee in the morning. Until I work out, I don’t feel fully awake. If you’re not moving your vibrational energy is low,” Katia expressed about the mind-body connection. “Fitness is now is so holistic. Mentally you cannot be in a good place unless there is movement involved.”
Over the Hudson River, Hoboken welcomed The Studio, its first and only dance studio strictly for adults, with classes that range from Broadway to ballet. But what makes it particularly unique is the Heels class, taught by Taylor Green, aimed at empowering women to be themselves through one of the most common pieces in a woman’s closet— high heels.
Most ladies will tell you that, although they can be (and I’m putting this lightly) uncomfortable, a high heeled shoe is an extension of femininity. It unleashes a primal confidence (the association with being taller) that, in turn, helps with posture and a focus on overall movement.
The Studio’s Heels class takes this womanly accessory and pairs it with powerful music. Taylor strips away the negative connotations of high heeled dance classes by guiding participants through careful choreography that is tasteful yet sexy, modest yet bold. Each gesture centers around the female form in a way that can be applied to every day life— from walking to balancing.
“When I leave dance class I never feel like I’ve “gotten it over with” or “checked the box.” I leave more energized, and never feel like I’ve worked out. That’s the thing about dance. Your whole body is engaged the entire time and you’re having too much fun to notice,” founder of The Studio, Lauren Greenwood.