On my run this morning I started thinking that my exercise routine has become pretty…well, “routine”. I run down the same streets, past the same houses without even thinking. Nothing changes. My brain and body both have it memorized; even my pedometer gives the same reading. I get great cardio, burn calories, feel good, but where’s the challenge? Where’s the fun? Do I need something new?
I talked to a woman last week who expressed a frustration in her current fitness regimen. She said, “I’m in an exercise rut. Can you help me?“ Another woman told me she was looking for something new and fun to re-invigorate her workout. “I want to challenge my brain and my body,” she said.
Ruts happen. And unless you’re that rare person who can do the same thing over and over, day in and day out, without losing interest or enthusiasm, staying motivated and engaged in your workout is difficult. The solution is different for everyone, but maybe it’s time to try something new. Take the BCS 4-week Course Challenge! The Butler Community School has 12 different Dance & Fitness courses beginning this week that will get you moving while learning something new and having fun. Mix up your routine. Try something different. Keep it fresh!
From Tap dance for beginners, to Hula, Yoga, Pilates-based courses, and Boot Camps; early morning, lunch time, and evening. Each course offers motivation, accountability, and camaraderie; three ingredients that will help infuse your workout.
There’s also the group aspect. One of the great things about a group is that if you show up half asleep at an early morning boot camp, or exhausted at the end of a long work day, once you join the group, you become re-energized. With a friendly instructor to challenge and motivate you, it can’t get any better. Or maybe it can; the power of the group! Nothing brings people together quite like learning together, pressing through muscle burn, or reaching a goal. Whether learning to tap or being pushed to your cardio limit, taking a BCS course will provide opportunity to develop a common bond while getting into the best shape possible. Give it 4 weeks…
Need to get out of the exercise rut? The solution might be as simple as taking a BCS Course. Sign up today. Maybe you’ll see me there!
At some point in their lives most little girls desire to put on a pink tutu and twirl around the living room. Some actually take lessons for awhile, but most go about their lives, having wistful thoughts whenever the ballet performs, wishing that they too had taken lessons.
And then January 2011 rolled around and the calls to the Butler Community School office began. “I’ve always wanted to learn ballet, but I’m afraid I am way past my prime!” “I know it’s ridiculous, but I have had a dream all my life of learning ballet.” “This may be a silly question, but do you have ballet classes for adults?” “At my age I should probably know better than to entertain such a fanciful dream as learning ballet, but is it possible?” “I took ballet as a child over 30 years ago. Do you have classes for someone like me?” These questions and more are just a few of the hundreds of calls that came in during the last month.
Most people think that ballet classes are for the young rather than the young at heart. Men and women both think that if they didn’t start young there is no place for them in a ballet class. That’s where they’re wrong. Ballet is for ALL ages. With ballet, it’s never too late. My job was to convince them of that, and to encourage them to try a class. And they did.
When I saw attendance in the BCS Adult Beginning Ballet class double during January, I became intrigued. What is the attraction? Why do they come? Why do they stay? I watched through the window as adults of all ages listened intently to BCS ballet teacher Libby James give simple, patient instructions and corrections.
Besides fulfilling childhood dreams, one of the reasons these classes have become so popular is because they are for adults, and are offered in the evenings on a pay-as-you-go drop-in basis. Secondly, the dreaded leotard is not required. Students can simply relax, have a good time, and workout at a speed that’s comfortable for them. And workout they do. Ballet promotes longer, leaner, beautifully toned muscles, and encourages a certain gracefulness, improving balance and posture. Ballet at the BCS promotes smiles and fun.
The secret is out. Ballet is for everyone, including you!
Got your attention, didn’t I? In case you are scrolling down to find the answer…wait! Read carefully to discover what is considered to be the best exercise in the world! Everyone is telling you to get moving, get active, get fit! The City of Austin has its Fit City campaign and is becoming an official Let’s Move City in 2011. There are local and national Active Life initiatives. Even here at Ballet Austin, one of our core values is, “We dance…to encourage lifelong health and well-being.” The Butler Community School (BCS) desires people to adopt healthy lifestyles through dance and regular physical activity. But what does all of this mean for you and me?
I know the human body was designed for activity, and by exercising regularly I’ll look and feel better. I also know it is something I have to do for the rest of my life…be active to stay active. My training and experience in the field of aging remind me that what I don’t use, I lose. Muscular endurance, cardio-respiratory strength, flexibility, balance, and overall health, all increase if I move now. I stay strong because I stay active. I know all that! But if the average lifespan of a female is 80 years, that’s a long time to stick with something just to stick with something. It takes a convincing exercise program for me to keep doing it for 80 years! What will it take for you? What is the best exercise in the world for you? The answer…beactive your way! It’s your choice. Whatever it looks like for you!
The philosophy is that IF you find an activity that keeps you moving, that you enjoy, you will maintain a higher level of involvement for a longer period of time. So what is the best exercise in the world for you? Whatever you enjoy and will keep doing! Walking the dog, playing golf, raking leaves, running the trail, riding a bike, Pilates, even dancing! It’s anything that will get you moving and keep you moving! Choose an activity that’s easy to fit into your life. If it’s easy you’ll do it. If it’s fun, social, refreshing…you will do it! Wherever you are…it is never too late to start. There is not an age you reach when you are done! What’s the best exercise for you? Your way…guaranteed!
I have listened to Sara and Cassiday on the Mix 94.7 JB & Sandy Morning Show. I love their energy and sense of fun. I got to see that energy, mixed in with a LOT of fun! Sara and Cassiday came to take the Broadway Fit 101 class Tuesday night at the BCS.
According to Cassiday’s blog, “It was not only fun, but a GREAT workout as well. I will be going back to take more classes from them soon!” Sara was a bit nervous but agreed that it was a lot of fun! Check out the video of Sara and Cassiday dancing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” during Broadway Fit 101 at the BCS! Wonder if they’ll be back next week to learn Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance?
Three weeks into 2011. Have you already dropped your new year’s resolution? When people fall behind on keeping up with resolutions, they quit. Done for the year! It may come back up again next January, but for now, it’s over.
Let’s face it…resolutions are hard because we pick something hard to work on. Then we hope we make it, or try to will it to happen. But it’s not that easy, so when it doesn’t happen, we join the ranks of “quitter”. No one wants to be a quitter. So don’t be! Be a resolution-keeper! Resolution-keepers don’t will something to happen; they make specific plans that are possible to keep in order to change something daily; the action of choosing. It’s time to sweat; to work at it. Get up every day and ask, “What can I do today?” Once you choose the action, to quote Nike, “just do it!”
Record numbers of people are taking Butler Community School dance and fitness classes since January 1. In the past few weeks I have spoken with hundreds of people who called or came by to ask about taking a class. And they’re coming! But will they still be coming in April, in July? I wondered if these increased numbers had something to do with resolutions, so I asked, “What is your New Year’s resolution,” and “why are you here?” The answers went something like this, “I want more energy…to have fun…lose weight…get fit…re-learn an old passion…try something new.”
Those are great, but how will these resolutions happen, and specifically, happen at the BCS? What’s the plan? Following the idea that a resolution will work if there is a daily action to get results, what if the resolution becomes something like this, “I will wake up at 6:00am, put my shoes on, and go to Ballet Austin for the Ultimate Cardio Boot Camp.” Or maybe this, “I am going to buy a Class-Card and drive to Ballet Austin after work on Thursday to take Ballet Fit,” or, “I will call a friend and invite her to take a hip hop class with me on Sunday.” Actions chosen every day that accomplish the goal of having fun, losing weight, learning something new, and so on.
Already slacking? Don’t wait until 2012 to begin working on your resolution again. Reset your 2011 resolution! Instead of relying on willpower, learn the art of choosing today.
Sunday afternoon naps, football, jobs, watching a movie, reading a book, doing laundry, studying, Facebook…get out of your rut! Get out of the house, apartment or dorm and have some fun this Sunday…live a little…dance a little! Being stressed or bored on a Sunday is no way to live. Put your dancing shoes on and head down to Ballet Austin. Whether it’s Ballet Fit, Zumba® Latin Dance Fitness, Modern dance, or Contemporary Jazz, get out and get your body moving. The Butler Community School is a great place for teens and adults of all ages to have fun on a Sunday afternoon.
University of Texas sophomore Jessica heard about BCS classes and rode her bike downtown to take a class last Sunday. “Totally amazing studio and teacher. Love it!” Students, come down and join Jessica for Student Rush Sunday at the BCS beginning any Sunday. Bring your student ID and take one class for only $10 or two classes for $15. Can’t beat that!
I love eavesdropping as I walk through the halls of Ballet Austin’s Butler Dance Education Center. Well, not sure if it is really eavesdropping, as eavesdropping, according to Wikipedia, is “the act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent.”
I wouldn’t say these conversations were private. In fact, some were pretty loud and spirited. Some people even knew I was listening because they gave their unofficial consent with an occasional glance in my direction and a smile or a wave. I smiled back somewhat nonchalantly, choosing to remain the detached observer. It reminds me of when I drove carpool when my children were younger, sitting in the front seat with the music turned low so I could hear the backseat conversation. My driver’s seat offered one of the best views of my children’s lives. My eyes on the road, my voice silent, and my ears open…I learned a lot.
Last night in the “driver’s seat” I walked through the halls of BDEC as studios emptied after Butler Community School classes were finished. As sweat poured down faces, I overheard comments about how enjoyable it is to dance, what a blast they had, how great the teacher was. Then another comment caught my attention. “That was such an amazing and intense workout, and so much fun!” Wait! Could something so fun really count as a workout? I know better than to ask that question…of course it could!
Infectious music, encouraging teachers, learning new choreography, and the social aspect of a dance class take the rough edges off an hour of heart pumping, muscle burning, sweat inducing exercise. I kept walking, watching, and listening as scores of adults of all ages walked out of Zumba®, Broadway Fit, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Modern with smiles on their faces. I love eavesdropping!
Get a glimpse of Ballet Austin behind the scenes and read more about our upcoming performances, as well as get an inside look into the lives of company dancers and Artistic Director and Choreographer Stephen Mills.