It's the season of L-O-V-E! How do you show love to your partner, or family, or most importantly, yourself? As RuPaul declares, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” For me, it’s indulging in things that make me happy – dance (or course), pampering myself with a salon day and hair transformation, or sleeping in every weekend with my dog Clementine. While the physical studio was open, I loved getting together with a group of ladies in my Showgirl Choreography classes, where we would explore and celebrate our sexiness through burlesque fusion dance combos, and the occasional performance. I cherished watching each lady gain confidence as we learned our routines, and get excited about their unique beauty as we prepped costumes and makeup.
So I am very excited to announce I’m bringing all the Showgirl sass and sexy to my online studio! We’ll try out a short classic dance choreography over the course of four weeks – I’ll teach a break down of the routine, and we’ll delve into options to put your own personal style into your dance, from costume choices, to props. This class doesn’t have a performance aspect, so it’s just for fun, just for you, as we try out how this specialty class transitions to an online format. Registration is already open on our fitDegree website, so book your spot today!
When our physical studio location closed due to Covid, we discovered there were great benefits to keep our classes going and transitioning to an online studio format. But for all the conveniences, I know it can be hard to stay motivated and get the most out of your online classes.
Here are 4 easy ideas to make virtual fitness classes work for you:
Get strong and sculpted arms this spooky season! I hear everyone loves to hate my arm workouts, so what better time to announce a brand new fitness series! Good Morning Barre will feature arms and upper body exercises for 4 weeks in October. This short series will combine my favorite stretches and targeted workout routines with modifications appropriate for any fitness level. Looking to up the challenge? We'll incorporate small hand/wrist weights for that extra burn. And, as with all my virtual classes, get the motivation and personalized instruction you need by waking up and jumping into my livestream early Friday mornings, or watch when your schedule allows by accessing videos through the online library.
Watching Shark Week every July is my summer tradition since elementary school, being shark obsessed from a very young age. This year I binged on the sharky lineup recovering from being sick. I had plans to incorporate a shark-tacular celebration in my classes with themed movements and playlists, but you know what they say about best laid plans…
But I do have a favorite (on land) exercise to share! This move engages your full body: The Swimmer!
This Pilates-style exercise incorporates a range of different muscles; it gives definition to glutes and hamstrings, engages the abdominals, and strengthens those posture back extensor muscles.
To complete the exercise, lay on your stomach on the floor with arms and legs outstretched. Engage your abs by pulling your bellybutton into your spine, and press your shoulders down your back. Remember, shoulders and ears are NOT friends, so you want to keep them far apart. Keep your head in line with your spine.
Lift your right arm and left leg off the mat, only as far as you can feel your back working, but not causing any strain or distress. Repeat with the opposite, left arm and right leg. Continue to “swim” by alternating the movement for a full set.
For a variation, lift both legs and arms at the same time for increased intensity.
One of my most popular fitness series returns this summer! Pumpkin to Peach: A Better Booty in 8 Weeks will be featured as part of my Good Morning Barre class, Friday mornings at 6:30AM starting Friday June 2nd!
This special series focuses on lifting, toning, and sculpting your booty and lower body - right in time for bikini season.
Classes will take place during the Good Morning Barre timeslot on Friday mornings, with one exception: There will be no class on Friday June 23rd due to my vacation plans, but the class will take place on Wednesday June 21st at 6:30PM - a special nighttime edition on the official first day of summer!
Looking for resistance bands? I prefer the wide, fabric hip bands instead of the lighter latex style bands, which are better for stretching. You'll want a loop band that can go over your legs or thighs. Message me if you have questions!
After a long break due to the studio transition to online, BellyDance class is back starting tonight, April 3rd! I'm so excited to delve into the juicy isolations - and share my love of bellydance with all of you! Can't wait to see your smiling faces on Zoom!
For years when I was younger, I wanted to take bellydance classes. I'm not sure what exactly drew me to that specific style of dance initially, but I was curious and found a local instructor in my area. I lurked on her website for a few years, trying to summon the courage to take my first class. I was filled with all the usual doubts and insecurities, but one Sunday morning I announced to my husband I was taking the 3PM Beginner's class that day and set off nervous and excited. I'll never forget my very first class; the jingle of the coin belts, the soft feel of the chiffon veil in my hand, the way my body felt as it moved through the isolated movements - I was entranced. That first class led to a passion that has impacted all parts of my life. Finding my passion for bellydance led to finding myself, unlocking confidence and motivation as I discovered new ways to express myself through dance, first by intensive study, then performing, and later, teaching. As the baby bellydancer in this photo, it didn’t matter what people thought about my new hobby; I was doing it for myself.
The most rewarding lesson I've learned isn’t a dance technique, it’s the importance of staying open to new experiences. It was intimidating going to a class where I didn't know anyone, had no friends to join me. But without that first step, I think of all the friendships and memories I never would have experienced.
I'm a firm believer in taking a leap of faith and saying yes to unexpected opportunities. Very often I’m just as nervous as when I first stepped into that dance studio, but I never regret allowing myself to be open to something new. So often we shut ourselves down from experiencing things either from fear, uncertainty, or a lack of support from friends/family. This Valentine's Day, indulge in something you've always wanted. Open yourself up to something that would surprise others about you - it may be dance, like me, or any new skill, like learning to knit or exploring a city you've dreamed of visiting. Love yourself enough to explore what brings you joy.
And if dance IS on your bucket list, I'm starting a new online 8-week Bellydance Basics class later this Spring!
It's all in the Wrist:
If you spend a lot of time typing, your hands, wrists, and arms can experience cramping and pain. But one of my favorite bellydance moves can moonlight as an exercise to stretch and find relief!
Wrist circles are most effective when there is minimal movement in the elbows and arms. Therefore, start with your elbows high, creating a diamond shape with the arm, hand in front of your body, fingers long. As the name implies, all movement is generated in the wrist, not the fingers. In fact, the fingers are set in place with the rotation of the wrist moving the hand. Lead with the pinky finger, drawing a small circle counterclockwise and only within your range of movement of the wrist. Your wrist will rotate your fingers to the side, down to the floor, to the opposite side and up to the ceiling. While isolating the movement only to your wrists, you’ll feel a deep stretch in your forearm as well as your hand. Try each wrist on its own or complete the wrist circles with both hands.
And, the easiest way to maintain those goals is through CONSISTENCY! I’ve got exciting news for 2023:
First, Lupa Fitness Den strives to help clients keep consistent in their yoga/fitness goals. With the challenges of inflation and the cost of everything going up, we’ve made changes to our pricing options. We want to make it easier for clients to enjoy their membership, as well as be comparable with other online boutique studios.
Second, I’m thrilled to continue my partnership with Seminole County Public Schools in offering Barre classes both online and in person for the rest of the 2022-2023 school year! Whether you prefer taking classes with me at the ESC, online, or both, check out the remaining dates for the rest of the year. Note: these classes are for SCPS employees ONLY.
Banish those Bat Wings!
It’s my favorite time of year, and I get requests every class to tackle this specific “fright” – how to tone upper arms.
One exercise I love to target that specific section is Barre Pushups!
No equipment needed, just a sturdy surface that can hold your body weight, such as a ballet barre, chair, or sturdy piece of furniture like a countertop or dresser. Stand facing the sturdy surface with your hands flat. Lean forward into an incline, or plank, position, with elbows close to your sides. Like a traditional pushup, you’ll lower your body closer to the sturdy surface, then raise it back to the starting position, elbows staying close to your body. Take care that your spine stays straight, hips in alignment. Watch for arching your back or lifting your butt up in the air.
Complete a full set (or more!) of these incline pushups, working your triceps, as well as keeping your core zipped and engaged. Make this exercise a little more challenging by moving your hands closer together, making a diamond shape by touching your thumbs and fingers together on both hands. For best results, work out those arms at least twice a week!
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