The Group Fitness Class Experience

The Group Fitness Class Experience

Yesterday, I witnessed a group movement experience that I was SO glad I was not a part of.

After a month away and a week of living the truck driver life, I got a month-long pass to a nearby gym. It’s primarily a rock-climbing gym, but they have a weight room upstairs.

This particular gym runs some group conditioning classes inside of the weight room. While I was gleefully doing irreverent things on the back extension bench, a voice came over the loudspeaker letting everyone know that “Body Blast with Mr. Blasty Blast” [ok, not his real name] was starting soon. I thought, “Oh nice, I’ll get to see if I would ever want to join the class.” Consensus:

OH NO, I WILL NOT FUCKING EVER. (Unless you pay me. I’d consider it if money were involved.)

Expectation Makeover

Expectation Makeover

Have you ever noticed how much a dose of movement impacts your mood? 

If you've been sitting down all day and you go outside for a walk, you are likely to feel better. I know I do.  However, if you go to a practice session with unreasonably lofty expectations ('I'm gonna do this hard thing I saw and it'll be perfect, just like that Instagram video'), you probably won't leave feeling like a winner. And if you're not skilled at overriding and reframing your own nay-saying... you might not walk away feeling vibrant. 

You've likely heard of the research which confirms that exercise is mood boosting (it's usually accompanied by a stock image of people in bright-colors faux-grinning on a jog). While movement does provoke chemical changes that make you feel nice, your approach can amplify the positive after-effects or knock them right out of you.

How do I start a pole freestyle/improv session?

How do I start a pole freestyle/improv session?

No two days are ever the same, but one of my favorite ways to open is by settling into a posture, with the floor or pole, and staying there— sometimes for several minutes— as I explore weight shifts and joint articulations. I start SLOWLY, practicing patient play. 

The first song lays a trail for where I will go as the session progresses—this is why starting in a way that FEELS right is key.

I’ve found that the more time I give myself in these first moments, the more successful the session feels. (Most are so slow that they will never ever see the internet). For me, successful sessions are:



This is Emily Tan.

Emily's an FFTT alumnum and an accomplished movement coach. Just a few months ago, she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)- the most aggressive form of leukemia. Emily needs a bone marrow transplant, but right now, no on the bone marrow registry is her match. Getting on the registry takes just a few minutes. It is painless; you stick a cotton swab your cheek- no blood involved. 

During the Articulate Body Intensive we took some time to make this awareness-raising video:

Overlooking people in need is easy. When they aren’t our family or close friends, they aren’t really our problem. Even from a position of empathy, sometimes we realize we have to turn away from an emotional burden we can’t handle. We have a lot going on, and we don’t know what to do— so we do nothing.

For many see-sawing with death, the worse things get, the more people turn away from them. Out of sight, out of mind.

Sometimes love, medical, and alternative treatments are enough to bring people back from the brink. Sometimes they aren’t.

My sister died when she was nine years old. She had cancer in a time before the internet. If she had fallen ill now, she probably would have survived.

Today, my friend and inspiration Emily Lola Tan is battling the most aggressive type of Leukemia, AML.

Medicine and chemo alone are NOT her best chance of survival. She needs us to collaborate through more than ‘likes’— she needs a bone marrow donor.

Dance Camp for Life

Dance Camp for Life

I survived B12 Festival (kind of).

As part of my continued efforts to be a student in immersive movement experiences of all different kinds, I signed Ken and I up for 10 days of workshops at Berlin’s premier contemporary dance festival, B12.

B12’s slogan is ‘Research or Die,’ so I thought it was safe to assume that workshops would involve a solid amount of exploration/creation/integration, but that was not really the case. Below is a summary of my experience and some insights on teaching:

May Playlists (includes bonus Matcha May Playlist!)

April Playlists

March Playlists