Walk in to studio two at the Fry YMCA and you get hit with it. Pure Energy.
Julie: The energy of the people, it truly starts your weekend. Because, if you work out or do other work and exercises during the week… for me, this is kind of my reward.
Victoria: I love to connect with the members. So they bring the energy to the class and I feed off of it. So it’s a give and take.
Victoria Shannon is the instructor for this Friday morning class of Les Mills BodyJam – an international, up-tempo, choreographed dance work out.
Victoria: We are a very special group. This program is not found in a lot of facilities. So we are really blessed to be able to offer it to our members. It is a super fun program; it’s well choreographed by Gandalph Archer Mills. The music and the choreography sync so well together that it’s seamless.
Johnell: It just makes my heart so happy to be in there dancing with people of all levels, all different talents. And then having Victoria, with her energy just makes it over the top.
And that energy goes to use… because, it really is a workout.
Victoria: I think dance always brings that mind-body connection. So, while you’re learning your choreography, your mind is working and then you’re obviously working your muscles, your heart rate is up. So you get that full body workout.
For Johnell Keeley and Julie Cercello, who have been in Les Mills BodyJam for a decade, the class wasn’t something they searched for; so much as the class seemed to find them.
Johnell: I accidently stumbled into it 12 years ago. I thought I was walking into a weight lifting class and there had been a format change. And all of a sudden I heard this music and I see the instructor up there dancing. And I thought, I have finally found my place at the YMCA.
Julie: 12-13 years ago I was lifting weights or on the treadmill or something and my husband said “you need to check out this class on Monday night” as we were here. And I didn’t think much of it at the time and then saw the instructor. I watched it one time and she kind of waved me in. And I didn’t realize it was a dance class at first… and I was hooked.
And now they’re regulars. And they have a friend who often joins them in class – Brian Deszcz.
Brian: I really liked it and it’s really nice with Victoria. And it’s so mice being in my class. I really feel my energy coming so I’m really glad. I just want to say thank you to Victoria, she’s really awesome.
Kelly Aiglon was once a student too, but now teaches the program on Monday nights. The diversity of her students exemplifying why Les Mills BodyJam is popular across the globe.
Kelly: It’s the most special thing you can imagine. It’s really great to find things that bring people together. Especially when they look like they don’t have a care in the world. And that’s how people are in this class. They just lose themselves, they smile. They’re happy to move. They don’t care what they look like, we’re all just here to be spirited and have a mini-party.
Johnell: I love to look around the room and see, like you said, every color, every race, every age, every size, every shape. And the coolest thing is, I feed off the energy when we’re all dancing as one unit… it just does something that fills my soul and starts my weekend off perfectly.
That’s why, while people from all walks of life may literally walk in to studio 2… they’ll likely be leaving it dancing. Ready for the weekend.
Reporting for Sports Story Sunday, I’m Kevin Jackman