I had some unforgettable experiences as a dancer and performer, especially in the Broadway musical theater circuit. I toured the world dancing and singing in theaters from Russia, Japan, China, and Italy to Los Angeles, Charlotte, Boston, and Chicago among so many others. My absolute favorite was the European and Asian Broadway tour of West Side Story with Joey McKneeley. We rehearsed in Ancona, Italy for a month and performed at the La Scala Opera House in Milan. I played Rosalia in that production, which meant that I had the chance to sing and dance solo on the Opera House stage accompanied by the La Scala symphony. After La Scala, we moved on to the outdoor stage of the Beiteddine Palace in Beirut and then proceeded to tour through Japan for 3 weeks. Amazing!!
You’ve taught some of the most popular workout regimens around, including the Tracy Anderson Method and FlyBarre. What inspired you to branch out and create your own fitness method?
I have always wanted to help others, and I have also loved creating new material and exploring new fitness concepts. My experience with other companies led me to think very deeply about how to service clients best and how to treat instructors. I also realized that my own fusion of ideas and experiences translated into some pretty dramatic results with my clients. Many of them encouraged me to go out on my own, which gave me the confidence to take the leap!
What makes Body Conceptions better than other methods and what kind of results do your clients see after working with you?
As a company, we are focused on giving our clients the most effective and challenging workout within a context that is welcoming, supportive and fun - with the most current and exciting music. As a dance-based method, we are creating a dancer’s physique with lean, sculpted muscles - but unlike other dance cardio classes out there, you DON’T have to have any dance background to do it. Everything is very straightforward and uncomplicated, and you won’t find yourself tripping over your feet trying to follow complicated choreography.
I think the most unique focus for us as a business is our connection with the larger wellness community and our interest in working with women in ALL stages of their lives - young and old! We have found some of the best nutritionists, massage therapists, doctors, facialists, acupuncturists, cleanse manufacturers, and counselors. We refer our clients to our partners all the time, and we hold health and wellness events throughout the year. Additionally, I work with women during and after their pregnancies - and I find that so many of them are grateful to have finally found a method that’s challenging and safe enough for them.
I have seen some DRAMATIC results in my clients. Many go down 1-2 pant sizes in the first few months, and they all notice that their arms, abs, thighs, and glutes feel and look smaller and more sculpted. I’ve had middle-aged clients finally fit into their college jeans, and one of my clients felt comfortable wearing a pencil skirt for the first time in years. Several of my clients sent me photos of themselves in their wedding dresses after training with us, and they were thrilled with the way these photos revealed the tone and definition in their arms, legs, and backs.
Functionally, I’m proud of the strength and ability I have gained as a dancer doing this method. I have runners and skiers who claim that they’ve gained strength and stamina since they started with us. And my pregnant women find that they have a much easier time during their labor and recovery. I love the aesthetic results we’ve seen in our clients, but these functional improvements really make me feel proud of the way we are working with the body.
With all of the opportunities to over-indulge during the holiday season, what tips do you live by to stay fit and practice self control?
I have to admit that I succumb to the holiday foods and feasts like everyone else. The trick is how you look at all of it. Instead of seeing food or behavior as inherently “good” or “bad,” why not allow ourselves some flexibility while making sure that we also find balance in our food and exercise choices? I believe that the minute we judge our own behavior too harshly, we make the mistake of making “all or nothing” choices. Like deciding once we’ve started down that slippery slope of “badness” that we’ll either exercise like a maniac (and get hurt!) or just give up and start working out again after the New Year.
Regardless of the season - but especially during the holidays - I’m a big fan of planning ahead. Make a schedule for yourself for the week, and sign up for fitness classes on Sunday. Make your meals the night before and bring them to work with you. I think one of the biggest pitfalls for us involves impulsive eating or leaving our fitness schedules too open for change and cancellation. When we schedule things, we create a framework that is more thoughtful. And we’re less apt to cancel on our plans if we’ve promised ourselves to carry them out ahead of time.