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Category Archives: Blog

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!

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.

Online Dance Workouts That Keep You Motivated!

Online dance workouts sound ridiculous, right? But funny enough, online dance workouts are becoming a bit of a trend these days. I have been teaching dance classes now for over seven years. More specifically, I have been teaching PyoJam for the past three years. PlyoJam is a dance workout that incorporates jump training. If you had told me seven years ago that one day I would be teaching online dance workouts, I would have said, “bologna”.

But as times and trends changed, I saw the importance of offering this alternative and today I’m proud to say PlyoJam offers weekly online dance workouts. I am thrilled to offer these classes for many reasons and today I want to discuss the three benefits of an online dance workout like PlyoJam.

Benefit number one that tops the list is the mere convenience. Life can be busy and often the last thing on our list is working out. So how nice would it be to go home after a long day, greet your fury friend, grab a quick snack and throw on your workout clothes to get your sweat on from the convenience of your own home? You don’t even have to book a babysitter to get your workout in. Just have your kiddos dance along with your! Pretty great right?

One of the biggest questions is how do you stay motivated with at home workouts? Who is there to push you to keep going? Yes, I’ll be on the screen, but no one is actually there, which can sometimes be a problem. This brings me to benefit numer two of doing an online dance workout like PlyoJam. As opposed to popular infomercial driven workouts like P90X and Insanity, which can be grueling and just down right boring, online dance workouts are FUN. Now I know what you’re thinking. If you wanted to do a Zumba class, you’d call your mom and sign up at the local YMCA. You also may be thinking online dance workouts sound like something your Aunt Janet did when she popped in “Sweating to the Oldies” or when your older sister did those ridiculous aerobic videos from the early 90’s.  I get it, I too experienced all those types of workouts when I was younger and they seem silly today, no offense Richard and Jane. But hear me out. When I say PlyoJam is FUN, I’m referring to a workout that you actually look forward to and enjoy. Hard to believe, I know.  But seriously, I keep getting emails from our online subscribers telling me they LOVE the online class.  They feel like I am right there with them, I keep them motivated, give them a level of intensity needed to achieve results, and the music is AWESOME.

 

This brings me to my third and final benefit, RESULTS! Wouldn’t you love to subscribe to online dance workouts that actually deliver results, torch those calories away and help you feel amazing? You’re in luck and frankly will be thankful you stumbled upon this blog.  PlyoJam offers this type of online dance workout. Once you sign up for our online dance workouts, you will have immediate access to a sixty-minute PlyoJam class with me! Every Monday, a brand new sixty-minute online dance workout will be posted. Think of it as your very own private, just like the classes I teach to amazing celebs like James Corden and Kate Hudson! You will be up close and personal with no other students blocking your view and no fighting for your spot on the dance floor! The best part?  These at home workouts stay on the website for seven days, and you can watch and dance along as often as you’d like! This will fulfill benefit number one as to the convenience of doing online dance workouts.  What about benefit number two you ask?  I will personally motivate and keep you moving with not just my charm, (I promise I’m fun!) but also with a playlist of music that you will enjoy! The third and final benefit, RESULTS, will be achieved because PlyoJam incorporates jump training which is weaved throughout the dance steps to sculpt and tone your bod.  You will finish the sixty minute workout exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time. What are you waiting for?

Click HERE to learn more.

Up Close and Personal with PlyoJam COO Stacey Beaman

PlyoJam Co-Founder and COO Stacey Beaman gets real about taking risks, getting over fear and self doubt, and getting out there and doing things that might feel scary.  In this interview she talks about her own struggle to find a form of fitness that worked for her and how she was afraid to get out on the dance floor for fear of not looking a certain way.  Stacey is a huge advocate of body positivity and self love and wants every woman and man to toss their fears and insecurities away and do what makes them happy.  Stacey feels that far too many people let life pass them by without doing the things they want to do because they are too afraid, or they don’t feel like they meet the “criteria.”  When Stacey first stepped onto the dance floor she was extremely overweight and out of shape.  She had body image issues and felt terrible about herself.  In fact, it took her months to work up the courage to finally step on the dance floor.  However, she fought through those fears and realized it wasn’t worth it to continue punishing herself.  She decided to rise up against her insecurities and fears and her journey has been one of strength, growth and empowerment.  Stacey’s goal is to pass that strength on to others who have been holding themselves back.  No one should feel they don’t deserve happiness.  No one should miss out on the things they want to do because they don’t look a certain way.  No more waiting. The time is NOW. Love your body, be healthy, be strong, be brave.

Watch Stacey talk about her journey HERE!  Watch Stacey teach a meaningful PlyoJam routine HERE!

Earn AFAA Credit

There are many ways to earn AFAA credit. As a certified group exercise trainer you must earn AFAA credit annually to stay certified to teach. I personally would rather have to earn AFFA credit than go through the group exercise training again. To earn AFAA credit, you must simply find credible workouts that are approved providers. Yes, my friends it’s that easy! Here’s one trick to earn AFAA credit effectively: Pick something you like! The worst thing you could do when trying to earn AFAA credit is to be trained in a skill that doesn’t mesh with what you already teach.

Most trainers dread the two-year mark when they realize they still need to earn AFAA credit; credits must be submitted every two years.

Here are a few ways that you can earn AFFA credit: Take a live AFAA workshop or an online program. Take an AFAA approved workshop like the IDEA Fitness Conference or PlyoJam. You probably don’t know that Health/Medical/Fitness college courses are automatically accepted for AFAA CEUs. There is even state approved programs such as Nursing, Physical Therapy, Athletic Trainer, Massage Therapy, Occupational Therapy, all of which are automatically accepted for AFAA CEUs.

If you are someone who is reading this blog entry, chances are, you are looking to earn AFAA credit. Well, you’re in luck! I happen to be the creator of a fitness concept called PlyoJam that offers AFAA Credit. PlyoJam is a hot, edgy dance fitness format that provides the intensity level comparable to that of P90X or the Insanity workout, but remains the fun, sexy dance party that so many crave. PlyoJam is not your average, follow along dance class like a Zumba or Hip Hop Cardio class. The intensity comes from Plyometric-inspired movements, a form of jump training, that are weaved throughout the routines to maximize calories burned. Additionally, PlyoJam routines are set to the hottest new music, which inspires and excites students and sets classes on fire. No other dance fitness program comes close to delivering the thrill and heart pumping experience of a PlyoJam class. Here comes the best part, by signing up and doing our online program, you can earn AFAA credit!!!  5 CEUs to be exact!!!

  • Complete the PlyoJam online certification by watching a special training video from founder Jason Layden.
  • Review the PDF version of the official PlyoJam Training Manual.
  • Learn all the concepts of PlyoJam and its health benefits.
  • Learn modifications, cueing techniques, and standard moves.
  • Submit a two to three minute video demonstrating a routine that contains the PlyoJam principles for review. 
    This should be done within 30 days of certification purchase.
  • $19.99/month licensing fee begins 30 days after purchase of certification, regardless of audition submission,
    so be sure to get your submissions in ASAP!  We want to get you teaching!
  • Online Certification offers 5 AFAA CEUs

If you are someone that does better with hands on training, our program also offers live workshops.

So as you can see, there are many ways to earn AFAA credit. I of course am writing this blog to better guide you in making these choices and shamelessly plugging my own product. Find a workshop that is affordable. The money adds up when trying to earn AFAA credit, so choose wisely. The cheapest and most affordable way, aside from PlyoJam’s online program of course, is an at home study course which requires a bit of reading. You can usually find these Home Study courses offered through the AFAA magazine and on their website. Lastly, remember it’s not difficult to earn AFAA credit you just need to put a little bit of research into getting the most bang for your buck.

Plyometric Movements …PlyoJam’s Secret Ingredient

The tagline for PlyoJam is “dance powered by plyometrics.” However, people often ask us about the word plyometrics. Plyometric movements are the secret ingredient of the PlyoJam formula. Not only do PlyoJam routines contain sexy, sassy fun dance combos, but plyometric movements are peppered throughout the routines to really increase the intensity and calorie burn. What exactly are plyometric movements? Plyometric movements can be categorized as short, fast explosive movements. You can also call it jump training. Historically plyometric movements have been included in the training and conditioning of Olympians and elite athletes. Plyometrics are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength).

PlyoJam has about twenty signature plyometric movements that are used throughout various routines. You will see many of the following plyometric movements in a PlyoJam routine: jumping jacks, lateral hops, frog jumps, jump squats, star jumps and 180 jumps to name a few. While plyometric movements are excellent tools for sculpting and toning the body, they can also be very exhausting and take a lot of energy. The beauty of PlyoJam is how these plyometric movements are weaved throughout the routines and feel much less torturous then simply repeating the movements over and over in a stagnant manner. Other workout formats, like boot camps and circuit training classes, will often have stations where the student is required to do one minute of jump squats and then walk to another station and perform another one minute of some type of exercise. This is BRUTAL! Instead, PlyoJam has created this incredible formula where students end up performing just as many plyometric movements as they would in a typical boot camp or circuit training class, but the suffering isn’t there!

How did this idea come about? PlyoJam creator Jason Layden originally spent his days teaching a more traditional follow along dance class. His students loved his class, but they often felt they had to pair the class with something more intense to achieve the calorie burn and intensity level they desired. Many students would voice their wishes for a dance class that maintained the fun, party-like atmosphere, but provided an intensity level that could make students feel like they had really worked hard. Around this time, workouts like P90X and Insanity had taken off, designed around the idea of interval training and plyometric movements. Layden suddenly realized that dance fitness was missing these crucial elements so he started toying with the idea of combining the two. What if he could design and craft routines that maintained the fun, sexy, party-like feel his students loved, but also presented the intensity level they craved? He wanted to figure out a way to make his students train like athletes, but dance like pop stars. As he began choreographing his own routines, he looked for places in the combos where he could build and elevate traditional dance moves into a plyometric movement. He would take a simple side to side tap and build it into a hurdler jump. He would take a grapevine, and button the end with a pencil jump. By weaving these plyometric movements into familiar dance steps, the calorie burn was suddenly increasing and students were working up a major sweat. And thus, PlyoJam was born.

Students did not dread these plyometric movements, but rather embraced and welcomed them as a part of the routines and a way to shred calories and sculpt their bodies more effectively. The addition of plyometric movements to follow along dance routines continues to be an ingenious way to allow students to continue experiencing their love of dance, while achieving the level of workout they desire.

 

Dance Instructor

Being a dance instructor isn’t just about showing up to class, plugging in your music and saying, “Let’s dance!” Being a dance instructor is about inspiring, motivating and entertaining others. When I tell people I’m a dance instructor, they often think. “Wow, this guy’s a dance instructor, he’s got it easy”. I will admit being a dance instructor has its perks. For starters, I get to be creative. This is the best part about being a dance instructor. Not to mention, you get an amazing workout. This, of course, depends on the type of dance class you teach. I teach PlyoJam, which is not your mama’s Zumba class. PlyoJam is a more intense dance class that incorporates short, fast explosive jumping movements merged with easy to follow hip hop dance moves. The workout is a calorie scorcher. I created this format in 2013 because I realized in my effort to motivate my students during class, something was missing. The students wanted to be pushed harder and harder physically. The conventional dance steps were just not cutting it. PlyoJam is the first dance cardio class that incorporates plyometrics and dancing.
Plyometrics, also known as “jump training” or “plyos”, are exercises based around having muscles exert maximum force in as short a time as possible, with the goal of increasing both speed and power. This training focuses on learning to move from a muscle extension to a contraction in a rapid or “explosive” way, for example with specialized repeated jumping. Plyometrics are primarily used by athletes to improve performance, and are used in the fitness field to a much lesser degree.
Dancing has its own set of benefits. Dance has physical and mental health benefits. Dancing is a fun way to keep fit. Ballet, belly dancing, salsa, ballroom dancing, hip-hop, square-dancing and tap dancing are different dancing styles. In the end, if you pop in your favorite tune and start shaking and shimmying you are doing something good for your body.
As a dance instructor, keeping up on popular music is crucial. Aside from the actual workout and being an energetic and infectious dance instructor, music is a huge reason why people become addicted to a good dance cardio class. In a Plyojam class we keep it fresh and new and our music is on point. PlyoJam workouts are constantly being refreshed and set to today’s hottest new tracks, ensuring our students never get bored. PlyoJam becomes a lifestyle because of the music. I am a firm believer that when taking any type of dance class, when someone is familiar with the music they get excited. Not to mentioned, if they happen to hear the song in the car or out at a bar or club, they will most likely start doing the dance steps they’ve learned in class. In turn, this will encourage them to take class again. As a dance instructor, playing the popular songs in class will also help the student anticipate the next steps because they are familiar with the changes in the song pattern. The dance instructor ultimately becomes the ultimate DJ. As you can see, a dance instructor is more than just showing up to teach a class. A dance instructor becomes a part of a person lifestyle. So when I tell people I’m a dance instructor, I hold my head up high proudly, knowing that I change lives on the daily. FEELS REAL GOOD!!! I strongly encourage anyone interested in becoming a dance instructor and teaching a dance cardio class to checkout PlyoJam’s online certification. It’s a format that will motivate and excite you as well as give your potential students something to rave about!

Dance Fitness …. Cardio Made Fun!

A note from PlyoJam co-founder Stacey Beaman. I want to take a minute and share my story of how dance fitness, and PlyoJam in particular, revived my level of fitness and helped me stick to a cardio workout that I actually enjoy. But first, let’s go back to a younger Stacey. In my teenage years I was highly involved in sports and never had to think about how I would fit in my exercise. Drills, running and swimming, were just naturally built into my rigorous practice and game schedule and I was fit as a fiddle. I never even thought about “working out.”

In my twenties I became a bit more aware of weight gain and the need to exercise to stay in shape. However, it was pretty easy for me to maintain my fitness level by playing recreational volleyball, and on off days going to the gym and spending hours on elliptical machines and treadmills. At that time I knew nothing about dance fitness. The volleyball was fun, but those cardio machines were a major snooze fest! It was so boring, which of course lead to the frequency of my trips to the gym becoming less and less.

As I made my way into my thirties, I had given up rec volleyball and I could not stomach the thought of going to the gym. It was at that time I took my first cardio dance fitness class and realized that dance fitness might just be the thing that could help me attain a desired level of fitness once again. I needed to get back into shape! But as it does for so many people, life got in the way. Several challenging life events led to forty pounds gained, dance fitness was forgotten, and I was left out of shape and miserable.

Little did I know what was right around the corner. Jason Layden, creator of the PlyoJam format, was a friendly acquaintance of mine. When I attended his birthday party in June 2014 he asked me what I was doing for the summer. I was a school teacher at the time, and I had just been released for summer break. Even more exciting was the fact that I had a sabbatical planned and in the Fall I was going to Europe for five months. I had the whole summer to plan for my trip and work on my fitness. Jason invited me to his dance fitness class and it sparked my memory of the one dance fitness class I had taken years earlier and how much I loved the idea of dancing to stay in shape.

I decided to attend Jason’s dance fitness class, something called PlyoJam, and even though I was terribly out of shape and feeling a bit chagrined over my poor condition, I was hooked! I had no idea how fun a dance fitness class like PlyoJam could be. And PlyoJam was so much more special and amazing than that other dance fitness class I had taken years earlier. I felt like a kid in a candy store and was soon obsessed. I quickly saw that dance fitness could truly be the answer to my cardio needs and weight loss prayers!

I adopted the PlyoJam lifestyle and have never, ever looked back. I knocked off fifty pounds, became highly involved with the brand and the format, and am now COO and co-founder of this dance fitness brand that I adore so much. And I can say from personal experience that dance fitness is truly a way to get in fantastic shape while actually having fun! I have lived and breathed it, and I am thrilled to see dance fitness, and PlyoJam, changing lives as it has changed mine.

 

 

 

7 Best Exercises to Tone Your Booty

The holidays have arrived and that means parties, treats and hitting the dance floor at your office Christmas Party!  Why not tone up that booty while dancing with your office mate Carol! Dancing can be an excellent way to tone your legs and a$$ when you add plyometrics, or jump training.  So turn on your favorite tunes (I’m digging all things Jason Derulo right now), grab a bottle of bubbly and start practicing! By incorporating these seven plyometric inspired dance moves into your night at the club, you will tone your booty, elevate your heart rate, burn some calories, and be the life of the party. #winning

THIGHS JIGGLE NO MORE – This is a great move to work those inner things as you jump and pull your feet together in a tapping motion.  Do 3 sets of 10.

THE BEND AND SNAP – Squat and touch the ground, and then lift off into a vertical jump.  Always land with soft, bent knees.  Do 3 sets of 10.

J. LO THAT ASS – The oldie, but goodie jump squat is always a crucial move to keep that booty tight.  We recommend busting these out to “Ain’t Yo Mama.” 3 sets of 10.

QUADS FOR DAYS – Squat, touch the ground, and double hop to the opposite side and repeat.  3 sets of 10.

SVELTE SUMO – Start in a sumo squat, touch the ground, and explode vertically.  Always land with soft, bent knees.  3 sets of 10.

BURPEE TWERK – Spice up the O.G. burpee with a triple twerk.  You will tone your entire core, plus plump that bump. 3 sets of 10

LUNGE THAT THROWS SHADE – Add a twist to your lunge by lifting that butt, combined with an “I’m too cute” hop to increase heart rate.

7 Reasons Dance Fitness is the BEST Way to Get Summer Ready

People are constantly talking about the almighty “summer body.” But EW, who wants to spend hours on a treadmill to attain that bod? Not us! Dance fitness, on the other hand, comes with some pretty sweet perks. Perks…plus a perky booty. What’s not to love?

Here are 7 reasons dance fitness is the BEST way to get summer ready!

1. A compliment from your dance instructor will make your whole day…nay, your entire WEEK!2. Those hip swivels are going to give you abs like a boss…making you bikini ready AND a strong candidate for Hula Hoop Champ 2016.

3. Your Dance Buds Will Become Your BFF’s…because frankly, no one else truly understands the joy of scoring the front row in class.

4.   The utter satisfaction of nailing that combo in the new routine leaves you feeling like a true rockstar…and Linda goes home feeling like JLo.

5.  Body rolls…’nuff said. 

6.  Cuz when there are guys in class, they are REALLLLLLY fun to watch.

7.  Not only will you be ready for da club with all that twerking, but you no longer have to squeeze into those horrific Spanx! Score!

 

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