My Journey with DanceBody
I still cannot believe I’m writing this post and that this challenge came and went SO quickly. I’ll start out by saying that I am not someone who jumps at the opportunity for any kind of workout/athletic challenge. 😂 My ideal way of moving my body entails walking around my neighborhood with a chilled cocktail in a tumbler in my hand… so if this is you or if you’re a workout enthusiast, keep reading.
BUT then I met the absolutely incredible Katia at an Addison Bay event this past spring, and unbeknownst to me my perspective on working out would change. We hit it off– she’s only a few inches taller than me, in her 30s, and the most toned person I’ve ever met. But what drew me in the most was her enthusiasm and positivity for the workout she founded, DanceBody, and for my upcoming wedding. She was getting married as well, so she knew the chaos that ensued with wedding planning and was determined to offer a program that was a healthy, mood-boasting and stress-relieving outlet for brides-to-be. I was like umm where do I sign up.
That brings me to my point that there is absolutely NO need to try to ‘get fit,’ loose weight, or slim down for a wedding. There’s such a negative, harmful dialogue around that today and I am absolutely not encouraging that in any way. I already confidently know that I will be the happiest I’ve ever been on our wedding day for about a thousand other reasons I could name before I mention how I look.
But I’m definitely in a season of learning and growing as I navigate my late 20s, and the challenge I’m about to describe felt like the perfect opportunity to realllyy push myself out of my comfort zone and to the test both mentally and physically. And spoiler alert: it was.
So when I was talking with Katia I learned that she founded DanceBody to provide workouts that combined dance cardio with sculpting, with an emphasis on resistance, low weights, and lots of repetition. I had just done my first DanceBody class for the PR event I was at, and it was tough (I literally flailed around the whole time) but really fun so I was instantly drawn to the idea of doing it again.
Fast forward a few months later, I finally took Katia up on this challenge to sort of ‘test’ out what DanceBody was like, and see if I wanted to stay consistent with it leading up to my wedding day. I officially started the challenge about a month before my Bachelorette in St. Barts, so I had a trip in mind to celebrate the end of 30 days, which made it all that more motivating (I definitely recommend having an end event in mind if you’re doing it– even if it’s as simple as going out to a nice dinner!).
Katia put together a DanceBody calendar for me that detailed which classes I needed to do throughout the 30 days, with a lot of variety among the types of classes and a few days off in there as well. She calls it ‘BrideBody,’ since the program is designed to tone the parts of the body that you want to focus on in preparation for your wedding day (i.e. your arms, back, booty, etc.). It literally helps you target which areas of your body you’d want to show off in your wedding dress… how genius is that?! I already know that I’ll be focusing on my arms and back more as our day gets closer 😉.
I did a combination of classes in NYC at their NoMad studio (they also have a studio in TriBeCa), and online through their OnDemand program (you can also watch and do their in-studio classes live via their Live platform on their website too)! Here are the descriptions of each classes, which I grabbed from DanceBody’s site, as well as my personal takes on each below…
I found that ‘Dance + Sculpt’ class was the best (and toughest!) combination of cardio and strength, ‘Sculpt’ was the one that was most likely to make my muscles sore the next day (in a good way!), ‘Signature’ was the most challenging on me mentally (and the most humbling) as it was all about learning choreographed dances, ‘Strength and Stability’ was my favorite class because it really left me feeling strong (it’s also the perfect class for beginners!), and both ‘Hip Hop Hits’ and ‘Full Out’ were out of my dance league 😂 so I focused on the other four instead. Both ‘Sculpt’ and ‘Strength and Stability’ don’t include any dance sequences, so it wasn’t dance all the time per say.
From June 13th to July 13th I either went to a class or did one at home almost every single day. When I was traveling or couldn’t make it into the studio for whatever reason, I looked at the online classes Katia had picked for me and found a space to do it while streaming it on laptop. I used their Dance Bands and Resistance Bands during those– which are pretty inexpensive (especially the Resistance Bands!). Side note– I know that their Resistance Bands are a favorite of a lot of the brides they instruct because they’re the key to toned arms!!
I’ll start with my most important takeaway– this was probably the best thing I’ve ever done for my body, and it’s reshaped how I think about it and treat myself. Throughout the 30 days I went wayyy out of my comfort zone to build strength, practice balance, and laugh my way through my coordination (or lack thereof). It was humbling as I definitely do not have the balance I thought I did, and also confirmed that I am *not* the greatest of dancers (my college self would say it isn’t so!!).
While I was doing the challenge, the first week was definitely the most difficult as I was learning how the classes worked and the majority of the moves we would do. But then as I settled into my schedule and did a few of the same types of classes over and over, they became more rhythmic and natural to me (though still full of MANY humbling moments, mind you) and it went from feeling crazy hard to feeling really good.
That’s really the only way I can explain it– I think my endorphins must have skyrocketed doing DanceBody so frequently and therefore I craved doing it, I loved it so much! I cannot even believe I’m saying that 😂. And also now typing this I’m thinking back and realize that I’ve felt much more anxious and restless in the few weeks after my Bachelorette in which I haven’t been doing it nearly as much. So not only did it affect my body in a healthy way (more on that below!), but it also really positively impacted my mood.
But 30 days later I was 5 lbs lighter (which wasn’t the goal) and SO much stronger, centered, & confident (which WAS the goal 🥰). DanceBody measures results in inches (not pounds) and they took measurements of me before the 30 day challenge, and then right after. Therefore I know that by the time I was done I had lost an inch in the circumference of my chest, ribs, and both left and right calves. The biggest differences were seen in the inches above and below my belly button though, and in my left and right thighs. I lost 1.75″ from my right inner thigh, and 1.25″ from my left, and 1.75″ both above and below my belly button. I couldn’t believe I saw concrete results in measurements, that reflected toning and strength, only 30 days later.
But even more importantly was this: I shared this on Instagram already but it’s worth saying again– for the first time in my life (at least since as long as I can remember) I’ve been realizing that I don’t mind my thighs– and it has nothing to do with the weight or “inches.” I’m not going to say that I am now enthusiastically in love them because they’ve always been my biggest insecurity (everyone has one), but DanceBody made me realize that so much of my body’s strength comes from them, which has made me look at my body differently, and with more appreciation. I can’t help but feel so thankful to DB for helping me reach what I think is a breakthrough in how I feel about my body… which right now is grateful.
I want to extend the biggest thanks and SO much love to Katia for believing in me and introducing me to her incredibly energetic & fun world, Mindi for answering alll of my questions and teaching my final class of the challenge on my 30th day, and all of the other kind + supportive instructors I met along the way. They truly couldn’t have been more welcoming or enthusiastic about my intro to DanceBody! This is just the start of my DB career and I cannot WAIT to kick it back into gear this fall and then *big time* right before our wedding!!! 💃🏼💥❤️
If you’re wanting to do a BrideBody challenge for yourself (or any DanceBody programs/workouts!), here are a number of calendars you can download (one being the BrideBody one!) which are SO helpful to follow to do a 30 day challenge– and they’re all with the OnDemand classes so you can do them anywhere! You can stream their BrideBody programs here on the OnDemand part of DanceBody’s website, along with all of their other online classes which can be found here.
- DBLIVEAMY: save almost 85% off on your first month of DanceBody LIVE. It’s valid for a one month subscription of only $5!
- DBAMYLIT50OFF: save 50% on your first time taking a class in one of DanceBody’s studios.
Amazon Activewear I Love
Here are some of the workout items I relied on and really loved during the 30 day challenge (+ after too!). They’re inexpensive but really held me in and made it easy to move, stretch, and dance. I was also thankful that I didn’t have to feel bad about sweating off fake tan or sitting on the subway in them since they didn’t cost an arm and a leg. 😂
biker short workout set // gallon water bottle // dry shampoo powder // zip-up jacket // performance athletic socks // pillow slippers // all-natural peanut butter powder // leggings workout set // Hoka sneakers // medium-length sports bra // Bala wrist weights // insulated water bottle // electrolyte drink tablets // Elemis muscle relaxing bath salts
Please note that DanceBody kindly gifted me the classes for the 30 day challenge, in exchange for me sharing my experience however I wanted, with full creative liberty. Everything is my real, honest opinion and I had full autonomy to share and say whatever I wanted.