I started taking dance classes when I was 4 years old. With toes that slightly turned in and front teeth that slightly stuck out, it was clear I was made for the stage.
After I wowed the crowds with my end-of-the-year performance of “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” in 1990, I decided dance was going to be my “thing.” I took regular classes through elementary school, slowly worked on turning out those feet, and then made the competition team the summer before the 6th grade. That’s when dance became more than just a “thing” I did once a week… it became a lifestyle. I couldn’t get enough of it.
Through middle and high school, I spent at least four days a week taking classes or practicing routines, including all day on Saturdays. My weekends every spring were spent at competitions across the state—all thanks to my mother (bless her sweet, patient soul). I was in the best shape of my life—and I also never fully realized… I was exercising.
There’s certainly a preconceived notion that exercise must be laborious—you sort of have to hate it a little bit, right? Because if you don’t… are you REALLY pushing yourself? But as we highlight throughout the pages of Be Well Lynchburg, fitness doesn’t have to mean fun-less.
In our Explore department, we are taking a look at all of the ways you can get some physical activity at local slopes—Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center and Wintergreen Resort—during the summer and fall. Also, there are several big misconceptions about personal trainers, including that they are tough. A once-jaded exerciser is now a believer in the power of a PT—read her story starting on page 23. I’m also personally psyched that dance workout studios are popping up around town. In our feature “Camouflaged Cardio,” hear about how people in Lynchburg are movin’ and groovin’ to stay fit.
Clearly, my competition dance career didn’t get me to Juilliard. And while I may not be able to do a split these days, I’m still a sucker for a good dance party, especially with all of my kids. (My pre-teen stepdaughters keep me up-to-date on the latest hip hop moves, by the way.)
So here’s to breaking a sweat with the ones you love—even if it’s in your living room on a Friday night—and making exercise fun again.
Be Well Everyone,