"I started dancing at Encore in December when it first opened. One day I was jogging down McBean and I saw an ad for Encore at one of the bus stops. I took a mental note of the advertisement and decided to look into it. I was intrigued by the phrase 'dance fitness.' I have always enjoyed dance but am far from a 'dancer.' I'm also really into fitness but was at a point in my life where I had put on 15 pounds in one year due to stress and overeating, even though I exercised regularly.
I looked up the website and read through the class descriptions. There were so many that caught my interest, but I was also thinking that I couldn't do many of the classes on the list. I'd never taken Ballet, Burlesque, Vertical or Aerial. In fact, I had never even heard of some of these classes.
I told my boyfriend I was going to join and he asked me if I was sure because I already had three memberships at other places! I said that I was going to do it because it sounded like fun and I needed something that would be an enjoyable stress relief. After looking at the different membership packages I went with the unlimited package and it has been well worth it. I often take more than one class a day - sometimes up to four classes!
The classes I've been taking regularly at Encore include Cardio Ballet, Aerial, Vertical, Mat, Burlesque, Zumba, BUTI, West African and Iconic Choreography. Four months after joining Encore, I have transformed myself physically, mentally and emotionally. As a school teacher and pretty much a full-time grad student, I was constantly under a lot of stress and feeling resentful because I wasn't getting enough 'me' time. All of the classes I have tried are fun yet challenging, but some really test your physical (and mental) strength. The first time I took Vertical and Aerial I felt so weak in my upper body. However, I kept going back, determined to become stronger.
Every time I went to class I accomplished something I wasn't able to do before. At first, I could barely hang from the silk tissue in aerial class but within weeks I was able to climb all the way to the top. This feeling of accomplishment has done wonders for my mood. I feel more empowered and confident in myself. I still have a lot on my plate, but my anxiety and stress levels are now much lower. By taking all the different classes, my flexibility and physical strength have drastically improved. Ballet has toned up my legs and butt. Every class has contributed to the first signs of muscle definition in my abs. My upper body and back have become so much stronger than I ever thought possible.
Since I've joined Encore I've cancelled all but one of my memberships, and that's only because that particularly gym has a lap pool. I've been much happier and I feel like I have something to look forward to every day I plan on taking a class (or classes). The staff, instructors and the other members are so nice and encouraging. I was very impressed with how quickly the talented instructors learned my name and would take note of my accomplishments. The facility itself is so beautiful and special. I've made new friends and I've learned so much from dance. I show up to class and the worries of my day to day just slip away. There's no cattiness or pressure to do anything. Just show up, learn and have fun. I've now committed to dance as my form of physical fitness and it has changed my attitude towards exercise. Before, I would do it because I felt I had to. Now, I exercise and have fun at the same time," ~ Jeanette Cruzalegui
To learn more about Encore Dance Fitness, call 661-286-1136 or visit their website.