Author Archives: Stacey Beaman

About Stacey Beaman

Stacey Beaman is the co-founder and COO of PlyoJam. She is also on the lead choreography team and teaches in Westlake Village, California. You can register for Stacey's classes through the free SweatNow app. You can also email her at [email protected] wtih any questions. Her current schedule is: Tuesdays 7pm Saturdays 9am RockIt Dance Studio in Westlake Village

PLUS SIZE FITNESS INSTRUCTOR ON POPSUGAR FITNESS

This is a photo of plus size fitness instructor and PlyoJam co-founder Stacey Beaman leading a workout on PopSugar Fitness with Christina Duerr and Deja Riley acting as her backup dancers.

Howdy!  I’m Stacey!  I love dancing, boxing, dirty martinis and comedy shows.  I’m also a plus size fitness instructor. At the end of July 2019, PopSugar Fitness released a video with me leading a PlyoJam workout. My dear friend, Deja Riley, is one of the new hosts on PopSugar and she recommended me to their producer. I sent over a highlight reel of me teaching PlyoJam and BOOM, the video shoot was scheduled!  WOAH! 

It’s taken me a couple months to write about this subject because I’ve needed some time to process the feedback and words I’ve received. 

HUGE OPPORTUNITY

PopSugar has an enormous platform and audience (millions!), and I was well aware that my video could strike a chord with many.  You see, I am most certainly not the typical fitness instructor that we all see in magazines, on videos, on billboards, at the gym, etc.  I am a plus size fitness instructor. When we think of fitness instructors, we think of washboard abs, sports bras and leggings showing off toned arms and legs, peppy smiles and positive “you can do it” attitudes. 

And guess what? I applaud each and every one of those instructors because it’s not an easy job. So many fitness instructors lead with grace and positivity, without revealing the daily grind, the tax it takes on the body, the hustle, and the days that they just don’t feel like putting on a smile. Those fitness instructors work hard and have discipline and while so often genetics plays a HUGE part in body type, I will never devalue or underestimate the work it takes to create and maintain a body like that. 

SIZE REPRESENTATION IN FITNESS

However, while I applaud those fitness instructors that fit the physical mold of what we envision when we hear the words “fitness instructor” or “trainer”, it has always left me wondering why there isn’t more representation of different body types in the fitness space. Does the world REALLY believe that only size 2s and 4s can be fit?  Does society REALLY believe that only washboard abs are capable of leading and motivating? Do people REALLY believe that only a certain cookie cutter size and shape is worthy of helping others live their best lives? 

I have been teaching PlyoJam for almost four years now.  My weight has fluctuated throughout the years for various reasons, my energy has fluctuated, my strength has gone up and down a bit. But never once have I given up on wanting to lead and inspire my students.  And I believe whole-heartedly that my fluctuations and ups and downs actually represent what MOST people go through, and therefore it’s very relatable. The love and loyalty my students show me has given me the courage and determination to continue on even during the hard times. 

FACING MY FEARS AS A PLUS SIZE FITNESS INSTRUCTOR

When asked to lead a video for PopSugar video I definitely paused for a moment. Would a much larger audience embrace me the way my own students do?  How would they feel about a plus size fitness instructor? I really wasn’t sure. They don’t know me the way my students know me. They may take one look at my video and wonder why a size 14/16 woman (who is 40 years old no less!) is leading a workout on PopSugar.  After all, PopSugar has never had a full figured fitness instructor actually LEAD a workout.  

But I chose to put all those concerns aside, because even if I could inspire just one person somewhere in the world to feel good and worthy of moving their body, then I would feel accomplished.  And I decided that even if I received some mean comments or hateful trolling, knowing I had inspired just one person would FAR outweigh that vitriol. 

I STRAPPED ON MY SPORTS BRA AND SAID LET’S DO THIS!

So I did it.  I strapped on my 38DD sports bra and my XL high waisted leggings (90 Degrees by Reflex keep me right and tight) and did my very best to do what I know how to do.  Shake my booty, have fun, smile and help others feel good. It helped to film my video with Deja and my other dear friend, Christina Duerr, both of whom I love so much and are so incredibly supportive.  

THE LOVE 

When the video went live I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t prepared for the outpouring of love and support and gratitude I received.  Women from all over the globe reached out to me. Hundreds and hundreds of women telling me they were so happy and excited and RELIEVED to see a body type like mine on their screens.  I received messages of love and praise and gratitude. I received messages of hope and relief and renewed sense of energy. I received messages from women who told me my video made them feel WORTHY of working out.  And when I tell you I received messages from all over the globe, I am talking Ethiopia, Israel, the Caribbean, Switzerland, India, Peru, all over the United States and so many more places.  

I wanted to share a couple of messages I received:

Thank you for stepping through the fear and doing this.  You have broken a barrier for women who feel like they can’t lead workouts or be in the front because of who they are.  Weight, size, none of it matters. What matters is who are when we show up and how we use our talents to help others. So thank you for being so willing to show all of us women out there that we can follow our dreams no matter what the world says.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I’m a curvaceous gal who works out every single day.  I’ve lost 40lbs doing videos with Anna and Deja and the other instructors.  But this video made me admire PopSugar Fitness even more. It’s a glorious thing to see a curvaceous woman unapologetically leading workouts and killing it!  OMG Stacey has the best dance moves. Thank you!

Hey Stacey!  I just saw your workout on PopSugar.  I can’t tell you how comfortable I felt workout out with you. We need more Stacey’s in the workout world. I just had my 3rd child and I’m the biggest I’ve ever been.  I started back into fitness a couple of months ago, and the weight is coming off. I have so many workout videos but get mentally frustrated because I feel so inadequate comparing myself to the workout leads.  I love what you are doing and I just know you are going to be a great success. We NEEDED this!!! God bless you!

This workout was sooo fun!  I was sweating and smiling the whole time.  Honestly I got a little teary eyed too. Thanks for sharing your JOY Stacey.

I adore Stacey so much, she is just so naturally positive and encouraging and she just has a way of making you feel so good about yourself.  I love PopSugar videos but this is by far my favorite for the fun dance moves and positive vibes. This video has gotten me motivated to workout so much more than any other video has in the past.  So thank you so much Stacey!

Dear Stacey, I came across your YouTube session and I just wanted to say how much you inspired me.  I have been dealing with food addiction for all of my life. I have had several doctors that want me to have bariatric surgery. They just don’t believe I can be healthy with just exercise and food portion control.  I started using the YouTube session a month ago. You are an amazing person. I was so impressed by your strength and vitality. It has motivated me to keep using your session again and again. Thank you.

IT WAS ALL WORTH IT

The messages go on and on and I am beyond humbled and my gratitude is through the roof.  Yes, I received some hateful, ignorant and just plain MEAN comments as well. But those mean words have nothing to do with me and everything to do with the person writing them. And they are like a speck of dust compared to the love I’ve received.  In some ways I feel like I have no right to receive this love. I struggle and I fail all the time. I get down, I get frustrated, but I always, ALWAYS get back up. And that’s the message I want to spread to every single person out there. You are worthy. Your size doesn’t matter. Be healthy, be strong, be brave and ALWAYS get back up. I am so happy I fought my fears and filmed the PopSugar video. Taking the risk produced an outcome that has far exceeded my expectations in every possible way.  Take the risk my friends.

Now let’s dance! Want to take live class with me?  Check out my schedule HERE. Want more online classes with me?  Try our online classes today! Click HERE for a free sample!

 

YES! We Notice When Our Students Disappear From Our Fitness Classes!

A photo of a full PlyoJam dance fitness class.

Social media, with all its pros and cons, inevitably does something similar for all its users.  It reminds us of the past…whether it’s that Facebook “On this day 3 years ago” notification or Instagram’s Time Hop, we are constantly being reminded of what was going on last year at this time, two years ago, five years ago, etc. The other day I received one such notification and both notifications happened to have photos from my PlyoJam dance fitness classes that I teach in Westlake Village, CA.

FITNESS CLASS BLAST FROM THE PAST

As I looked at the photos, I realized how much my fitness classes have changed, grown, new faces added, old faces lost. And some of the faces I saw in those photos made me sad!  I haven’t seen them in so long!

A photo of a full PlyoJam dance fitness class.

STUDENTS ARE LIKE FAMILY

As a fitness instructor, we build relationships with our students.  We seem them regularly, weekly (or for some, even daily) in our fitness classes and it becomes routine.  Second nature. And as much as students feel they rely on their instructors, I am here to say that fitness instructors rely on their students JUST AS MUCH.  

In a world full of constant change, inevitable impermanence and sometimes chaotic uncertainty, isn’t it wonderful to have a place to go a few days a week to get an amazing workout. A place to go see the instructor you love. A place to sweat it out alongside the classmates you’ve grown accustomed to seeing each week?

WHERE DID YOU GO?

But then this thing happens.  A student who I’ve grown used to seeing week after week just disappears.  No word. No explanation. They are just gone. And boy do I notice. That “spot” (you know how everyone has their “spot” in class) is suddenly empty, or filled with someone new.  And I’m left wondering why Lauren is no longer in my back left corner or Maria is no longer center third row.

OUR PLEA

Dear students…your instructors love and value you.  We rely on you just as much as you rely on us. And we know life changes, schedules change, and sometimes the fitness class you once attended regularly no longer works for you. If you have been a regular at a fitness class for a while, and suddenly must depart that class…I beg of you, let your instructor know.  You may not think they’ll notice, but I promise they will. And I promise, we miss your presence.

And if you can make it back to a class, book one today!  Head over to SweatNow where tons of PlyoJam teachers have their classes listed!

How a Dance-Based Fitness Class Can Help Couples Get Fit

DatingAdvice.com article about how couples get fit with PlyoJam

PlyoJam is an energized and intense dance workout that blends jumping exercises with short, explosive hip-hop moves. This uniquely engaging fitness program began in California in 2012 and has been sweeping the nation with its party-like online classes. If you want to lose weight with a partner, PlyoJam can make sure you stay on track and have a blast dancing your way to your health goals.

SEE MORE

What’s Holding You Back from Living Your Best and Healthiest Life?

Stacey Beaman finds her best life teaching PlyoJam dance fitness.

When I first started my journey taking dance fitness classes, I was about to turn 36.  I was overweight, unhealthy and unhappy. Having recently gone through a few bad breakups, stuck in a career I didn’t love and miles away from any kind of fitness regimen, I was just kind of lost.  

THE FIRST STEPS

I remember attending my very first PlyoJam class in the summer of 2014. You know what the biggest struggle was?  Figuring out what the hell to wear! I hadn’t worked out in ages, I was adamantly against showing my arms, nothing felt good, the struggle was so real! I would look in my closet and try convince myself not to go to class because I had nothing that fit right. I had done this countless times in the past, so the internal conversation of “I should just skip it” was alarmingly familiar. After trying on countless baggy t-shirts and leggings, I finally settled on something and headed out the door.

WALKING INTO THE STUDIO

Next hurdle…getting out of the car and walking into the dance fitness class.  I remember driving to the class, blasting Eminem, trying to pump up my confidence and quiet my fear. “You’re a great dancer,” I told myself.  “You will just stand in the back and do what you can!” So I got my butt out of the car. My memory is as clear as day of walking into the studio. Everyone seemed to know each other.  Everyone looked adorable in their tanks and Lulu leggings. It was intimidating AF!

GETTING LOST IN THE MUSIC

I stood in the back, eyes flitting around the studio, waiting to get started. I was so anxious, but once the music began, I felt a little more at ease. The music filled the room and I felt like I could almost hide in the folds of its rhythm and tempo.  As Jason began to teach, the moves felt super fast and hard to follow (funny to me now!) but OH MY GOSH it felt so good to move my body, to feel the sweat running down my temple! Four songs in I was addicted and I had this burning excitement in my tummy because I sensed something big could and would come from this class I had found!

FINDING THE COURAGE

I’ll never really know where I found the gumption to try that very first dance fitness class.  I’m not sure what finally quieted the internal “what’s the point, I’m not going” dialogue. I think it may have been the little voice in the back of my head that kept saying, “something has to change.”

Maybe I was tired of my own excuses.  

Maybe I was tired of feeling down.

Maybe it was some kind of muscle memory from years past when I used to be an athlete and I knew how good endorphins made me feel.  

Maybe my poor little soul was tired of my brain being so mean to me.

Whatever it was, I’m so thankful for that initial spark. 

But maybe I need to give myself more credit.  Yes I was fearful and unsure and embarrassed. But I have also had a really deep internal strength.  I’ve accomplished a lot and I’ve overcome a lot, so would I really let the fear of a dance fitness class get me?  Hell no!

WINDS OF CHANGE

And thank God I didn’t. I walked into that class and it changed my life forever. That day was the beginning of an 8 week mission.  It was summer break and at the time I was a teacher off for the summer. I ended up taking forty PlyoJam classes in eight weeks. I lost 26 pounds.  What I lost in pounds, I gained ten times over in confidence, health, inspiration, happiness and a newly found zest for life!

I’ll save the rest of my story (how I went on to become the co-founder of PlyoJam, teach privates to James Corden and Adelle, be featured on the news, and teach PlyoJam to hundreds of my own students) for another blog.

But for today I want you to think about what’s stopping you.  What roadblocks and hurdles are in your way. How can I help you find that SPARK to shove those roadblocks aside and take a chance on something scary and new?  Because trust me, it could change your life.

Dancing 4 A Cause at AHS

benefit fitness event by PlyoJam

Encino resident Carrie Murray joins about 140 participants at the Dance4ACause benefit fitness event on Jan. 20 at Agoura High School. PlyoJam Dance Fitness organized the two-hour cardio dance party. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the families of the victims of the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting and those affected by the Woolseyfire.

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Dance workout to aid tragedy victims

Thousand Oaks Acorn article about PlyoJam supporting their local community

PlyoJam Dance Fitness will host a benefit class from 4 to 6 p.m. Sun., Jan. 20 at Agoura High School, G Bldg., 28545 W. Driver Ave.

All proceeds will be donated to the Las Virgenes Fire Relief for those affected by the wildfires and to the Conejo Valley Victims Fund for victims of the Borderline Bar shooting.

Learn More

STRENGTH TRAINING JUNKIE OR CARDIO FANATIC?

As the creator of a dance fitness format, I’ve noticed something about fitness enthusiasts. Many are either slaying their strength training goals in the weight room or crushing their cardio workouts. I rarely meet people who place an importance on both strength training and cardio.

It seems that many don’t understand that both are necessary for optimal health. The two types of workouts offer different things: strength training is encouraged to build muscle mass and optimize calorie burn duration, whereas a cardio dance class focuses on having fun while promoting cardiovascular endurance.

COMMON COMPLAINTS BY DANCE FITNESS LOVERS

Let’s examine some of the things people say when it comes to why they prefer one method of exercise over another. I’m a dance fitness instructor, so I’m going to focus on what I’ve heard from my students. People who love dance classes don’t necessarily love strength training because it’s not as fun as dance cardio class. It’s boring, it can be intimidating and it may not provide that endorphin high or feeling of camaraderie a group fitness class provides.

GYM GOERS P.O.V.

On the flip side, people who love strength training may like the idea of a cardio dance class, but assume that they’re not going to get the calorie burn necessary to achieve optimal results. Or perhaps they won’t achieve the cut look they desire.

There are biases and assumptions from both groups of people, and those biases and assumptions aren’t helping anyone meet their fitness goals!

ARE CARDIO DANCE CLASSES NOT COOL?

There’s also the reputation that’s been associated with dance fitness. It’s unfortunate the bad wrap that cardio dance classes have gotten, especially from millennials. It’s pretty obvious at the gym, when you walk into the group exercise room and the median age is 52. It’s just not cool, right? Turn around and check out the weight room to find people usually under the age of 40 throwing weights around trying to build that bodybuilder physique! Definitely two different vibes!

FIND THE BALANCE

As for me, I prefer taking a cardio dance class over strength training. One is definitely more fun than the other! I try to find the balance in both. To be honest, it’s not fun or easy, but I try. I realize the importance of strength training and the benefit it has on my body, but I also know my soul and my heart appreciate a good gyration and booty bounce.

MY TRICK TO MAKING WEIGHT TRAINING FUN

I’m here to tell you that you can incorporate both strength training AND your favorite dance class in your fitness plan! How? You can achieve this with your favorite music!

Obviously, music is the key ingredient to a dance class. Finding the right songs with the proper BPM (beats per minute) can really help motivate you in the gym. It works for me! My suggestion for all you dance lovers that don’t do strength training outside of dance class is to create a strength training workout around a motivating playlist!

WORKOUT EXAMPLE

Here’s an example of what I do on a day I’m working out my chest and triceps. I first decide on the five different strength training exercises for those muscle groups. For every exercise, choose a song. For example, I would pick, “All I Do is Win,” by DJ Khaled, to do the tricep extensions exercise. The BPM on this song is just the right speed so that each extension would match the beat of the song.

The goal is to work out to the rhythm of the song. It’s the same feeling as dancing, just more controlled. This song is the perfect length to perform the three required sets for each of the five exercises. This formula would then be repeated for each exercise, with a different song for each exercise, of course.

GYM HACKS FOR SUCCESS

Hopefully this gym hack will help you dance fitness enthusiasts find a better balance between your time on the dance floor versus your time in the weight room. Feel free to give this a try and let me know in the comments below how it worked out for you! If you need suggestions for songs, please see our Spotify page!

DON’T BE AFRAID OF A DANCE FITNESS CLASS

As far as you gym rats are concerned, I suggest trying a PlyoJam class. Dancers love PlyoJam yet the class is designed for those that also have never taken a dance class in their life. The music in a PlyoJam class is contemporary and most likely up your alley. We promise this ain’t your mama’s fitness class at the YMCA. The combination of the plyometrics and Hip Hop dance moves will help you achieve the calorie burn you desire!

I hope I’ve done my job in letting you all know that strength training and dance cardio can coexist! In fact, it should! You no longer need to be an either or person! You are free to, and most definitely should, engage in both forms of exercise!

See you in class!