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Category Archives: Blog

8 At Home Workout Essentials (that you need!)

There is nothing quite like working out at home. You avoid the crowds from a traditional gym setting, can listen to music as loud as you want, and are able to get your fitness routine in from the comfort of your own living room! As dance fitness instructors, we have some go-to items to making our at-home workouts even better. If you are ready to refresh your home fitness experience just in time for spring, we have you covered. Let’s go over the best at-home workout essentials!

at home workout equipment

Good Pair of Headphones

We are all about the music here at PlyoJam! You will need a good pair of headphones for your at-home dance fitness routine. Choose a style that is comfortable and won’t fall off during your workout. You might even consider a Bluetooth-compatible option to connect easily to your phone.Woman wearing head phones

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are for any type of at-home workout! You will want your own yoga mat for any ground exercises and stretching to avoid hard surfaces. Of course, if you are a fan of yoga this is a must! There are so many colors and styles available for you to choose from.Various color yoga mats

Fitness Journal

One of the main reasons individuals can get discouraged by their home workouts is a lack of organization. Write down your routines in a fitness journal to keep the process stress-free. This is also a great way to take time for self-care, writing down positive daily affirmations.Fitness Journal with glasses

Set of Dumbells

For those that adore strength training, you might consider adding a pair of dumbells to your at-home workout kit. Choose lightweight options, to begin with. We recommend 3, 5, and 8 lbs to start. After you continue to work out with them, you can add on more weight options.

Woman holding dumbells

Reusable Water Bottle

Gone are the days of plastic water bottles! While you are completing your PlyoJam workout, you will want to keep some water on hand for those cardio sessions. Pick up a reusable water bottle that you can easily grab in between exercises. You won’t have to worry about any spills with this at-home workout essential!Blue reusable water bottle for at home workout

Nutritious Snacks

Pre or post-workout you will probably need to recharge with some nutritious snacks. Be sure to keep your favorite treats on hand for working out at home. You may pre-wash and cut any produce items so they are ready when it is time to workout. If you need some delicious and healthy snack ideas, check out our Pinterest for inspiration!

Assorted healthy snacks for at home fitness

Comfortable Sneakers

Dance fitness often involves jumping and dynamic exercises. You will want to keep your feet comfortable with a pair of sneakers. Plus, wearing an athletic outfit that you love will make working out even more fun! Choose a pair of sneakers that will go with all of your workout wear.

White sneakers for at home workout

Fitness Routine

This home workout essential is a game-changer! You might choose to follow a fitness routine to stay on track with your goals. Our PlyoJam membership includes virtual dance fitness videos and guidance from our instructors so you can have the best at-home workout possible! Even better, you can get started with the membership for free with a 7-day trial!

Join PlyoJam at home workout membership here

Need more at-home workout ideas? Be sure to check out these 5 quick fitness videos next!

5 Online Dance Fitness Workouts (30 minutes or less!)

PlyoJam instructors working out in group

Our dance instructors love creating new virtual dance fitness videos on our YouTube channel for every person to enjoy. YouTube is free and accessible, making working out at home easy! If you are new to dance fitness we suggest alternating between 3-5 different online routines to begin with. That way, you can become familiar with the structure of each video and can plan your workouts well in advance. Dance fitness is so fun and our YouTube channel is a great place to start!

Even if you are familiar with our PlyoJam routines, it can be helpful to find new videos to workout to. From heart-pumping warm-ups to strength training, we are sharing 5 of our favorite virtual dance fitness videos for you to exercise with. Even better, all of these can be completed in 30 minutes or less. Ready to dance? Let’s jump in!

PlyoJam instructors working out in group

3 Minute Warm-Up

Every workout should begin with a quick warm-up! We are all about combining dance into every workout routine. If you are preparing for your daily run or yoga class, kickstart your day by getting your heart rate up with this fun warm-up. You may even choose to complete this video on its own during busier days. Put your headphones in and get lost in the music!

10 Minute Hip-Hop Workout

If you love hip-hop, we have the perfect workout for you! This 10-minute routine follows your favorite music while increasing endorphins. We offer different variations for each fitness level so every person can enjoy this dance workout.

This is a great cardio option that you can complete within your own home. Tip from our fitness instructors: Write down the title of each YouTube video you plan to workout to every week in your fitness journal. Then, you can easily click to your workout and have fun.

20 Minute Strength Workout

While we are fans of cardio here at PlyoJam, focusing on strength training is just as important. You can work your muscles while dancing! If you are looking to switch up your traditional weight training routine, we think you will love this dance option. Grab some weights for this fitness video or you can opt-out of any equipment. From arms to core, we have you covered!

20 Minute Full Body Workout

While every dance workout incorporates the full-body, this is a great beginner video. If you are new to dance fitness, get started with this routine! Don’t put too much pressure on completing the full video from start to finish at first. Work your way up as you move forward with your fitness journey.

30 Minute Dance Workout

If dance fitness is apart of your regular routine or maybe you are even a PlyoJam member, this 30-minute workout is a blast! For days where you want to increase your workout time, check out this video. This is also a wonderful option to exercise with friends. Schedule a time to workout virtually or invite a group over to start dancing. Working out with a group is such a positive experience, so be sure to share this routine with your dance fitness community.

Love this blog and want more dance fitness ideas? Check out these easy tips to enjoy your home workout next!

How to Start a Fitness Journal

Open journal and coffee

So, you are excited to begin your new dance fitness routine! If you are a person that loves planning out your weeks and staying organized, why not start a fitness journal? Even if this doesn’t sound like you, it a great way to express your thoughts and take time for yourself while writing each week.Open journal and coffeeYou can make a fitness journal as detailed or general as you like. Anything that makes fitness fun and enjoyable for you, do it! So how exactly do you start a fitness journal? We are sharing our ideas so you can start writing today!

Find a Place to Write

This may sound obvious, but finding the right place to write your fitness thoughts, plans and goals is important. Do you prefer to write in a physical journal or keep things paperless? You can create a document on your phone or laptop if you prefer. If you love the idea of writing in a notebook, find one that matches your personal style! You might choose something that includes a calendar for easily planning your daily routines. No matter what you select, make sure it is easily accessible for you and is something you are excited about!

Plan Out Your Routine

Whether you want to go through and choose specific online workouts from YouTube, or decide on your at-home workout the day of, there is still room to plan out your routine. You can include a list and the name of the routines you will choose to follow each day in your journal. That way there is no stress when it is time to workout! Or you can provide a bit more of a relaxed schedule and simply note the type of dance fitness you would like to focus on that week. Maybe one week you prefer high-intensity cardio and another you would like to strength train more. Even if you are apart of our fitness membership, you can note the online classes available each week to keep track! Knowing your schedule in advance takes the stress off of your daily workout so you can focus and enjoy it!Join PlyoJam 7 day free trial here

Journal for a Healthy Mindset

We believe being healthy physically and mentally is extremely vital. A fitness journal offers the opportunity to express your thoughts and feelings while following an exercise routine. Note how your mindset changes and be positive with yourself. You might choose to write and read out loud a daily affirmation. Don’t worry about how much or how long you write! There are many online prompts available to keep things interesting.

Woman outside smiling

Write Down Your Goals

Having specific goals to work towards will be a source of motivation to keep journaling. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself with these goals. Remember, fitness should never be a negative experience. Instead of a weight goal or a certain ‘look’ make your goals focused on what is best for you personally. Maybe you want to see your anxiety levels lower with dance fitness or you want to make a goal to start working out 2 times a week. Make your goals attainable and filled with positivity.

Make Journaling Fun!

Fitness journaling is definitely a form of self-care. Designate time in the day to write in your journal. You might order fun pens or cute stickers to personalize the process. Maybe you even start adding photos with your fitness community to add memories. It can even be fun to journal together with a small group virtually or in person! This could be a time to discuss what you have been writing about as well.

Want more dance fitness ideas? Read our 3 tips to create a killer workout playlist next!

5 Reasons to Workout With Dance Fitness

Dance fitness group jumping

If you are searching for a fun and effective new workout to incorporate into your fitness routine, start dancing! Dance fitness is a great option for every person. Plus, this is a trend that is here to stay so it is worth a try. You will be surprised how quickly dance becomes apart of your regular exercise. Whether you are looking to switch up your routine or begin a completely new workout program, utilize this option and transform your home exercises. So why exactly should you work out with dance fitness? Let’s dive in!

Dance fitness group jumping

1. Inclusivity

Plyometric dance is inclusive for any person. Regardless of age, size, and fitness level, our PlyoJam team wants every person to feel worthy and welcome to the fitness space. Our goal is to empower every body while dancing!  It is a  joy to see a variety of different people enjoying the same workout and having fun. Any person will leave their dance fitness class feeling invigorated and a renewed sense of confidence! Gain access to our weekly classes and find your workout program with us by joining our community. Begin with the free 7-day trial to start dancing!

Plyojam dance fitness instructors

2. Workout at Home

Dancing workouts are an effective exercise to complete from the comfort of your own home. Often, at-home workouts can leave individuals feeling bored and alone due to the lack of versatility. Whether you want to workout with a live virtual class or follow a Youtube video, dance fitness offers a major variety of options. The fitness space has experienced a major shift to home workouts and dance is an option that will continue to motivate you! From new moves and online content to trending music, dancing while working out will transform your at-home experience.

3. Increase Fitness

While dance is certainly a fun workout, it also increases your fitness. The easy-to-follow routines are surprisingly intense! Your heart rate will go up and you will end every workout feeling challenged. With consistency, dance fitness can improve your stamina and strength. Every workout focuses on the full-body, elevating your workout routine. Each dance routine is created so working out never feels like a chore. You will actually want to complete these sweaty exercises because they are so fun!

4. Improve Mental Health

Mental and physical health go hand in hand. Dance fitness can lower stress and relieve daily anxiety. Take time for yourself with dance workouts by listening to your favorite music. Retreat to a calming space to complete each routine. The boost of endorphins and encouragement from your dance fitness instructors are a great way to rejuvenate your spirit. Sometimes, it can be easy to become discouraged with workouts due to a lack of positivity. Our dance workouts are high energy and created to be a safe space to get fit.

5. Motivation

When the pressure of traditional workouts is removed, you will find that your motivation increases. With new friends in the dance fitness community you are more likely to stay accountable and workout. Our new PlyoJam app offers 24/7 online videos to easily start exercising. With virtual accessibility, you can open the app and start dancing anytime. Knowing that you are dancing to stay healthy and positive is a major source of motivation.

Searching for more fitness advice? Check out these easy tips to enjoy your home workout (and have fun) next!

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Tips to Enjoy Your Home Workout (and have fun!)

Working out at home is a popular trend that is here to stay. Many people are motivated by the convenience and accessibility of working out at home. However, without the traditional gym setting or in-person fitness class, it can become easy to get bored and discouraged. Working out at home should be fun! There are so many ways to refresh your at-home fitness routine to stay motivated. Today we are sharing our top easy tips to enjoy your home workout.

Woman smiling while working out at home on yoga mat

Find the Right Workout Program

If you are feeling unmotivated by your current workout program, it might be time to find a new option that is the best for you! Research our dance fitness videos on Youtube for free workouts for every person and fitness level. A dynamic workout program that isn’t too repetitive will keep your home fitness interesting. Consult with a fitness professional to create your personalized goals and plan. Our home workout program includes a complimentary consultation with a PlyoJam team member to ensure you enjoy your fitness routine!

Join a Fitness Community

There are many live virtual fitness classes to create the same feeling as an in-person class. This is a great way to gain support as you workout. Sign up for an online dance fitness class or workout virtually with a friend. Growing a positive community can rejuvenate your mindset!  Joining a weekly class can also create a routine and sense of motivation. Meet fellow fitness enthusiasts from your phone with our online app. Not only can you enjoy your at-home workout alongside an inclusive group, but this provides access to our dance fitness Facebook communities. Facebook groups offer the chance for daily conversation and workout advice!

Create a Home Workout Space

A relaxing and inviting home workout space is imperative to enjoying your fitness routine! Designate a distraction-free area of your home to complete your home workouts. Get organized and keep all workout equipment in specific storage spaces. For those that adore interior design, repaint and add calming decor to your new fitness space. Why not treat yourself to a fun yoga mat during the process? With the right space, you will be more likely to have fun and want to workout.

Listen to Music

As dance fitness instructors, we understand the importance of good music. Put on your headphones and listen to your favorite new song while working out. The positivity from music combined with a dance workout can make cardio so fun! If you find yourself counting down the minutes until your workout is over, get creative and make your ultimate workout playlist. The time will seem to pass by much more quickly with the extra motivation.

Relax

Working out should NEVER feel like a punishment or chore. Be kind to yourself and listen to your body. If you need to take a rest day from your workout program, enjoy the day to relax. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Yoga and meditation are great additions to each at-home fitness routine for days where you prefer a calmer workout.

Want more at-home fitness ideas? Check out these online dance workouts to keep you motivated!

 

 

5 WAYS TO STICK TO YOUR HOME WORKOUT PROGRAM

A home workout program is sounding better and better with your increasingly busy life.  But how do you stick to it?

Making it to the gym is sometimes just not an option.  Let’s face it, by the time we slap on our sports bras, hop in the car, check in, workout, and shlep home, it could be a 2 1/2 hour commitment. Many of us just do NOT have time for that.  Luckily, there are so many home fitness programs that make breaking a sweat easy and convenient.

But many people who are used to working out in a group setting worry that home fitness won’t keep them motivated and committed.  We get it.  It can feel a little bit boring, a little lonely and a little less motivating.

But we’ve got some tips to help you stick to it and enjoy the process. Once you find the program that is right for you, how do you ensure you are maximizing your time, energy and financial commitment?

This infographic shows fitness enthusiasts 5 ways to stick to their home workouts.

 

 

Are you ready to get started with the best home workout program in town?  Click here to check out the PlyoJam Online Membership!  For more ideas on how to stick to your program, check out this article.

And just remember, it’s all about baby steps.  Doing something, even once per week, is better than nothing.  Don’t be overzealous with your fitness goals.  Make them realistic and attainable and celebrate along the way!

Go get ’em tiger!

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!

 

The Fitness Instructor/Student Love Connection

Instructor love

It’s a funny thing how some of us can become attached to our favorite fitness instructor. Whether it’s your Spin, Pilates or Cardio Dance instructor, the connection can be intense. I’ve seen this attachment firsthand with my own students. I’ve noticed how some of my students refuse to show up for class unless I’m teaching. For example, I have been told that some of my students have walked into the studio ready to get the workout of their life and have walked right out the moment they learned that I am not teaching that day. Believe me, I’m flattered, but the teacher subbing my class sure isn’t. On the other hand, I get it.  I am also a student, and when I find out there’s a substitute instructor, I am not motivated to attend class. But why? Why do our instructors mean so much to us?

Hot Fitness Instructor

Besides thinking they’re hot (lol), it could be their dynamic personality, their enthusiasm or simply their magnetic smile. These types of traits usually boil down to a person’s charisma. The definition of charisma is: clear, compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. Ding Ding Ding…Maybe it’s devotion that keeps people loyal? I recently read an article about the 3 pillars of charisma. What Makes People Charismatic, and How You Can Be, Too. Apparently this is something one can learn and practice. Couldn’t hurt, a little charisma could go a long way.

Reliability is Everything

Our time is precious and the last thing we want to do is waste it. To help you better understand how this pertains to your favorite fitness instructor, let me set the scene. It’s Tuesday night, your significant other is working late. You are rushing to feed your kids and to make sure their homework is complete. The babysitter is on his way. You have him arrive at 6:30pm, to give you just enough time to get to your 7pm Hip Hop class so that you are home by 8:30pm. This means you are only on the hook for two hours of babysitting time. You get to your class and you find out there’s a sub. Strike one. You stick around because the babysitter is already hired after all.  However, the sub is ill prepared and starts the class 10 minutes late. Strike two. The class begins and instead of the sub teaching what you are used to (Hip Hop) they decide to give a lesson in belly dancing. Strike three.

frustrated after a bad fitness classBy this point you are frustrated, so you decide after the class that you will complain to the studio owner. You not only feel that your time was wasted, but you’ve wasted your money. You are now late to get home and you owe the babysitter an extra hour of pay.  What a mess!  This scenario, which I’ve heard one too many times, may have zero to do with the sub himself, but everything to do with what you were counting on and being let down.

Finding the Comfort Zone

For some students, it took a lot of guts to get themselves to a fitness class.  But after finding the bravery to do so, many students start to find their comfort zone. They know what to expect from the fitness instructor, they know what to expect from the workout, they know where they like to stand in class, and they no longer feel that nervous feeling.  It’s kinda like a relationship…where you can finally let out a burp without feeling like your partner will jump ship.  Now that’s comfort zone.  And being comfortable with someone definitely leads to longevity.

comfortable with my fitness instructor

Attention Fosters Loyalty

Whatever the reasoning is, being a dedicated and loyal student says a lot about the fitness instructor. Frankly, it’s the loyal students that often help the instructor gain popularity. The instructor is obviously doing a great job if he or she has fostered this connection with you. Perhaps you like how clear your instructor announces the next yoga pose, or they‘re just easy to follow.  Or maybe it has nothing to do with the workout, but rather the attention you receive from your instructor. The acknowledgment you get when you complete a full set of pushups.

Fitness Instructor motivating student

The thumbs up or name recognition you encounter when you walk into class. I would gather that many people lean towards the latter. It makes sense. Most people thrive on being noticed in all parts of life. Why should it be any different in this case? It’s difficult to stay devoted to a workout regimen so if you’ve found a fitness instructor to make that commitment to working out more achievable, that’s gold!

Getting a good workout

Are you loyal to a fitness instructor? If so, what motivates you to regularly attend class from that fitness instructor? What prevents you from taking class from other fitness instructors?

 

3 Steps To Create a Killer Workout Playlist 

3 Steps To Create a Killer Workout Playlist 


I started teaching dance in 2011. Since then, with the help of our master trainers, we have choreographed dance routines to over 250 songs!  I’d love to take credit for all of them…LOL. As you can imagine, that is a lot of routines to try to remember. While 80 percent of the routines have been filmed, the remaining 20 percent still rest somewhere in my brain in fragments. When I teach, students are always requesting songs, but every now and then the routine doesn’t always make it to the top of my memory. If you are a dance fitness instructor, you may relate! Or maybe you’ve been the student requesting a song from the teacher. Either way, there is a lot to remember when teaching dance fitness. Here are some tips for staying organized and having a stellar playlist.

How to Stay Organized

Keep a running playlist on your phone. If you’re old school, buy a writing tablet, but honestly at this point you should have a smartphone!  There are many different apps that you can use to purchase songs and store them. Click HERE to see a list of free music apps! I personally like to use Spotify or iTunes. They both allow you to share your playlist, which is a perfect way to stay connected with your students. You should have at least three playlists at all times. At the beginning of each year, I will create a playlist call PlyoJam 2019 Master. By the end of the year this list may sometimes have over 50 songs. Then I create a second list call PlyoJam 2019 Old, again by the end of the year this will have over 50 songs on the playlist. Thankfully, with the apps I recommended, it’s very easy to move songs from one playlist to another. I then create a third playlist called PlyoJam 2019 Current. This is the playlist I review before each class to determine what I will be playing in class. The three playlists evolve throughout the year. If I have a special event or a demo to teach, that will always get its own playlist and labeled accordingly.

How Often Should a Song Be Played

How often you play a song in your class is important to consider. The more you perform the routine the more it will become ingrained in your head. The moves and transitions will become muscle memory. Another thing to consider is how much is too much? You do not want to over play a song in your class. You will become that teacher who appears lazy and lacking creativity. If you are a student reading this, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Big no no!

 

Teaching Schedule

Depending on how many dance fitness classes you teach on a weekly basis, a song should only be on your current playlist for four to six weeks. That is plenty of time for the students to master the routines. Any longer, and your students will get bored and tired of hearing the songs. After four to six weeks, that song should be moved to your old playlist. Be sure to keep your old playlist in the order you add the songs. That will make it easy to reference them later. Now here is the trick! Let’s use Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” as an example. You debuted the song in your class on January 1. You moved it off your current playlist and onto your old playlist mid-February. You put the song back onto your current playlist in 8 weeks, mid-April. At this point “7 Rings” can be sporadically played through the year, maybe once or twice a month. By this point, your students are no longer sick of the “7 Rings” and feel like badasses because they remembers the routine.  By keeping your old playlist in order, you will have a better gage as to the time of year the song was put on the playlist. If you want to be even more precise, you can create an OLD playlist for each month.

Take video!

Taking video will depend on how you get your choreography. If you are a PlyoJam teacher, the videos are provided and archived in the teacher’s dashboard. If you are someone who isn’t part of a brand, then taking video is highly recommended. Have a friend or a colleague film you on their smart phone.  Set up an account on Vimeo. The basic package is free. This site will not block or mute your videos. Vimeo allows you categorize and search for your video. They also have an app that you can download. I recommend getting this on your phone. You will want to be able to access the video easily when you’re building your current playlist. I often find myself in my car watching video to refresh my memory of the routine that I have completely forgotten.

Here’s is an example of what our Master PlyoJam Playlist looks like on Spotify!

Click HERE to listen!

I hope these tricks help!

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!