Top Ten Tips for Home Workout Success!

Get The Most Out Of Your Dance Fitness Classes!

Yes, we can be healthy and active even when we are at home, whether it be snow, ice, or pandemic…  However, navigating home life in an effort to integrate exercise successfully can be challenging with a variety of changing obstacles.  As a past gym user and creator of, I have had to work through these challenges both from a participant perspective as well as from a provider’s viewpoint.  Here are my best tips to making home fitness work successfully:  

  1. Set up your workspace

Getting yourself organized for any new project helps to ensure its success.  If you are baking you grab your recipe and ingredients.  For crafting you organize your supplies on your workspace.  To create a healthy new body, you need to prepare your space as well.  

Just as you might do the dishes and clean off your counters before pulling out your baking ingredients, you may need to roll up a rug, move a table or declutter a space to help create the best environment for your fitness regimen.  

The setup of the space may take a day or two, or even a week, but it still counts as progress.  The fact is you are committing to a new routine and the preparations involved in making that routine happen do count as successful steps forward. 

We never focus on the fact that it took some prep time when we grab those cookies out of the oven, so don’t stress about the time you take to get yourself set.  What’s the saying?  “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”  Do the opposite of that!

  1. Revise your plan

Once your space is set up, you have to consider that it may not work entirely as you hoped.  You may begin your routine and realize that there are things you didn’t consider that end up being obstacles  in the implementation phase.  Many good plans need to be reworked and revised to be great plans.  That doesn’t mean that your new healthy lifestyle won’t work, it just means that it will work better in a different way.  

When I first set up my space for taking My Body By Dance’s online dance fitness classes, I set it in a room upstairs near my bedroom.  I thought I could sneak there in the early mornings and quietly workout.  The dog’s incessant barking told me otherwise.  

Apparently, I was not as quiet as I thought I could be.  Also, the space was a bit smaller than I had realized, AND it was awfully close to my bed which made it very difficult for me to get out of bed.  Dance workouts especially require just a little more room to spread out.

After a week of choosing on most days to just cuddle back under the covers, I knew I needed to try something different.  

After walking room to room, I realized that my daughter’s playroom was the next best option.  This sounds more complicated than it was, but I moved my daughter’s toys to a smaller more enclosed space, which did require a bit of thinning out of her possessions – no real tears were shed.  

And, once I got her reorganized her old playroom was perfect.  It is a good size, away from everyone, AND it has a door that shuts which is so helpful if your family is home when you are trying to escape and workout!  

  1. Be flexible and love yourself!

Let’s face it, it is really difficult to start new things and we don’t always get the support that we need to put ourselves first.  Let your selfcare be an evolving project that stays joyful.  

This is a one foot in front of the other kind of thing.  Keep that mindset even when there is a step backward.  You know the direction you are going, so pick yourself up, dust yourself off and adapt.  

Maybe your plan is to work out at 6:00 a.m. daily, but you have a sick child or work deadline that derails your plans to get a good night’s rest, or you have an early morning conference call.  Your healthy lifestyle is a forever plan. 

These obstacles are temporary interruptions, don’t give them any more power than that!  Use your flexibility to adjust for that one day, or if necessary, go back to tip #2 and revise.  

  1. Early in the day

Statistics show that early morning home workouts are the most successful – 6:00 a.m. being the number one time to work out with 5:00 a.m. in second place and 9:00 a.m. in third place.  

My personal experience supports these numbers.  If I can get right out of bed and start my day with a workout, I am more likely to be successful.  If I miss my morning workout, it takes more discipline for me to log onto the fitness program and get moving.  

Once those early morning hours pass, my mind is filled with all of my “should dos” and “must dos”, and many times I lose myself to the agendas of others and all the obligations that need to be taken care of.  

Starting your day before you get bogged down by your list of things to do is – at least statistically speaking – the best way to integrate a home exercise routine.  For me, that morning routine increases my energy, improves how my body feels, and also helps to support more healthy decisions as the day goes on.

  1. Use an online resource 

There are just way too many potential derailments when trying to workout at home.  I find it so easy to get bored or distracted.  

And, I can’t tell you how many times my child, dog and/or husband have come in during a 30 minute time frame with a question or need that required immediate attention, never mind the beeper on the washing machine that calls for someone to flip the laundry into the dryer.  

Or the phone ringing.  Funny how we silence our phones at the gym, but don’t give ourselves the same courtesy at home.  

I may be a bit biased as the creator of, but I find that when I log onto a workout led by someone else, even if it is a prerecorded class, I am less likely to walk away and not finish.  And, my family is less likely to interrupt.  It is one thing when mom is laying on the floor by herself trying to stretch or plank, it is, for some reason, totally different when I am logging on to take a class.  

The respect for that time will assist you in being successful.  Additionally, I have to confess, I have given up on myself several times in my own workouts but never in a class led by someone else.  Never mind how beneficial it is to be doing new things and pushing yourself because someone else has predetermined what your workout today will be.  There are so many online professionals in the fitness industry, let’s tap into their knowledge and experience to help secure our own success.        

  1.  Use the LIVE class experiences

Let’s face it, working out requires self-discipline, and self-discipline can weaken and even become depleted.  So, using tools that help to diminish how hard you have to work to be successful is an important practice.  

One of the ways to do this is to participate in LIVE online offerings.  You don’t have to make yourself visible by camera when you partake in LIVE Classes.  The benefit that you will experience is that LIVE Classes are an appointment.  They are a set time that you commit to working out.  

You can’t put off a LIVE Class.  If you want to attend it then you have to show up at the time it’s offered.  Additionally, so many of these classes build communities.  You may not find your next best friend at your online fitness class, but you will find like-minded individuals with similar goals who will help support you in achieving your fitness goals.     

  1. Check your internet

Who knew we would all become aware of how good our internet at home is and needs to be.  It is not an issue if you are up before everyone else to online stream your favorite class, but if you have kids doing remote learning and a spouse logging on to work from home, you will start to stretch your internet strength, which can make your online workout experience extremely frustrating.  

It is the absolute worst to be in the middle of a class that starts buffering, freezing or just kicks you out, argh!  Especially when you have used your self-discipline to get to your workout space ready to reap the benefits and instead you can feel your blood pressure rising as your video streaming locks you out of your experience.  

If you have multiple parties in your house using the internet, it is another reason for you to schedule your online experience before work and school hours hog the internet bandwidth.  If you still experience internet issues, it might be worth a call to your internet provider to see what your speeds are.  

Some prerecorded videos allow you to downgrade the quality of the image right in the settings bar.  This will help because it will use less of your internet power and in many cases, you won’t even notice that the picture might not be as sharp.  The important thing is to keep your workout videos streaming fluidly.  

  1.  Modify the class material

Whether you are taking a prerecorded class or a LIVE online class, modify the experience so that it fits you.  Hey, you just won’t love every move that is done in every class and there may be others that you can’t do.  

If you have sore knees, a bad back or stiff neck, you have to listen to your body and keeping yourself uninjured is a huge part of your new healthy routine.  Don’t push yourself to do something that you are uncomfortable with.  

Here’s the thing, you are at home, no one is looking, so modify!  Besides the idea of injury, there are other reasons to modify.  I am not suggesting cutting corners, but when I love a move and can really feel it working, I don’t transition into the next thing just because the instructor does.  

This experience is about you, so you do you, and enjoy it! If that cardio dance tempo is a little too intense, slow it down to match your ability. Eventually, you’ll get there!

  1.  Avoid counter-productive habits

Slowly beginning to diminish or eliminate habits that challenge your ability to stay on track with your workout routine is an important part of this whole process.  We are all working at changing our lifestyles, that means this new routine needs to become more permanent in nature.  If your goal is to work out at 6:00 a.m., then binge watching that riveting new TV series until midnight is likely going to derail you.  

Eating a heavy dinner or gigantic bowl of ice cream after 8:00 p.m. will also contribute challenges to your abilities of getting up early and giving it your all.  As will drinking alcohol and or caffeine the night before.  

Getting to bed by 10:00 p.m. and being able to sleep the whole night will support your ability to hop out of bed before everyone else gets up and work your full body.  Start taking stock in the things that tend to work against you and one by one begin eliminating those behaviors so that nothing stands in the way of your success!  

  1.  Love Yourself 

You are working out as a part of your positive plan for yourself.  This is about improving and maybe reinventing yourself so there is no place for an internal negative script!  

You are awesome for all of your efforts!  Relish your successes and adapt around your missteps.  Forward movement, baby!  That’s all we need, little positive steps forward daily!  

You got this!  

If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life

I’m sure you have heard the expression “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”  I’m in love with this saying, I really am.  And, my younger self would be like, “Heck yeah, that’s the way I’m going to live!”  So, at what point in the journey do we wander away from this philosophy?  

I feel lucky

Lucky that I was initially able to choose my passion as my career; I don’t take that for granted. I got into the dance business, not really as a choice but more as a calling.  After graduating with a degree in marketing, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with that.  I had grown up dancing so working at a dance studio seemed to be a great thing to do while I figured out the rest of my life. 

Fast forward 29 years and I am still here.  I am grateful for every opportunity, every lesson, every success, and every painful experience that allowed me to grow into who I am.  But I haven’t danced in two decades.  I have wanted to the entire time, but the problem that always seems to exist is time, or better said, the lack of time.  

I was a great dancer

And I was an even better teacher.  Those successes gave me the opportunity to become a manager, then a studio owner, and on and on the journey went.  My final career destination is every bit corporate and not a bit dancing.  Success and hard work have elevated me to a level where the thing that motivates me personally the most, the reason I got into the industry and took the job to begin with, is gone! 

I no longer dance.  I am no longer a dancer.  Can you relate to this in your own life?  Have you had a growing experience that has moved you further and further away from the actual thing that you love, the thing that may have started your career in the beginning?

Are you decades away from what you love like me?  Do you think there is a way back?  I do, and 2020 has been the difficult reminder to me that maybe I am doing this all wrong.  I am not filled with regret, I am grateful!  But, I am also determined to get back to my place of passion. 

I think we can feed ourselves metaphorically and literally at the same time.  The career path seems to say to us, “never enough.”  And, if you have stripped yourself from the things that fill you back up emotionally, mentally and physically, then it IS NEVER enough.  And, that becomes the cycle that we live in, and NO, it’s not just you!

I’m calling an end to it for me. 

Pre 2020, I wished for the world to stop spinning so that I could catch up and take a breath.  What I learned is that when you truly love what you do, you wish for more, not less. 

For me that means I want to get onto the dance floor instead of leading others to the dance floor.  My career has absolutely given me the gift of becoming the best version of myself, and I love the people I work with and the concept of what I do.  My focus has just become far too much about what everyone else needs and nothing about what I need. 

Living that way has left me in a state of constantly being tired and stressed.  I am overweight, surviving on sugar, not spending nearly enough time with my family and spending absolutely no time on myself.  Wishing for the world to stop spinning was really a wish for the noise to stop, just to have a moment to breathe and to become me again.    

Stress will not only steal your health and fitness, it will still your energy and creativity.  What are we doing here?  If we spend more time serving the needs of others than our own, we will continue to live in a cycle that takes instead of gives. 

We have to stop the cycle. 

My solution has really been accidental.  Maybe it was brewing just beneath the surface, maybe there is a higher power that directed me this way, I am not sure, but what I know is that I see the dance floor within my reach.  My work with is calling me to step back onto the floor.  I have to be honest I am struggling with it because it has been so long, but it just keeps calling me.  

As much as My Body By Dance was born out of the necessity of a virtual solution, it is the one of the greatest gifts that 2020 gave me.  It is the opportunity to refocus my career on what is good for me and what fills me up instead of giving everything to a career that empties me. 

This solution didn’t drop out of the sky, but it certainly wasn’t on my radar pre 2020.  I have a feeling it is because I was looking at the wrong things.  My suggestion is, let’s all look at what we love and then find a way to rebuild our careers around that. 

I know that we all have had profound and life-changing experiences last year.  Let’s act on the insight we have gained.  It makes no sense to continue on a path that drains you.  This is our ONE life to live.  Let’s live in our passion surrounded by the people and things that we love. 

I’m ready.  I’m excited to be better than before, but back at the beginning to do this again, the right way!  See you on the dance floor!       

Should you make New Year’s Resolutions?

Has anyone else fallen into the trap year after year of making January 1st the fateful day of change?  I spent much of my 30’s and 40’s trying to give up behaviors (mostly eating badly) and starting new habits (mostly trying to work out more) on January 1.  I can tell you from my own personal experience, it is less fun when January 1st lands on a Thursday like it does this year. 

Sounds silly I know, but the idea of starting a disciplined activity in the midst of a holiday celebration weekend just doesn’t work for me.  Don’t you think we should have a chance to continue the party through the weekend?  I have convinced myself of this in previous years for sure.  But then by Monday, it is already the 4th of January.  

Does it still count as a New Year’s Resolution if you start four days into the year?  Oh, the mind games I have played with myself throughout the years in an effort to be healthy, and for me my primary focus has always been trying to get that number on the scale to go down.

Never Again

Not that I want to be skinny and unhealthy, but the scale is the indicator that I have relied on to determine my success.  My truth is that number obviously reflects my size and there are certain numbers that I crave seeing.  So, am I going to play this game again this year?  Absolutely not!

None of us should!  Frankly, we should end the New Year’s Resolution tradition altogether!  We are all aware of the statistics regarding the failure of New Year’s Resolutions, which truthfully can be applied to any big changes in habits that we try to make at any time of year.  We all know how much this concept doesn’t work, so why do we torture ourselves and feel guilty about failure when it does inevitably fall apart? 

And, with all the available information about how habits are created and changed, it is truly ironic that there is still so much support for the idea of partaking in this “one day to change my world” tradition. 

Quite honestly, in past years I have binged on bad foods leading up to the new year just because I was going to give them up, and then January 1st (or 4th) rolls around and I never quite make it happen.  The net result usually being a pound or two from the pre-resolution behavior.  Argh!!!!

During a pandemic that has challenged us and changed our lives in so many ways, there is a hopeful expectation that there may be more to celebrate than any other in recent history.  Still, we sit here with the modern-day pressure of making ourselves better in 2021 by choosing ground breaking resolutions for what we all hope is a dramatically different and more positive, normal year. 

As I searched ideas for New Year’s resolutions, there are slightly different takes and different messages but exactly the same concept.  Big, heavy lifting life changes that we are all supposed to buy into making just because the calendar rolls into a new year.  

I personally know my weaknesses and with everything else I have going on in my life, my discipline muscle gets fatigued often, and as soon as it gives out, the cycle of negative self-talk starts.  And, as you maybe can relate, that is never a fun place to be and certainly not a springboard to making sweeping changes.  Let’s not do this!  Together, let’s not do it!  

Join Me

Here’s what I propose, let’s focus on and celebrate the small things.  Meaning, let’s let each day be a new day, a new beginning, no matter what happens each day, the next day is a fresh start.  Give yourself permission to make each day new.  And, on each day let’s take one step that is positive. Just ONE! 

Set a goal for that one day. Incorporate one positive thing for yourself or focus on skipping one of your bad habits.  Skip the takeout, park your car farther away, take the stairs, take an online fitness class (checkout, eat an apple, skip the coffee, read a book, whatever ONE thing moves you forward.  Forward movement can and is okay to be in baby steps.  By participating in one small thing every day, you will have success to celebrate each day. 

Don’t focus on any missteps, praise yourself on the positive.  Your discipline muscle will grow instead of giving up.  Try this; I walked today, yippee!  I ate a lower sugar yogurt today, good for me!  I went to bed on time, congrats!  I didn’t do take out today, nice job!  

Every positive thing we do for ourselves is like making a deposit in the bank.  Your positivity will grow into a real investment in yourself.  Yes, every single little item will be a part of your success!  Even the smallest things count, even pennies saved eventually add up to be hundreds of dollars. 

So, forget the really big stuff, and let’s do one small thing per day.  356 small things will make a difference, and you will gain momentum.  We don’t have to turn this whole thing around in one day – it didn’t get there in one day so let’s give it time and be patient.  One small thing a day will lead to long term change!  

I hope you will join me!  If you do, add to the comments your one small thing.    

Happy to be on this journey with you!  Happiest, healthiest wishes for a fabulous 2021! 

Mom Posture! Yep, it’s a thing!

“First, I’ll fix your neck, then we can work on your mommy posture.” What?

Good Change

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw

It’s been two weeks since I have taken a class on My Body By Dance.  A difficult confession considering I am one of the founders of MBBD and committed to testing every class for experience and results. 

I am hoping that the MBBD dance community will log on almost daily to enjoy all the benefits that being a dancer has to offer.  To me, it is so important to be a role model and an example of success.  I want to be a representative of our mission and as a dancer, I am inspired about the positive changes that are possible.  I can see them and feel them, I am just not moving towards them.    


I was thinking about my inactivity this morning and subconsciously my brain turned into excuse mode.  My inner thoughts were, “I have been working 7 days and 85 hours every week in order to launch MBBD.”  Interesting psychology that my brain went right to making excuses for myself. 

My next thought was, “I’ll get back into the routine once I get on the other side of this.”  I knew right away that I was trying to protect myself from the idea of the failure of not fulfilling a personal goal.  How many times have you done this to yourself, and why do we impose so much pressure on ourselves? Isn’t there enough stress created by the world around us? 


Sometimes I think we are setting the bar entirely too high.  I do get it. There is way too much that has to be done, and it can be impossible to escape!  But, the “I’ll take care of myself once I get through this” thinking has to stop.  We have to adopt the practice of putting ourselves first, even if that sounds cliché.   I am old enough to know that my particular thought process – of starting tomorrow instead of today – has unfortunately become a habit, and my reality. 

Age has given me the gift of understanding what is important, but it hasn’t gifted me the ability to implement and change easily or quickly.  Maybe you also struggle with the process of change.  The truth is, so far I haven’t found that it gets any easier.  What I do know, is that behavioral change doesn’t come from a single event.  Everything is gradual, strong foundations are built over time.  Regardless of how much we want to progress, it is impossible without change.  And, change isn’t linear, there are a lot of fluxuations, and if I examine my own pattern of growth, it is pretty scattered, quite messy, and totally ungraceful! 


Here’s my thought. Let’s do this, but without any pressure.  No deadlines, no hard rules, no must do’s – let’s face it, we have enough of those things in our life already.  Let’s just have this space in our life that we reserve for MBBD.  A place that is reserved solely for ourselves.  A place to come without an agenda, a requirement, or expectation or guilt.  Let’s just dance. 

Let that be the one commitment – let’s just get to and dance.  Don’t count the times, judge the performance, measure results or add any other assessment to the experience.  Just dance, period!  Dancing will do the rest, the heavy lifting!  I’m all for this kind of positive commitment! 

See you on the dance floor!

My First My Body By Dance Class

I am a dancer

At least I always defined myself as one, not realizing how many years have actually come between me and the dance floor.  I am aware of the extra weight on my body and the toll the years have taken on my posture, but I didn’t realize how much of the physical ability I had lost.  That is until I took my first class on MBBD. 

Creating the experience

I am one of the creators and determined to oversee client experience and have a client experience myself, I committed to taking all the classes.  Yup, all the classes!  That commitment still stands true, I am going to take this journey with you. 

I have been so psyched about dancing again, getting my body back, and just moving in a way that is just a release.  I have watched the taping of most of the MBBD material, and I see myself out there on the floor.  In my mind, I have corrected some of the technical flaws that I see as our MBBD team of instructors has sweat it out in the classes.  I can picture myself doing it all – perfectly, of course.  That is until I took my first class.    

Oh that first class…

I started with one of Amanda’s classes, got myself all decked out in workout clothes and dance sneakers.  In my mind I was going to dance and while I was in the experience, I would just check the quality – was this a good cardio or toning workout, was the lighting and sound good?  I hadn’t considered the possibility that I couldn’t keep up.  But that is what happened! 

Amanda seemed to dance so fast, and there was so much arm styling.  My new dance sneakers skid all over the floor as I mirror imaged her arms.  Why is it so hard to coordinate my arms?  I had to stop several times and although Amanda didn’t take any water breaks, I took several.  I certainly wasn’t the gliding graceful dancer that I remember myself being. 

There were a few things that I totally rocked – those Sailor Shuffles – I ruled!  The turns, on the other hand, made me nauseous!  When did it happen that a three step would make me nauseous?! The one word to describe my first MBBD dance floor experience – AWKWARD! 

Not self conscious

The good news is I was in my own house, by myself!  And the workout was great!  There was no one holding up paddles with my score after I was done, thank goodness! 

The other encouraging thing is that I was sore the next day.  Okay, here is the thing.  It is totally disappointing to find out I’m not the superstar dancer that I used to be, but of course that is the case.  Dancing, like anything, improves by time spent practicing and participating.  I haven’t been on a dance floor in two decades.  Even if my brain had other expectations, there is just no way for my body to perform the way that it once did.  That is, now, after my first class. 

Next steps in our dance fitness journey

It will perform better for the second class and the third.  I can attest to that because I got back on the dance floor with MBBD the next day and have continued to stay committed to the process.  I am learning the MBBD Elements better and remembering how the rotation in my body feels and rib isolation.  Do you remember rib isolation?  It feels so good to stretch and open everything up.  Listen, I have been sitting at this desk for more than 20 years.  It won’t take that long to undo all that damage, but it will take more than one class! 

Stick with it!  Let’s become dancers again together!

5, 6, 7, 8 …

I don’t remember if I smiled as a child as much as I do as an adult when I say 5, 6, 7, 8.  It’s funny how that little string of numbers is connected to such happiness.  If you didn’t grow up dancing, 5,6,7, 8 is the count in for you to begin dancing.  

My teacher, Miss Diane, like every other dance teacher, would count the last beats of music before the next phrasing begins.  So that 5, 6, 7, 8, was the last few seconds before I began dancing my heart out.  And, now as an adult it is stamped into my emotions with such positivity.  As I sit here in the end of October 2020, after everything we have all experienced during the pandemic I wonder why we drift so far away from things that bring us such joy and happiness.  

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There have been so many times as an adult that I have dreamed about getting back to my dancing.  Not only do I miss the feeling, I miss the fitness that is associated with dancing. 

Back To Dance

Growing up as a dancer, I took for granted all the inherent dance benefits.  My posture, my connection to my core, balance, expression, flexibility – I could go on and on.  It’s hard to pick one dance benefit that is most important because in reality I think as we travel through different circumstances in our lives, we need to tap into different supports.  

This year it would have been great to be dancing my way through the pandemic. Not just because I know that my cardio health and overall fitness would be so much better than it is, but because dancing is such a release.  When you express emotion through your body, it transforms your internal state of being.  It isn’t just the endorphins.  You don’t walk away from a dance session, you float away – or jazz hands your way home or shake your head, or booty away – or all of the above. 

I hope I am helping you recall the picture in your mind’s eye of what you look like after a dance class.  Why is it so hard to find an appropriate dance class for adults?  Why is dancing just for kids?  It’s not!  As adults we need exercise, stress relief, and fitness just as much as our younger selves.  Why do we end up going to the gym or trying to walk or run when we have a built in love of dance, and dancing provides for us just as much, and I could easily argue, so much more than any other kind of exercise routine. 

2020 – Ugh!

This year, 2020, has done a lot of damage.  We have all struggled in one way or another – our stress level does not have to be the same for us to share the struggle.  I know so many have had it harder than me and my heart goes out to you all.  

As a working mom, I had always wished that the world would just stop so that I could catch up, but just to be clear, this year isn’t what I had in mind.  And, what I have realized is that I will never be caught up!  There isn’t an “as soon as I finish this, I will…” And, what that means is that I HAVE to have a system that keeps me healthy and makes time for me no matter what.  

I know it is cliché, the concept of putting yourself first.  We all struggle with that idea – at least the implementation of it. Let this year be the year that we accomplish that one thing!  Better than before.  Let’s be better than before 2020 and I know how we can – Let’s dance!

Let’s Dance Together

You are here on for a reason.  If you have read this far, then we are like minded and you and I can share this journey.  I created this project around what made sense to me, for me.  Let’s have this dance journey together and see where it takes us.  I am so glad you are here!  See you on the dance floor.  I’ll count you in 5, 6, 7, 8 …