Barefootin

Barefootin

Hi from chilly but sunny Denver!

Most of you know already that for the past 10 months I’ve been traveling to Denver on weekends to visit my boyfriend Hilton – at least when he’s not coming to visit me in LA.  On this particular trip I arrived a bit earlier as my best friend Lisa and her husband Michael also came to visit.  Before their arrival, I decided to check out some fitness happenings in the Denver scene…

I love trying out the hottest dance and fitness programs as it helps me continue to grow as an instructor, choreographer and person.  Plus, I LOVE being a student, and shared this guilty pleasure with all of you a couple of blogs ago.

Today I had the opportunity to take class at the NEW willPower FIT Studio located in downtown Denver, co-owned and created by Stacey Lei Krauss.  The Studio is located in a very up and coming area that is minutes away from Coors Field.  It is cool, edgy and fresh…totally love it!  Prior to taking the willPower & Grace class I did some research and discovered the class is done barefoot, everyone wears black and it focuses on cardio, flexibility and functional strength.

When I entered the studio, it brought back memories of me as a young dancer dressed in her pink tights and black leotard for ballet class.  This dress code that taught us the proper discipline and etiquette we needed at the ballet barres.  Standing in front of the mirror in the willPower & Grace class in my blacks matching the other students set the mood of the class and immediately gave me that “Team” feel that we were all in this workout together.

The instructor, Niya, was just a breath of fresh air.  She led us in the workout with so much positivity and motivation that the class felt we could anything we wanted.  Sound familiar?  :)  She reminded me of some of the things that I say when I teach; the music was great and the workout powerful.

Wearing no sneakers allowed me to feel the floor and pay attention to how my feet were leaving the floor and returning to it.  Stacey says it’s all about “Trust Your Feet,” and I totally see why.  We must build strong feet to build a stronger body.  As a dancer, this is SOOO true and important.

My experience today was incredible, and I highly recommend you finding a willPower & Grace class near you.  The willPower Method has been around since 2000, so there are well-trained and qualified instructors all over the country to take you through the fun time that I had today.

Thanks Niya and Stacey!  You both ROCK and I will for sure come back to jump around again soon (which will make Hilton very happy)!!

xoxo,

ILYSE

Harlem Shake: “What’s the Buzz All About???”

Have you noticed the videos all over social media lately of people doing the “Harlem Shake?”  First, the craze was flash mobs, then dancing to Carly Rae Jepsen‘s hit ”Call Me Maybe,” and now the “Harlem Shake.”

My boyfriend (bless him) played the song for me while on vacation in Denver, saying “babe, there’s a song on Sirius that I think would be perfect for your spin classes.”  Once I heard it, I loved it and agreed that it would rock in my classes.  Then I started seeing all these videos of the ‘Harlem Shake’ on YouTube (“about 195,000 results”) that honestly just left me puzzled.  I just didn’t get why there were so many versions streaming online.  Flash mobs and “Call Me Maybe” dances I get as they are mind blowing, entertaining, and quite funny.  But, people in offices wearing masks doing awkward dance moves?  Hmmm….I am trying so hard to get it…just cannot!

Soooo, it made me even more curious when multiple students kept coming up to me asking if we’d be doing the “Harlem Shake” in class.  I decided to Google  “What is the Harlem Shake?” and it directed me to Wikipedia: “’The Harlem Shake,’ originally called the Albee, is a dance introduced in 1981 by a Harlem resident named “Al B.” The dance was initially referred to as “albee” after his name, but later became known as the Harlem Shake as its prominence grew beyond the neighborhood. The dance became mainstream in 2001 when G. Dep (which stands for “Ghetto Dependent”) featured the Harlem Shake in his music video “Let’s Get It.”

Ok….but still, why now? Why is everyone posting their versions of the Harlem Shake on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter?  I wasn’t blown away by any of the versions I saw…until this evening when I found “The Real, Real, Real Harlem Shake!”

Now…I am entertained, blown away, and have found a new obsession  :).  If this is what the Harlem Shake really is and looks like, then PLEASE sign me up NOW!  I am obsessed with the girl in the green shirt.  She CAN move and I want to move like her!  HOLY MOLY WOW!  Who agrees with me?

I’ll admit that after seeing this video, I’m much more motivated to create my version of the Harlem Shake.  Anyone else with me and interested?  If so, please comment below or let me know when you come to class.

One last thing: my goal is to locate the girl in the green shirt to teach us all everything she knows…now are you in?