Dance Fitness can change your life
Dance fitness can change your life in 60 minutes. All of a sudden your mind is transported to a nightclub in your 20’s, or the stage in some HOT Bob Fosse dance number and BOOM, you have just burned 500+ calories and you didn’t even have one Lemon Drop shot. What. Just. Happened? You don’t have to be a certain size or wear a certain brand of clothes. This community of people just love to move and loud music with attitude. You just have to come to class to move. No judgement of other dancers, as long as your don’t stand in someone’s place of course (dancer inside joke) and you do not have to look like a pro when you dance.
Andi Loo built a dance fitness community
The dance community is tight and small and everyone knows everyone in town. That’s just how things go. Meeting Andi was memorable to me as she has a great style, fly music, a welcoming vibe and fun choreography. We taught together at Life Time Fitness South Austin for some time and connected. Andi has since moved on to another studio and built a remarkable base of women who take dance fitness with her weekly. She’s real. Andi works really hard and produces a great product. She is reliable and kind. If you are in Austin, make sure you spend some time with Andi at Balance Dance Studios as she teaches Body Beats. Here is some insight on what makes her business work really well.
W.S. You teach dance and inspire dance fitness and healthy living. Tell us about your passion?
I once read that it’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together. This is what has happened for me. I often tell people that it literally fell in my lap as it was never something I had planned to do. Taking adult cardio dance fitness classes was an addiction for me long before it became a fitness craze. However, what started out as a fun pastime turned into an amazing opportunity to create, nurture and inspire. I truly enjoy what I do and love that the outcome is fitness and healthy living. The most satisfying result for me is when a student expresses how dance class has changed their life, or when they finally get a routine and I see the cheers, love and happiness, and even when a student comes back for a second class, because I know something clicked and motivated them to return. This is what keeps me driven and inspired to refresh and continuously challenge my class.
W.S. How did you get started in the fitness industry?
Getting started in the fitness industry was purely coincidental in that it was never my plan. I was addicted to an amazing dance class in Los Angeles for years prior to moving to Austin. After having two beautiful children, and a big move to Texas, I found myself missing the dance scene. It wasn’t until having my third child that I found a dance class I truly loved again only to find out that my favorite instructor was off to get married. It was then that I decided to get certified as an instructor, and start teaching. Balance Dance Studios has been nothing less than supportive in my journey: they have not only been an extraordinary studio to teach offering a perfect schedule for a busy mom schedule, but also a wonderful place to fuel inspiration!
W.S. What were some of the difficulties in the dance fitness modality? I have heard that the dance fitness community can be finicky. What are some challenges?
The biggest challenge I have found with teaching a dance format class is not becoming complacent. When you teach multiple classes a week, I find that it’s best to keep things fresh and new. I am constantly trying to learn and adapt new styles and choreography not only for my students, but for myself. Every one of my classes is a new playlist and many times the pre-planned playlist is changed at the spur of the moment based on how the class is responding. It’s so important to be in tune with your audience which is also a challenge while trying to be a good host, remember steps, queue and read the crowd at the same time!
W.S. Your following as an instructor has grown significantly. What do you attribute your growth to?
I attribute the growth of my class to the community it encompasses. We are a dance family and support each other in multiple capacities – as friends, moms, dance enthusiasts, entrepreneurs or simply out of joy. When new students join class, I often hear “well, that was really intimidating but everyone is so welcoming!” I believe that my “tribe” coupled with fun, yet challenging choreography, are the two most important traits that keep people coming back.
W.S. What keeps your girls together besides your choreography? What the secret?
I can honestly say that we are all friends. My “tribe” gets to class early – they hang out together, they talk about their lives with each other and many times they hang out outside the studio. Getting to dance is like icing on a cake. It has been proven that dance boosts more than exercise alone as it activates the brain’s pleasure circuits. When the endorphins kick in, we laugh together, we sweat together, and as a result, we leave happy!
W.S. What has been the most emotionally challenging part of your vision and movement?
Heartache of disappointment has been the most challenging part. Sometimes a routine you worked on for months doesn’t get the fanfare you thought it would or a song that you love isn’t loved by all. There are times when new students don’t give the class a chance and walk out. Although few and far between, I am always aware when that happens and wonder what I could have done to change that outcome. Moreover, there is an incessant need to always want to do more – whether it is taking more classes, teaching more classes or generally more time for my kids, there never seems to be enough time or energy to fit it all in the schedule, and of course being a mommy is always priority!
W.S. You are a wife, mom and friend. How do you find balance in your busy life?
My family is my life – first and foremost. They are my support and my sustenance, and if you know me personally, you know that they are ACTIVE! I would have to say that above all, I am thankful to my amazing husband who is a super supportive partner and amazing father! Without him, I would not be able to accommodate the kids’ schedules alone. I am also thankful for Balance Dance Studios in that they are so supportive of this wonderfully busy life, allowing me to schedule classes according to what is good for me as well as my students. As far as how I balance my busy life? I’m a messy bun, active wear, flip flop wearing mama who often forgets things if it weren’t for my pen-to-paper planner, who cries at sitcoms, drinks too much coffee and loves her kids so much that she can’t wait for after school kisses. I’d call that a happy balance!!
W.S. If you were offering advice to a woman starting a community of women or people in general, what would you tell her?
Do what you love, love what you do and above all, be genuine. If you are passionate about something, the attraction will follow.