Chelsea Blackbird, Certified Nutritional Therapist
We are so inspired by our awesome client Amanda & she has continued to lose weight since we originally posted her story. In fact, she's lost 40 lbs. and 29.5 inches total in a year!!
She says: "I feel so much better after I take a DS class, and that's what has kept me motivated. I feel so much more energized, even after a long workday. I've realized that I am so much less stressed than I used to be, and I do think it's because I've been able to incorporate the classes into my everyday life. I'm in the best shape of my LIFE! I have never in my life been this fit. I feel fantastic!" Way to go Amanda!more
Halloween is almost here, so to distract you from the seemingly endless supply of bite-sized candy hanging around the home and office, there’s no better time to highlight a few great things about some in-season fall foods.
Here are a few fall vegetables you’ll find on the menu at Snap Kitchen and available at your local farmers market (where you will also likely NOT find peanut butter cups).more
It's hard to believe it's already been four amazing years for Dancers Shape! Our anniversary is always a great time to thank our clients with a big anniversary party & sale on October 25th! Plus this year we're doing some amazing social media giveaways too. Thank you all for being so supportive and wonderful to work with - here's to many more years!more
Meredith Ellis, Interior Designer
Now that September is here we are all feeling the itch for "FALL" which means sweater weather, autumn soups, and snuggling up next to a hot fire and drinking tea. However, here in Central Texas we are still battling the higher temperatures, so maybe it's a bit early for boots and jeans, but that doesn't mean your home can't start feeling festive.
Here are some tips for bringing fall indoors:more
Chelsea Blackbird, Certified Nutritional Therapist
Food and football are two of my favorite things about fall. It’s a great time for getting together with friends to celebrate. But don’t let the tailgating festivities be hard on your tailside! There are many ways to graze on fun party foods and stay healthy at the same time. Make these great options for your next football party:more
Jennifer McCamish & Carissa Topham
Going to college should be an experience that you remember for the rest of your life. It is an important rite of passage in which you transition from living at home with your parents to being a self-sufficient adult. However, we know these adult decisions are hard to make when you are dealing with the all-you-can-eat buffet in the dining hall, the stress of meeting new friends and teachers, and oh yes, those dreaded FINALS! It is no wonder the pounds can creep on leaving you feeling bloated, sluggish, and unattractive during this important stage of life. You want to look back on your college pictures and remember the fun, life-experiences you had building new relationships and self-discoveries…not cringing at your freshman 15 lbs. Here are some healthy habits you can incorporate into your daily routine to help keep your mind and body feeling your best - inside and out.more
Chelsea Blackbird, Certified Nutritional Therapist
It’s back-to-school time! As parents, we want to do everything we can to help our children succeed. There’s so much you can do to prime those little brains for optimal learning! Check out my Top 5 Back-To-School Tips to get your kids ready for a great school year:more
Sitting at a desk job can zap energy quickly. Here are a few quick tips for 10 - 15 breaks that can help wake you up and keep your brain power going. Try one or two options from each category below to energize your body and mind during that mid-day slump. Add a big glass of water to the routine to give yourself an extra dose of stimulation.more
All good things must come to an end... So this is my last entry to my Vacation Diary series in Ecuador. (Read Part 1 and Part 2) I hope you have had fun reading the stories and perhaps picked up a few healthy tips along the way. Parting with your vacation habits and getting back to reality is the hardest part of coming home. Here are my tips:more
Just like the movie, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” my recent trip to Ecuador definitely had multiple forms of transportation. We took planes to boats to buses to taxis and back to planes again to arrive at our destinations. Every location was worth the hassle, but with so many forms of transportation you can guarantee something will go wrong at some point, leaving you stranded without food or water, and needing to relax tight and achy muscles. Here are my plan ahead tips:more
Summer vacations might be one of my favorite things in life; exploring a new part of the world, escaping from the hectic day to day grind, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life with fun activities. However, as much as I love to travel and temporarily abandon the norm, I still need to keep some of my healthy and active habits intact to keep myself sane. I just got back from a fabulous vacation in Ecuador and wanted to share a few fun antidotes I incorporated on this vacation to lessen the sting when returning back to my “health reality.”more
Over 40 million Americans are using some kind of online dating service. I bet you know at least one success story of a cyber-romance that ended in love and marriage. But, I’m sure you’ve also heard at least a dozen online dating horror stories. So, what’s a girl to do? Whether you are contemplating online dating or have been using it for awhile, I hope you find these tips helpful.more
After moving home to Texas in 2009, Dancers Shape owner Jennifer McCamish experienced a career shock. She’d lived in New York City for 13 years and had successful careers as a Rockette and a makeup artist but was anxious to take the next step in her life. Moving to Austin to open her business meant leaving behind an extended creative family that was made up of dancers, dressers, stage managers, make-up artists, and stage hands. When she took a leap of faith and opened the doors to Dancers Shape in late October 2010, she had no idea of the familial bond she’d form with instructors, clients, and staff.
“I can honestly say this is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I have such a connection to my business because the clients and the instructors and staff are like family,” she says. “I wanted to create a friendly environment where the instructors and I could get to know our clients, and I think I’ve achieved that.”more
Summer is here and its one of my favorite times of the year to spend in Austin. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite summertime activities is to be out on Lake Austin and BBQ with friends and family. There’s also nothing better than sipping on a refreshing cocktail after a day on the water and watching a beautiful sunset. I just recently took my annual "girl's trip" to a friend's lake house and did just that with a tasty Greyhound in hand. (see recipe below)more
It’s summer: What better time to look & feel your best? To help encourage you we’re doing a Summer Shape Up Challenge. This two month challenge starts July 1st and goes through August 31. Remember some of the amazing results clients had during our last challenge? Plus we have some great prizes to motivate you!
HOW TO ENTER:
Sign up by emailing us, calling us (512) 382-9150, telling us at the front desk by July 7th.
Take a total of 32 classes during July & August.
Receive a free guest pass when you complete 16 classes (half way...
The summer heat is in full force so here are a few safety tips for your outdoor exercises to keep yourself safe and comfortable during your summer activities.
Wear Sunscreen – Even on those beautiful not so scorching days don’t forget the sunscreen. Skin can suffer damage in as little as 15 – 30 minutes. Apply sunblock 30 minutes before exercising to give it time to soak into the skin for full protection. Use a waterproof version so you don’t get any sting in the eyes as you start to sweat and reapply after heavy sweating. I would also recommend wearing a hat for extra face protection. The sun is one of the biggest culprits for wrinkles.
Stay hydrated – In the hot months extra intake of fluids is critical to having a safe and effective workout. You will most likely need more water than the old rule of 8 – 8 oz. of water a day. Drink water before and after your workout and check with your doctor on the appropriate amount of water needed during your exercise regimen.
Wear Shades –...more
We are so excited to welcome our newest instructor to the DS Family, Kelley Smith! Please help us in welcoming her! Here are a few fun facts about her:
Kelley began dancing at an early age in Odessa, Texas where she grew up studying jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, hip hop and musical theater. As a member of the Dance Elite performing group, she had the opportunity to travel and compete at several conventions including Los Angeles Dance Force, Co. Dance and Dance Magic. Her training was also enriched during the summers by attending classes at The Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles and studying under their top instructors. Kelley served as captain of the Odessa High School Showgirls drill team and had the opportunity to perform in the 2001...more
We are always impressed with our clients who are recovering from injury. In Caris’s case, she has dealt with back pain for almost half her life before Dancers Shape. We are thrilled to share her story of recovery! If you’re wondering if these workouts can help you, contact us & we’ll be happy to talk with you about working through your injuries.
What Caris had to say:
“As a pre-teen, I developed adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. This condition tends to progress as you grow through your teenage years. By the time I was 13, my case became severe enough to justify spinal fusion surgery to prevent my spine from becoming more crooked as I grew. The doctor did a great job of correcting the curves in my spine, but I was left with 13 of my vertebrae fused together and titanium rods holding them in place. This means I have very little spinal flexibility for bending and twisting. I am also at...more
Spring is here and the golf season is upon us. Most of you know that Jennifer trains a variety of professional athletes at the studio (NFL players, Tri-Athletes, Olympic runner, competitive college swimmers) but did you know she also trains a professional golfer? Today she is sharing the benefits of Pilates along with a few exercises to help prepare you for your golf game. Book a private today to improve your golf game!
The golf swing requires power, agility and control. The golfer creates this powerful controlled swing with maximum upper body rotation against minimum lower body rotation. Golf pros refer to this coiled effect as the “X Factor”. A golf-specific Pilates program can help improve a golfer’s “X Factor” by strengthening the core and developing links to the periphery.more
We want to give a big shout out to all the mom’s out there! For Mother’s Day this year we’re doing something special for you. All weekend (5/09-5/11) bring your mom or your daughter to class for FREE! What a fun way to bond! Show your daughter how strong you are or take your mom to her first Graceful class! Sign up now.more
Dancers Shape encourages health in all aspects of life, including mental health! Our friend Amanda McPherson is a DS client and is passionate about helping women through her counseling services and her blog. She will be writing for us in the coming months about struggles that all women can relate to and how we can cope with common issues (like self esteem, dating, confidence and more!) Get to know Amanda here and be on the lookout for her upcoming posts!more
Dancers Shape was featured in the Austin American Statesman last week with an article & video from reporter Pam LeBlanc. Jennifer has been training several NFL players during their off season using the new Pilates chairs, barre & mat Pilates techniques. This class helps the athletes strengthen their core & deep stabilizers surrounding the spine and joints to help prevent injury during their season. Brian Orakpo said “..it was one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done.”more
For Chelsea Blackbird, a certified nutritional therapist, diet is a dirty word.
“It implies a short-term goal with a sacrificial mindset. Health is an everyday, long-term goal full of delicious opportunities, and when we focus on health instead of fitting into our skinny jeans, our skinny jeans usually start fitting better by default,” she says.
However, Blackbird typically has to do some “dietary myth-busting” with clients to get them on the right health track. Here, she tackles the top-five nutrition myths that lead to common problematic mindsets.more
When the clients starting pointing out how toned up Dancers Shape instructor Emily B. was looking, we decided it was time to sit and chat about how she slimmed down this past year since she’s been an instructor at Dancers Shape.
Dancers Shape: As an instructor, can you share a little bit about how you’re working your own body during a class you’re teaching so we can get a realisticidea?
Emily B.: I currently teach class about 10-11 times a week, but it’s not the same as if I were taking 10-11 classes a week. When teaching the class, instructors have to take time out to do demonstrations and then watch to make corrections so that clients are properly (and safely) doing the movements. Talking on top of demonstrating actually amps up my work load – especially in the abdominals and weight sections.more
Oh, how I love sunscreen! Let me count the ways. I could go on all day, but here are just a couple:
Want proof? According to results of a study published last year in theAnnals of Internal Medicine, research participants who used sunscreen every day showed 24 percent less skin aging compared to individuals who applied lotion at their own discretion. And numerous scientific studies have demonstrated sunscreen’s effectiveness in preventing melanoma and other skin cancers.more
I will warn you in advance, this story is not super warm and fuzzy. That’s just not how I roll. But it is real and if nothing else, I hope it helps other mothers in some way—even if it is just by giving them a laugh in between changing poopy diapers.more
We recently launched our March Madness Chair Plus special (5 Class Card: Limited Time 20% off AND your first class is FREE)! We have had great response with the Chair Plus class and we wanted to share what our clients are saying about it! Scroll down to see how to sign up.
“Chair Plus is a lot of fun and breaks up challenging chair and balance sequences with more stabilized moves. I also loved the cardio mixed into it as well.”
“This class is just what I needed to get back in my workouts. I loved it!”more
Have you been wondering about the Chair classes at the studio? Now is the time to try your first class out…for FREE! Chair Plus starts this Saturday so call (512-382-9150) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) us to reserve your free class today. Chair Plus is scheduled Saturdays 1:15 pm, Sundays 10:30 am, Mondays 5:45 pm.
Chair Plus – 5 Class Card: Limited Time 20% OFF
During March, take advantage of this special offer of 20% off a Chair Plus – 5 Class Card! When purchasing, use PROMO CODE: ChairPlus1. It may be used online or in the studio. *Limit one per client. Purchase in the Online Store now.more
The cliché you are what you eat hits especially close to home when it’s time to exercise. Failure to eat an appropriate, healthy snack before and after a workout can be disastrous. For me, if I don’t eat a snack with complex carbohydrates and protein before I hit the gym, I feel faint and shaky midway though exercise. To help others avoid such a fate, Snap Kitchen’s Registered Dietitian Andrea Hinsdale helps take the guesswork out of healthy snacking with her top five pre-workout and post-workout snacks.
Hinsdale says that in general, energy-filled snacks featuring carbohydrates like whole grains and fruit combined with protein are your best bet before and after a workout.more
Many changes have been happening at the Dancers Shape studio (have you noticed the Pilates equipment?)! Dancers Shape is now offering Chair and Reformer Privates and group classes with a twist.
To celebrate the occasion, we are giving away a Private Chair or Reformer class for two! It’s our Valentine Giveaway, and it’s super easy to get yourself entered. Oh, and if you’re wondering, the loved one in your picture doesn’t have to come with you to the class if you win. Post away, ‘like’ other contestant’s photos, and enjoy time with your sweetie this weekend!more
Basic Chair Workshops are starting this weekend (Feb. 15, 2014)! Get ramped up now, as you must take this workshop to master the basics OR register for the Introductory Chair Special (Found in the Online Store under Contracts and Packages) *For a limited time only you may register for the Basic Chair Workshop with your current class card, monthly unlimited or auto-debit.
Pilates is a series of non-impact exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and body awareness at any age – from the professional athlete to seniors. When applied correctly, these principles lay the groundwork for conditioning the body and the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries.
Dancers Shape’s specialty is studying bodies in motion. Our focus is the detection and correction of poor movement patterns that create musculoskeletal pain and injury. Once assessed, we dig in to strengthen and retrain movement to synchronize and initiate from the core. The results are improved biomechanics, posture, flexibility, balance, coordination, muscle tone and pain free movement. We like to...more
Congrats to everyone who finished the New Years Challenge! If you’re anything like me you are feeling great. I did the Holiday Challenge AND the New Years Challenge and I’m so excited to share my final results with you!
I’ve lost 15 lbs total (5 shy of my goal of 20 which I’m still working towards)!
The last 5 pounds are notorious for being the hardest to lose but I am not giving up! Hopefully in the next month or two I will be at my goal weight. Even more exciting than my weight loss is my measurements. This month I lost 1.5 inches from my waist, 1.5 inches from my hips, 1.25 inches from my thighs and ¼ inch from my arms. That makes my total loss (from Dec. & Jan.) 3.5 inches from my waist, 2 ¾ from my hips, 2 inches from my thighs, and 1 inch from my arms. I am blown away by these results! My waist hasn’t been this small since college and I have Dancers Shape to thank for whittling it!more
We kicked off 2014 with our 2nd annual New Year’s Fitness Challenge at Dancers Shape with inspired ladies (and ‘gents), ready to take on the new year. It’s been so much fun playing a role in helping each one of you conquer this challenge. We wanted to share a few comments to inspire you to help keep your challenge going strong.
We know; it wasn’t a walk in the park. Hopefully our giveaways throughout the month on social media and our big fat grand prize giveaway, which included one month of unlimited classes from Dancers Shape, a $150 beauty gift from Salon Colour Bar, a Searsucker gift certificate, plus other goodies from Dancers Shape, helped you stay on track!
We are excited to announce that Taylor Nyberg is our randomly selected grand prize winner!more
At Dancers Shape we are always looking to spice things up so we keep things fresh and exciting for our clients. If you haven’t heard, we have made some enhancements to our Advanced class and hope you hop in the studio to try it out.
We’re hearing people say, “My whole body feels like Jello,” and “We didn’t miss one muscle.“Clients are feeling fabulous and enjoying the sculpting effects the bands have on their...more
There’s just one more week left in the New Year’s challenge! How is everyone feeling? I’m feeling pretty good. I lost 1 pound this week, making my total lost – 14 lbs. so far!
I took Shape, Advanced and Yoga this week and I have 2 classes left to meet my goal of 16 in January! Now that it’s part of my routine I will probably keep going to at least 3 per week though since I certainly like the results and how my body looks and feels.
I’ve been doing a good amount of running on days when I’m not doing Dancers Shape and I’m excited to say that I think the Dancers Shape classes really help my running! My average mile time has gone down a full minute and the strength training from barre classes really helps to prevent injuries- no achy knees! This week I finally registered for a...more
Winter sports enthusiasts can’t wait for the cold months to sink in so they can hit the slopes, while others are inspired to suite up after watching the winter Olympics. Either way, it is important to prep vulnerable joints like your knees before picking back up where you left off last year or giving it a go for your first time.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, MCL and ACLtears and strains are the most common amongst skiing knee injuries and “attention to preseason conditioning with an emphasis on sport specific exercises will help delay muscle fatigue which often contributes to an injury.”
Barre and Pilates based exercises are an excellent way to help condition your lower extremities pre-season because the exercises naturally create a balanced body, strong core and improved balance. The barre technique also utilizes the concept of muscle overload (working past your fatigue zone), which builds strength quicker and helps to ward off...more
It’s hard to believe that this challenge is almost over (just 2 more weeks to go). I lost 1 lb. this week which is OK. I keep hearing that the last pounds are the hardest to lose so I just have to keep up my hard work and hopefully they will come off with time.
This week I met my goal of doing 5 classes! I took 2 Shape classes, 2 Power classes and Advanced. I am starting to notice that I feel stronger in class and I can stay in the positions (like chair) much longer that I used to be able to. It’s nice to feel strong!
The belt is too loose for my waist!
My boyfriend Chris & I went to a work dinner on Friday night and I was planning on wearing a dress that I bought in the fall for a wedding we attended. But when I put it on it was too big! I was really surprised and happy (even though I like that dress!). So then I...more
Have you been in our back studio recently? You may have noticed the beautiful machines in the room. We are currently taking privates, duets, and trio classes now, so email us at email@example.com or give us a call to learn more! Staying true to Dancers Shape innovative style: reformer and chair classes coming soon.
The NFL guys are back and are giving them a test run. Two thumbs up from this morning!more
It’s a New Year and time for a new you. The highly popular semi-annual two-day shopping event, Le Garage Sale returns to Austin January 23-25, offering access to a whole new wardrobe without breaking the bank.
New this year, Le Garage sale will host a brand new VIP pre-shop event on Thursday evening, giving eager buyers a chance purchase the goods before the weekend crowds. With deep discounts from some of your favorite local retailers carrying everything from women’s and men’s apparel & accessories to children’s wear and home goods, the selection can be overwhelming for first-timers. Not to worry, Le Garage Sale producer Suellen Young has quite a bit of experience navigating the popular semi-annual sale.more
Judy Foster discovered Dancers Shape last spring and took her very first Graceful class with NFL players Brian Orakpo and Frank Okam. “I was startled to see very large and well-muscled men standing at the barre. Being in my eighth decade and standing five feet tall, I considered heading for the exit but instead hung around. Despite all that brawn, some of the moves seemed a bit hard for them,” she says.
After that first memorable class, Foster realized she needed a class that moved at a slower pace and featured more modifications. “I liked the teachers and classes but found the sessions very difficult. Being a bit competitive, I sometimes overdid it and ended up with new aches and pains,” she says. Dancers Shape owner Jennifer McCamish created the Restorative class for clients like Foster who are approaching an age bracket where they want to exercise but find it challenging due to common aging issues such as osteoporosis, arthritis and hip and knee replacements.more
Hello Dancers Shape Challengers! How is everyone feeling now that we’re 2 weeks in to the New Year’s challenge? I’m feeling pretty good lately. I’m down 12 lbs and I’m nicely fitting into all my clothes again which makes me feel great. I feel more confident in how I look and that’s always nice. I’ve been blogging each week about my experience in the Dancers Shape barre challenges.
I’m also feeling more comfortable with my healthy routines. These good choices are becoming habits and I feel annoyed when I have to miss a workout. If I can’t make it to a Dancers Shape class I try to go for a jog or at least take Rufus for a long walk. I’m used to cooking healthy meals and buying fresh fruits/veggies to stock my fridge.more
Another week down and the New Year’s challenge has finally begun! I’m sharing my experience every week on the Dancers Shape blog to bring some inspiration to others, and keep myself focused. This officially marks my halfway point, and I have some exciting results to share!
Since beginning the Holiday Challenge on December 1st, I have lost 10 lbs! If that’s not great enough, Jennifer took my measurements today and I’ve lost 2 inches off my waist, 1.25 inches from my hips, ¾ of an inch off my thighs, and ¾ of an inch from my arms. I am so thrilled with these results and I feel so encouraged to keep going! I am especially happy to see the inches come off my hips since that is where I carry a lot of my weight. I think the Dancers Shape classes really help to target those areas a lot of women would like to reduce (like waistline, bum, & triceps). I really recommend taking your measurements and revisiting them monthly if you are...more
Hello again! I took part in the Holiday Challenge at Dancers Shape (12 classes in December) and then I’m also kicking off the New Year’s Challenge (with huge prizes). I’m sharing my experience every week on the Dancers Shape blog to share inspiration, and stay focused. Hopefully it’ll help you in knowing you’re not the only one facing the barre fitness challenge!
WEEK 4: I hope everyone had a nice Christmas! Mine was good but I have to tell you that this week was one of the most stressful ones I’ve had in a long time. The holidays can be maddening on their own (but also fun). I enjoyed Christmas eve and Christmas with my family. We had lots of yummy food and I didn’t go overboard. I also fit in some exercise every day which helped me feel good. I think it an accomplishment not to gain any weight with the holiday and that’s exactly what I did! I didn’t lose any either but I didn’t...more
Known as one of Austin’s top shopping destinations for over 34 years, By George has long supplied local fashion lovers and visitors with a well-edited selection of designer and contemporary collections. Ranging from an array of designer styles at the Flagship location on 6th & Lamar to more contemporary collections at the sister SoCo store, stylists at both locations provide tips for holiday dressing whether you’re trying to impress at the holiday office party or going out for New Year’s Eve, they have you covered.
By George’s Flagship manager Rene Pettyjohn and SoCo manager Bethany Morgio suggest a few ways to reinvent some classic looks and create new ones just in time for those lingering holiday get-togethers and New Year’s parties.
Recycling Your Little Black Dress
Having a great LBD (little black dress) is a staple for any wardrobe, especially around the holidays, acting similar to a blank canvas. Adding a patterned jacket along with...more
We know resolutions are not always easy to keep – Okay, are they ever easy to keep if they are good ones? Because many of you are taking our New Year’s Challenge this month, we decided to share a few tips from over the years, which have helped us tremendously to stay focused on our health goals and New Year’s resolutions.
1) Don’t stress when you slip up – We are human and we are going to make mistakes so if you fall off track, forgive yourself and don’t beat yourself up over it. Self induced guilt will only make you feel further from your goal and can keep you off track. Get over it and give yourself a chance to do better the next day.
2) Lock it up during the week and allow yourself a managed treat day - Not a destructive binge. Be diligent throughout the week with healthy choices and portions but give yourself a day of something you really enjoy in moderation – wine, chocolate, favorite dish. Completely depriving yourself of lifes pleasures can make it hard to stick to your ultimate goal.
3) Move every day....more
Guest blog post by Crystal Zuzek
Top knot for long hair and festive embellishments for short hair:
Whether you have long locks that rival Rapunzel’s or an adorable pixie cut a la Michelle Williams, Jay Morris of Salon Hushhas some fun and merry style options for you this holiday season. Perfect for a New Year’s Eve party! Dancers Shape owner Jennifer McCamish recently sat down to have Morris create a chic top knot with her long tresses. The top knot (or bun for the old school among us) looks complicated, but Morris explains it’s actually quite simple to execute thanks to modern hair tools.
Here’s what you’ll need for an effortless top knot:
A hair donut,
Unite whipped cream or your favorite styling cream, and
A firm-hold hairspray
It’s hard to believe this Holiday Challenge is over halfway finished! I’m really looking forward to the New Years Challenge now! Have you seen the prizes? It will be great when more people are in the healthy mindset along with me. This week I’m down 8.5 lbs. I am still really excited to lose 10, but I seem to be losing weight a bit slower now (which I think is normal). If the scale hasn’t changed from the day before, I just remind myself to keep my good habits and that it will happen in time.
This week I attended a Shape class and 2 Advanced classes. On Friday I was able to preview the revamped Advanced class that Jennifer will be starting in January. It’s very similar to the class now with some new moves, and it also includes resistance...more
Drumrolll, please! Brought back by popular demand, we are so thrilled to announce that our big New Year’s Challenge at Dancers Shape is just around the bend! We have a gift for anyone who completes the challenge, and one incredible grand prize for a lucky winner. Plus, keep your eyes out on Facebook and Twitter for weekly inspirations and giveaways.
HOW TO ENTER:
I’m taking part in the Holiday Challenge at Dancers Shape (12 classes in December) and then I’m also going to do the New Year’s Challenge in January. I’m sharing my experience every week on the Dancers Shape blog to share inspiration, and stay focused. Hopefully it’ll help you in knowing you’re not the only one facing the barre fitness challenge!
I’ve made it another week and I’m still feeling great. This week I’m down 7 lbs!I’m trying to think of a good reward for myself once I hit 10 lbs. Maybe a cute new Splits59 top? Comment if you have a good idea!more
Guest blog post by Crystal Zuzek
Do you want to look red carpet-ready for upcoming holiday festivities but don’t know where to start? Never fear! Makeup artist McKenzy Windham is here to guide us on recreating the hottest look this season: a red lips-cat eye combo that’s guaranteed to make you stand out from the crowd.
Windham knows her stuff; she works at Kiss N’ Makeup just down the road from Dancers Shape and frequently helps women look their best for special events. For red lips-cat eye inspiration, Windham looks no further than Taylor Swift, who expertly pulls off this look. Windham advises women who are emulating a celebrity’s makeup to be sure to adapt the look to suit their age and complement their skin tone. “The key to successfully replicating this look is playing up one feature. In this case, it’s the red lips. You also want to be sure to keep the overall effect light, bright,...more
The Dancers Shape family is so excited to announce a new instructor to the team at the studio. Each instructor at Dancers Shape has a unique story, and we’re thrilled to introduce Katie to you! Don’t be shy welcoming her in your next class. A few quick fun facts:
Katie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Webster University in St. Louis. While in school, she danced with Webster Dance Ensemble and the local professional company, Webster Dance Theatre. Following graduation, Katie choreographed, danced, and taught in the Midwest, Los Angeles, and Central Texas and judged for Jamfest Dance Competition in Long Beach,...more
Last week I shared how I’m taking part in the Holiday Challenge at Dancers Shape (12 classes in December) and then I’m also going to do the New Year’s Challenge in January. I’m sharing my experience every week on the Dancers Shape blog, so hopefully you can get inspiration, learn what’s working and not working for me, or simply know you’re not facing the barre fitness challenge on your own!
So far I’m feeling really good on the holiday challenge and have already lost 4 pounds!
Getting ready for the holiday party!
Starting out I was worried that I would be hungry all the time or tired and I’m happy to say that I don’t feel like that at all. The biggest change I’ve noticed so far is that my skin is so much more hydrated from drinking LOTS of water. I usually have really dry skin but it’s been soft & glowing so that encourages me to keep drinking up. This week I went to...more
Making a lasting impression and turning heads this holiday season is easy, thanks to some direction from Jay Morris of Salon Hush. I paid Morris a visit, and she instructed me on executing two hot hairstyles for the holidays: sexy waves and the faux bob. After Morris worked her magic, I felt like I was channeling Veronica Lake, the epitome of Old Hollywood glamour.
Morris chose me to model these styles because they’re ideal for medium-length hair. But you can pull them off if your hair is a little longer or a little shorter than mine.more
My name is Laura and I’ve been coming to Dancers Shape for almost 3 years. I love the studio, instructors and workout so much that I can’t imagine not having it in my routine. Right now I usually come to one or two classes a week but I think it’s about time to step it up. I’m taking part in the Holiday Challenge (12 classes in December) and then I’m also going to do the New Year’s Challenge in January (They will have details soon, so keep your eyes out on Facebook). Dancers Shape has asked me to share my experiences on the blog.more
I attended the 4:15 p.m. yoga class on a Sunday at Dancers Shape, and it was a supremely chill but rejuvenating way to conclude my weekend. I went into the class with extremely tight oblique muscles. Yoga was just what the doctor ordered. My instructor focused on moves that incorporated gentle twists. When I left class, I felt more loose, and much of the pain I’d been experiencing from tight muscles had subsided.more
Holiday Gift Card Special: Now Available
When you buy $100 gift certificate between Nov. 13th and Dec. 25th, 2013, you’ll receive a $25 gift card to use towards merchandise.
Limit one offer per client. $25 gift card expiration date – 6 months from purchase.more
Have you tried the new Power Shape class at Dancers Shape? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on the perfect union of the barre studio’s signature Shape class with Sport class. I had the privilege of participating in the inaugural class, and it definitely exceeded my expectations.
Power Shape started off with a standard warm-up and quickly moved into an intense, high-energy cardio workout that got my heart racing. I made the mistake of forgetting to bring water to the class. Be sure to grab your water bottle because you’ll need to stay hydrated for the calorie blast you’ll endure.more
Dancers Shape classes are the high note of opera singer Tamsen Cohagan’s weekly routine. She spends her days singing and teaching opera while keeping up with her two children, Liam, age 10, and Kai, age 7. The working mom has been a regular at the studio for the past two years. Shape is her signature class, but she also enjoys Advanced, Power, Graceful, Groove, Core, and Yoga.more
Congratulations to Erica Linneman! She was our grand prize winner and will receive 1 month unlimited from Dancers Shape and tote bag ($175 value), Perfect Day Spa Treatment (120 minutes – value $225) from Spa Réveil at the Domain, and 3 Day Cleanse from Skinny Limits ($147 value)!
We can hardly believe we just celebrated our 3 year anniversary! We couldn’t be more grateful for the warm welcome and support our clients have given us here in Austin! Opening Dancers Shape has not been without challenges, but the reward of connecting and helping our community feel their best is so much sweeter. Thank you for your feedback and support and we look forward to serving the Austin area for many years to come! Check out some photos from the event!more
We know you love the excellent toning effects you see from our classic Shape classes, but we wanted to give you a new option that will take your fitness goals to the next level. Our newest addition Power Shape will help you lose weight, change the way your body looks and feels, and give you a full body workout that covers your cardio and strength needs all in one hour. This class will kick-start your metabolism and help you tone up in record time!
Creating new and interesting ways to keep clients active and feeling results in a safe and effective way is one of the most fun aspects of my job. This means we are committed to continually re-vamping old classes, creating new ones, and researching efforts for effective props and movements that can be incorporated to help change things up so that you and your body don’t get bored or plateau.more
Join us Saturday, October 26th to celebrate our anniversary!
We are so thrilled that Dancers Shape will be celebrating our 3 year anniversary this month. To toast this milestone and give thanks to our wonderful clients, we are celebrating with a 1 Day Special Sale on Saturday, October 26th. Not able to visit the studio, but want the big savings? Scroll below!
We were so thrilled to hear the positive feedback from the first week of our newly created Restorative Class. Thank you to those who came to class and got a feel for it! It’s officially on the schedule now, and we hope you join us:
Tuesdays at 10:45 am – 11:45 am
Thursdays at 10:45 am – 11:45 am
Who is Restorative Class Designed For?
This new class is designed for the ages 60+ (but certainly not limited to that). It is forclients looking to stay active and add longevity to their bodies but need additional modifications due to common degenerative joint disease such as arthritis, osteoporosis and knee and hip replacements.more
I’m a big fan of the Athletic Conditioning class at Dancers Shape. The new iteration of Co-ed is a challenging workout that makes even NFL players sweat. No worries, though, because you don’t have to be a professional athlete to endure the exercises and reap the benefits.
I recently attended Athletic Conditioning with my husband, Patrick. I was pleasantly surprised to see that men outnumbered women seven to three in our class. I admit I felt a little intimidated at first, but my trepidation washed away once the routine gained momentum. Athletic Conditioning focuses on balance and core exercises. If you took Co-ed, which my instructor aptly described as “Shape without the shimmy,” then this class won’t seem foreign. Athletic Conditioning features many of the Dancers Shape signature barre moves, but the class ditches the weights in favor of stability ball work for the...more
Do you ever feel overwhelmed with work, family or life and it feels too difficult to focus on your health? Does the statement, “I don’t have time to make dinner”, apply to you? I’m guessing you’re nodding your head right now and thinking, “I have so much to do today!” Sound oh-too-familiar?
When you have a busy schedule it’s even more important to eat well so that you can strengthen your immune system. Last December I worked an average of 70 hours a week while teaching private fitness, instructing classes at Dancers Shape, and dancing 8 shows a week at ZACH Theatre. I knew that between an intense schedule, and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it would be very easy to become sick. Instead, I took a pro-active approach towards my health, and I planned ahead. Many people asked me after that month, “how in the world did you do that and stay healthy”? I thought I’d share my tips in hopes this helps you during your next busy week or month!
5 Tips for Eating Healthy On-The-Go
Meet awe-inspiring Dancers Shapeaddict Carolyn Rector. Despite her rapidly approaching pregnancy due date (Sept. 27!), she manages to get to the studio three times a week and battles her way through Advanced and Shape classes. She hasn’t let her delicate condition hinder her from exercising and credits Dancers Shape with her ability to tie her shoes, paint her toe nails, and shave her legs this far along in her pregnancy.
“I feel like myself when I am at Dancers Shape. So much of myself has changed physically, but it is uplifting to still be able to come to the studio and do a good portion of the exercises I was able to do pre-pregnancy,” she says.more
Country music star and Dancers Shape client Kelly Willis talks about touring while raising a family and staying active on the road. Despite her busy schedule, she finds time to put family and well-being first. She and her husband, Bruce Robison, released a new albumthis year titled “Cheaters Game.” We’ve been loving this song for cool down.more
Last summer, my wife started taking the classes at Dancers Shape and came home raving about how hard and satisfying they were as fitness classes. Having just finished my second consecutive year of doing a full Ironman, my body was in rough shape. My hamstrings and hips were giving me some serious trouble from an old injury.
When I heard that NFL players and University of Texas track stars were training at the Athletic Conditioning class, I thought it might not just be for females. Heck, if it was helping these types of athletes, I wanted in on the action!
It is a tough hour-long workout that will absolutely kick your butt. If you are a triathlete, cyclist, runner, or some other kind of fitness freak, this class is totally for you. It will rival the best workout you’ve gotten from a boot camp or brick workout. It’s a fantastic off-season way to build muscle strength and stability to prevent injury. It was...more
I am always bragging about my Dancers Shape family, and it is time to let one of my first chickies fly. I first interviewed Toussaint in the coffee shop which once stood next door to the studio. My walls were still in the process of being built so I toured her around the framework and dust pointing out where the front studio would be. After chatting about her Pilates and dance background, she told me her grandmother had been a “Roxyette.” With those words I knew I had to hire her. (The Roxyettes were the original Rockettes before they were brought to NYC and re-named the Rockettes).
I began training her in a temporary location and occasionally in my parents TV room. The stress levels were quite high starting a new business, and I knew she was terrified since it was her first teaching job and with a brand new technique. She sailed through her first class...more
When we receive really kind comments and reviews about Dancers Shape, it absolutely makes our day, heck sometimes it makes our month! All that hard work paying off, andreally making a difference in a client’s life means the world to us. It reminds us how proud we are of what we created. So, we just had to share this incredible testimonial with you, and publicly thank Nicole Williams for taking the time and sharing her story with us.
What Nicole had to say:
“I am sure you have had many, many, testimonies over the years with your wonderful studio, but I thought one more could not hurt to hear! I cannot tell you how much your fitness classes, teachers and style has changed my life. To truly understand how much of an impact Shape has had on my life…let me start at the beginning.
I was always a very active person, from soccer year round, running half marathons and training with David King Fitness (they are no joke!!). However, at the same time I battled a very low immune system and...more
The mere thought of running 26 miles makes me want to assume the fetal position and weep. I’m seriously in awe of anyone who aspires to complete a marathon and actually accomplishes it. Putting your body through such an agonizing physical test takes commitment and courage. Enduring that kind of wear and tear can also take a toll on your joints, resulting ininjury. Running mile after countless mile, without any additional form of stability and strength exercise probably isn’t the best idea. One Dancers Shape client learned that lesson more than once, and since she discovered the barre method last summer, her workouts at the studio have made her a better, pain- and injury-free runner.
Bethany Albertson is responsible for teaching 350 students as an assistant professor in the government department at UT. She’s also working on a book about anxiety and politics and keeps up with her active two-year-old son, Will. She has run two marathons and plans to complete the Marine Corps Marathon in...more
When I saw Brian Orakpo, Linebacker for the Washington Redskins, and Frank Okam, Defensive Tackle for the New York Giants, coming to my studio looking for flexibility, I wanted to offer them more that just flexibility. After all, Dancers Shape specializes in techniques that offer injury prevention and rehabilitation benefits, so why stop with just flexibility?more
A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of trying out the Dancers Shape signature Shape class led by the studio’s owner, Jennifer McCamish. Having never taken a true barre class before, I found it challenging, well-taught and, well… challenging! As my legs shook and my muscles burned, I quickly realized that there are some areas of fitness that I need to work on!
After class, Jennifer and I got to talking, and she shared something that really clicked with me. She said, “While I was in New York, I was taking all sorts of classes: yoga, Pilates, barre and more. But none of the studios offered all of the classes I wanted to take in a single location, so I ended up with punch cards for a lot of different studios. Trying to juggle the cards, the locations and the expiration dates just became a hassle. That’s why I wanted to open a studio that offers all the types of classes that I want to take.”more
As I talked with Dancers Shape instructor Carissa Topham, I found myself thinking this is the kind of girl everyone wants to be friends with. She’s cool and lots of fun. After meeting her, I wanted to go shopping with her, grab a drink, and talk about boys. Carissa has been teaching classes at the studio for about a year, and she adores her Dancers Shape clients. Her strong background in dance makes her an ideal instructor, and she’s excited to further her fitness education as she adds her official Stott Pilates certification to her resume this summer.more
Crystal Conde Zuzek
I’m happy to report my March 2 wedding was a tremendous success! I’m currently basking in the glow of newlywed bliss (which I’m told wears off eventually). Now that I’m no longer “Sweating for the Wedding,” I thought it appropriate to discuss the role exercise played in keeping me slim during the days leading up to the big day. I wore a gorgeous form-fitting gown, and I felt like a princess wearing it. I can’t imagine feeling self-conscious about my appearance on one of the most important days of my life. I credit my workouts at Dancers Shape and my twice-weekly sessions with trainers at the UT Fitness Institute with helping me realize fitness results above and beyond what I imagined.more
Lydia Lowry is a 53 year-old client who has been attending Dancers Shape classes for a year, and has even taken on our Advanced class. She also went from never being smaller than a size 8 and is now fitting into a size 4. We often hear ladies in their 50s or 60s ask us if Dancers Shape could be for them. We sometimes hear fear in their question about it possibly being only for “20 year olds” or “how it might be too difficult” or they “might feel uncomfortable.”
We want to set the record straight: Dancers Shape is for all ages!more
Have you tried a green smoothie yet? It’s an easy and delicious way to add some extra produce into your diet. As opposed to juicing, making a smoothie ensures that you get all the pulp (fiber & nutrition) of the raw fruits and vegetables. As long as you follow a general formula, you can use extra leftover fruits & veggies from your fridge and have a delicious and nutritious treat.
Here’s what you need:
• Fruits: any fresh or frozen fruit you like!
• Veggies: For a more mild taste try using kale, spinach or cabbage or mix in any green you have on hand. You can also add carrots, celery, cucumbers, avocado… the sky’s the limit!
• Extras (optional): Here’s where you can add some extra nutrition or protein. I like to add chia seeds, hemp seeds, protein powder, Greek yogurt, peanut butter or wheatgrass.more
We know exercising during pregnancy is beneficial for low risk mothers, but there are many myths surrounding what types of exercise are best and how you can modify your favorite activities to reap the benefits throughout your pregnancy.
Being certified in pre and post natal Pilates and personal training, the Dancers Shape team has researched and met with physicians and physical therapists to put together a comprehensive program that will walk women through each trimester with safe and effective options to help promote a healthy mom and baby before, during and after their delivery. Learn more about pre/post natal training at DS.more
Spring break is nearly upon us. The muffin top is the bane of existence for many women and isn’t a flattering look when sporting a bikini. I’m getting married in early March and then jetting off to Kauai for 10 glorious days. I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a little anxious about slipping into a two piece. Even if you’re not hitting the beach anytime soon, it’s never too late to start working on your abs for a chiseled waistline. Plus they can “improve back pain”according to Dancers Shape owner Jennifer McCamish. Make these basic abdominal exercises part of your weekly routine, and you won’t regret it.more
Unseasonably warm winter weather is part of the package when you live in Central Texas. I’m sure we all end up in short sleeves and skirts much more often than our neighbors to the north do during the winter months. That’s why it’s important we remain diligent and focus on leg exercises year-round. As I prepare to don a short gold sequin dress at my rehearsal dinner the night before my wedding, I find myself increasingly focusing on my legswhen I exercise. The moves listed below are easy to do in your living room and don’t require any fancy equipment.
Dancers Shape owner Jennifer McCamish advises doing each of the top-three leg exercises for 30 seconds to one minute with perfect form and repeating each once more if you’re able.“These three exercises will give you the ‘shrink wrap effect’ for long, lean dancer legs,” she says.more
My friends and I gathered at Dancers Shape for a fun and fit, Austin-style bachelorette party over the weekend. I had a rowdy shindig in Las Vegas back in November, but many of my mommy friends couldn’t go. I wanted to ensure they had an opportunity to be part of the festivities leading up to the big day. My Dancers Shape private event fit the bill.
Ten of my girlfriends joined me in the afternoon for a Graceful class taught by studio owner Jennifer McCamish. I’d never taken Graceful, but it was the ideal class for a mixed group of women, many of whom had never taken a barre method class. McCamish kept the atmosphere fun and light, and my friends gave her and the class rave reviews. Graceful closely mirrors the Shape class but moves at a slower pace, adds modifications, and allows for more stretching as you go.more
I spotted Dancers Shape instructor Mariclaire Gamble immediately at Starbucks. The tall, slender, platinum blonde is hard to miss. We pulled up a seat and chatted about her artistic pursuits, the unexpected opportunities she’s had, and the future. On top of being extremely talented, I found the Texas native to be kind, humble, wise beyond her years, and refreshingly awkward deep down inside.
Here’s the lowdown on Gamble:
As my wedding day draws nearer, I’ve become increasingly aware that all eyes will be on my back as I walk down the aisle passing each guest. Like many women, I’ve struggled with the appearance of back fat, and I know it takes hard work to reduce and even eliminate it. As women, our bodies want to cling to those fat deposits for dear life. Not fair!
But don’t get discouraged; incorporate these basic back exercises into your workout regimen! For each of the exercises below, you’re going to be in a pitched position. To prepare for the exercises, engage your core muscles as you hinge forward at the waist, aligning your head and neck with your spine — Dancers Shape owner Jennifer McCamish says it’s essential to perform the moves properly to avoid muscle strain and injury. She advises doing these exercises every other day. You’ll eventually notice more sculpted muscles. Here’s a bonus: those tight-fitting shirts and open-back numbers will look even more flattering on you.more
I had my first wedding dress fitting a bit ago, and I’m happy to report that all my hard work at the studio is paying off. My fit-and-flare gown actually needs to be taken in! While I’m pleased with the way my dream dress is fitting, I know I have to stay motivated from a fitness standpoint and watch what I eat to maintain my figure and build muscle.
When I told a personal trainer about the Sweating for the Wedding series, she insisted my first post focus on arms. She says her bride clients desperately want to eliminate flab and replace it with lean, toned arm muscles. Whether you’re preparing to slip into a wedding dress or a strapless number for a hot date, the top three arm exercises illustrated here will help you achieve sculpted arms. Dancers Shape owner Jennifer McCamish recommends doing these three simple, standard exercises every other day for maximum results. I’ll definitely be incorporating these moves into my strength training routine in the hopes of building killer arm...more
The Radio City Rockettes are celebrating their 85th Anniversary this year and I was a member of this iconic group when they celebrated their 75th Anniversary. I still get a rush of emotional memories when I think of that opening night because I realized what a special role we played in thousands of families holiday traditions.
As you know, NYC is the city that never sleeps which means the Rockettes perform on all holidays – Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and even Veteren’s Day. My first year at Radio City I was a little bummed with the thought of spending the holidays in NYC alone; riding the dingy subway back to a tiny non-decorated apartment and miss out on my mom’s yummy cooking and cozy house. But I couldn’t exactly complain, I mean this WAS my dream job and an honor others only dreamt about. Plus the Rockettes had been entertaining families on Christmas Day since 1932.more
I’ll admit it: I’m hooked on the high-energy classes at Dancers Shape. The friendly atmosphere and challenging workouts have kept me coming back to the studio for the past year.
I’m Crystal, and I enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity to be a guest blogger for Dancers Shape when owner Jennifer McCamish told me she planned to launch her business into the blogosphere. I’m a professional writer by day, and I have a passion for health, fitness, and beauty. I dedicated much of my childhood to gymnastics, and I’ve always felt my best when I’m most active.
I hope my blog posts will inspire you to achieve your health and fitness goals while learning more about what Dancers Shape has to offer. As you follow me throughout the coming months, you’ll witness how I fare at keeping my sanity and sculpting my physique while preparing for a March 2 wedding. I’ll share exercises with you targeted by muscle group in a series called Sweating for the Wedding, and I’ll serve as fitness guinea pig in a sequence titled New Kid in Class. I’ll also give you a glimpse into the Dancers...more
By now most people who frequent Dancers Shape know I was a professional dancer in my former life – A Radio City Rockette at the famous Radio City Music Hall. It was my childhood dream to dance with this iconic group and being up on that stage was magical. However, many might not know that I also worked as a makeup artist during my 13 year stint in NYC; my clients varied from the Rockettes to Chanel to movie stars to brides, allowing me to work in all beauty genres. My love for beauty products and fashion has always coincided with my passion for dance and fitness.
However, my journey coming back to Austin to create a brand new life and business (from scratch) has proven to be my favorite love story thus far. With so many colorful, fun and challenging career choices and events shaping my path through life, I wanted to share a little of what I have learned over the years, consulting with other professionals forging their paths in similar fields.more