Tag Archives: dance

Fall Fitness Etiquette

As the summer winds down, a fair number of us we will be heading back into our favorite fitness classes.  It’s going to be much busier than it has been all summer, and all of these people are going to be at different fitness levels.  Pack your patience with your shoes and post-workout snack!  We will have participants that have kept it up all summer, returning participants that enjoyed a summer off, and new participants that want to be the best version of themselves.   As our classes begin to thrive, please take a moment to reacquaint yourself with five Fitness Class Etiquette Tips to make the experience smooth for everyone.

1. Arrive on Time – joining a class late* can be both distracting and unsafe.  Please respect your fellow attendees as well as your instructor and arrive to classes a bit early or right on time.  This will also allow you a proper warm-up, reducing your chance of injury.  *If lateness is unavoidable, please go to the back of the class.

2. Choose Proper Footwear – closed toed shoes (running shoes, cross-trainers etc…) will provide a non-slip grip on the floor and any equipment utilized in your class.  Ensure that your footwear is clean of all dirt and debris.  If you wouldn’t wear it in your house, please don’t wear it in our workout areas.

3.  Make your Workout Your Own – The instructor is there to guide you through YOUR workout; listen to your body and modify as you see fit.  If you are going to modify your workout significantly from the instructor’s planned program, please move to the back of the room as to not distract others from the instructor’s guidance.

4. Socializing – should be done either before or after the class.  Talking throughout the class can be viewed as disrespect to not only the other participants, but to the instructor as well.  If you can talk, you’re not working hard enough!

5. Stay for the Whole Class – Flexibility is a large part of your overall wellness!  Be sure to take the time to stretch out the muscles you’re worked.  Not only will it reduce soreness in the day(s) after, but it will reduce risk for injury down the road.

 


Spring Demo Days at the Saddletowne YMCA

demo

You’ve sprung ahead one hour and your winter jacket is hanging in the back of the closet, unused.  Spring is coming!

Get a head start on the new season by trying out one of the Saddletowne YMCA’s Adult Fitness classes.  March 28th through April 3rd, we will be offering FREE demo classes showcasing martial arts, group fitness, dance and more.  Click here for a complete schedule- we’ll see you then!


Women’s Only Fitness Classes at Saddletowne YMCA

Calling all ladies! How about some time out with the girls to be healthy and have fun in a supportive, female environment?

Saddletowne YMCA offers 9 different types of fitness classes for women only:

Belly Dance Level 1 & 2
Bellyfit®
Bellyfit Sage
Post-Natal Fitness
Prenatal Aquatic Fitness
Prenatal Fitness
Prenatal Yoga
Women’s Resistance Training
Yoga for Women

Read below for class descriptions, times & course codes:

Belly Dance Level 1 & 2 Combo
Explore the cultural and artistic components of Belly Dance by focusing on Egyptian styles, learning about music through interpretation, and choreography. This is for women who really want to dig deep into the technique and style of Belly Dance, and get personal feedback from an experienced instructor. This class combines levels 1 & 2 offering beginner progressions as well as more advanced options for returning students.
Mondays starting January 5th
6:30-7:30pm (Barcode 95525)

Bellyfit®
Bellyfit offers a full workout utilizing elements of dance, yoga and pilates. If you want a class where you can dance, sweat, breathe, and liberate yourself from the daily grind then Bellyfit is the class for you! The cardio dance portion of Bellyfit incorporates movements from belly dance, East Indian, Bollywood and African dance. The core and stretch portions are inspired by yoga and pilates.  Bellyfit is one hour of continuous movement flow without pauses in the music. Each movement in the cardio segments is broken down to give students time to get into the rhythm before moving on to the next section. There are also different layers of movement and levels of intensity, so it is up to the student how she wants to use these levels and layers to produce the intensity she desires. Bellyfit will inspire you laugh, smile, glow and feel genuinely good about yourself afterwards.
Wednesdays starting January 7th
5:30-6:30pm (Barcode 96572)

Bellyfit Sage™
From the creators of Bellyfit® comes a brand new low impact format designed for wise and mature or recovering bodies. Combining inspiration from Fitness, Belly Dance, Hula Dance, Yoga and Meditation, Bellyfit Sage is a mindful and gentle yet powerful class. Move your body with sensuality, ease and grace, and then let build stamina and serenity with a balance, core and stretch sequence using the support of a chair. Set to world-fusion music that will uplift your heart and spirit. Come join a community of women and celebrate the vibrancy and wisdom of your inner Sage!
Mondays starting January 19th
10:30-11:30am (Barcode 96573)

Post-Natal Fitness
Bring your baby to this fitness class for Moms. The class will incorporate cardio, resistance, core and stretching exercises appropriate for post-natal women. Babies aged 2-12 months are welcome. Post-natal women may attend with or without baby.
Mondays starting January 5th
12:00-1:00pm (Barcode 95680)
Thursdays starting January 8th
9:30-10:30am (Barcode 96949)

Prenatal Aquatic Fitness
Experience the benefits and relief of weightlessness in this refreshing deep water workout designed specifically with the needs of pregnant women in mind. This class will help strengthen upper body, lower body and core muscles without the impact of land-based exercise. Participants must bring a Par Med X for Pregnancy Form signed by their doctor/midwife indicating that they have clearance to participate. Participants should feel comfortable in deep water with the assistance of a flotation device.
Wednesdays starting January 7th
6:00-6:45pm (Barcode 96566)

Prenatal Fitness
Experience a fit pregnancy and meet other moms-to-be in this fun fitness class designed with the unique needs of pregnant women in mind. Pre Natal Fitness will incorporate cardio, resistance, core and stretching exercises suitable for pregnant women of all fitness levels.
Mondays starting January 5th
6:00-6:45pm (Barcode 96566)

Prenatal Yoga
Experience Hatha yoga to help with a healthy pregnancy, delivery and recovery.  This course will guide you through slow poses, breath work and relaxation techniques in a serene atmosphere to support your mind, body and spirit throughout your pregnancy.
Tuesdays starting January 6th
7:15-8:15pm (Barcode 96561)

Women’s Resistance Training
Learn all about the benefits of resistance training (training with weights) for women including how it can help you lose weight, reduce pain and improve physical function. In this class you will learn proper weight training form and technique with a variety of equipment types and without the intimidation factor of trying to figure things out on your own!
Mondays & Wednesdays starting January 5th
9:30-10:30am (Barcode 96945)
1:15-2:15pm (Barcode 96946)
Tuesdays starting January 6th
1:15-2:15pm (Barcode 96950)

Yoga for Women
Strengthen, lengthen, balance and release in this active yoga class for women only that will guide you to find strength, flexibility and calm from within. Release your stress and tension and leave feeling radiant, refreshed and ready for life!
Tuesdays starting January 6th
5:15-6:15pm (Barcode 96555)

 


Belly Dance versus Bellyfit: What’s the Difference

Belly Dance versus Bellyfit: What’s the Difference?

Written by Serena Kerbes

Serena Headshot

What is the difference between a Belly Dance class and a Bellyfit class? My Belly Dance classes offer a more cultural and artistic approach to learning dance, focusing on Egyptian styles, learning about music through interpretation, and choreography. This is for women who really want to dig deep into the technique and style of Belly Dance, and get personal feedback from yours truly.

Bellyfit is for women who want to get a full workout utilizing elements of dance, yoga and pilates. Sometimes you just want to take a class where all you do is dance, sweat, breathe, and liberate yourself from the daily grind. If you are that type of person, then Bellyfit is the class for you!

The cardio dance portion of Bellyfit not only uses Belly Dance movements, but also East Indian, Bollywood and African dance. The core and stretch portions are inspired by yoga and pilates.  Bellyfit is one hour of continuous movement flow without pauses in the music, however, I do breakdown each movement in the cardio segments and give students time to get into the rhythm before moving on to the next section. There are also different layers of movement and levels of intensity, so it is up to the student how she wants to use these levels and layers. So the intensity of the class can be different for each women depending on what her goals are.

One thing I have observed from teaching Bellyfit is that it seems to bring happiness to the ladies who have tried it. They are laughing, smiling, glowing and radiant after class, and they feel good about themselves. As an instructor I can find nothing else more rewarding than that. I also feel fantastic after Bellyfit, because I get to do the whole class with you!

If you would like to see what a BellyFit class looks like in action check out the following Youtube video of Alice Bracegirdle the creator of Bellyfit, explaining it in more detail.

Classes are available at the Saddletowne YMCA Wednesday and Friday starting November 5th and 7th respectively, from 5:30-6:30 PM.  Our traditional Belly Dance class still runs on Monday 6:30-7:30 PM; a new class starts November 3rd!

Register today online, or stop by and chat with one of our friendly member services staff.  Please quote classes #96203 and #96213, or #94165 for Belly Dance. 

 


A Ballet Inspired Workout

Have you been to the ballet recently? Ballet dancers are fit. They have muscle, endurance, and the artistic quality to make what they do look both easy and beautiful. I trained in ballet for almost 20 years. Basic ballet movements are still my go-to exercise. It leans, tones, and lengthens, builds strength and posture. While in the kitchen doing dishes or hanging out watching TV, I like to get in a short ballet-inspired work out. I use a sturdy chair or my kitchen counter as a ballet barre to hold on to with one hand for balance.

A Basic Ballet Movement Workout

Pliés & Rises

Pliés in first position are one of foundational steps of ballet. To plié means “to bend”.

1. Place your feet together and slowly rotate your legs from the hip so your feet form a small V shape, feet flat, toes out and heels together. This is first position.

2. Bend your legs, keep your knees over your toes and don’t let them fall inward toward each other. Your tailbone should point straight to the floor and your torso should remain upright.

3. Only go as far down as is comfortable.

4. Slowly straighten your legs and continue rising up onto the balls of your feet. Balance for a moment.

5. Slowly lower down until your feet are once again flat on the floor.

Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

You can make this more difficult by doing a plié while balancing on the balls of your feet.

 

Wide Pliés & Rises

Second position is a wider stance than first position.

1. Place your feet hip to shoulder width apart, with your toes still turned out like in first position.

2. Plié by bending your legs. Keep your knees over your toes and don’t let them fall inward toward each other. Your tailbone should point straight to the floor and your torso should remain upright. Only go as far down as is comfortable. You will probably be able to go lower than in first position.

3. Slowly straighten your legs and continue rising up onto the balls of your feet. Balance for a moment.

4. Slowly lower down until your feet are once again flat on the floor.

Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

You can make this more difficult by doing a plié while balancing on the balls of your feet.

 

Arms

A movement of the arms in ballet is called a port de bras. Look at the below sketch of ballet arm positions.

ballet-positions-cecchetti1

1. Hold your arms in front of your thighs, with a slight curve in the elbows to make fifth position en bas.

2. Slowly bring your arms up above your head to fifth position en haut. Stop once your hands are just in front of your forehead, as if shading your eyes from the sun.

3. Slowly open your arms to the sides, to second position of the arms. There should be a smooth slope from your shoulder down to your hands.

4. Slowly lower your arms further to return to fifth position en bas.

Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

You can do this port de bras with one arm or two. You can do it by itself, or combine it with the plié movements.

 

Abs

1. Lie face-up on the floor, legs extended, feet pointed.

2. Pull your abs in. Lift one leg up so your toes point to the ceiling. Keep your other leg straight, toes pointed.

3. Curl your back and shoulder blade and grasp your ankle or calf with your hands. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

4. Slowly lower your leg and repeat on the other side.

Do 5 reps on each leg.

Leg Lift Front

A leg lift is called a grand battement.

1. In first position, extend one leg forward, straight in front of your hip. Toes pointed, and leg turned out so your knee faces slightly to the side.

2. Lift your leg as high as you can, keeping your supporting leg and torso straight. Hold for 10 seconds.

4. Lower your leg and slide your foot back to first position.

5. Repeat with the other leg.

Do 5 sets of 5 lifts on each leg.

 

Leg Lift Behind

In first position, extend one leg backward, right behind your hip. Toes pointed, and leg turned out so your knee faces slightly to the side.

1. Lift your leg as high as you can, keeping your supporting leg and torso straight. Do not bend forward. Hold for 10 seconds.

2. Lower your leg and slide your foot back to first position.

3. Repeat with the other leg.

Do 5 sets of 5 lifts on each leg.

 

Stretch

You’ve worked your muscled hard. Stretch out your quads, your calves, your groin, and your arms.

bolshoiballetdancers
 

*Photo: yakovlev.alexey via flickr


5 Activities You Didn’t Know You Could Do at the YMCA

Squash

The Eau Claire YMCA has 2 squash/racquetball courts. You can book online or by talking to member services. There are even racquets you can use.

Tai Chi

There are multiple Tai Chi classes offered throughout the week at a number of YMCA Calgary locations. This ancient martial art is about centering your focus and improving your mental and physical stamina. Other martial arts offered include Hap Ki Do, Capoeira, Karate

Parkour

Parkour is a whole body sport aimed at getting around the urban landscape in the quickest, most efficient way possible – using only your body and your surroundings.

It uses movements like rolls, jumps and climbing in combination with free running; freestyle gymnastics. Youth can learn moves to scale walls, jump gaps, balance on rails, and climb poles. There are classes offered to youth at a number of YMCA Calgary locations.

Belly dancing and Social Dance

Move your hips and learn to coordinate dancing with a veil in belly dancing classes with other women. Or, as a couple, you can learn the basic steps for classic dances like the Fox Trot, Rhumba, Waltz, Jive and Two Step.

There’s even a children’s cooking class for 3-5 year olds!

The South Health Campus YMCA is part of the South Health Campus Wellness Centre which includes a Wellness Kitchen. The Cookie Monster’s class gives kids the opportunity to learn about nutrition and food preparation by making some simple and easy recipes. And they get to eat what they make!
Check out our program guides to learn more about the classes and programs available to you and your family!!

Registration (members) for Spring and Summer sessions opens February 24.

Saddletowne Program Guide Cover


 

 

 


Fitness Volunteer Opportunity

Shawnessy YMCA in Calgary’s south west  is actively recruiting certified group fitness instructors to join our fabulous team of volunteer instructors!  There will be subbing opportunities as well as full classes available beginning in summer and fall 2013.

If you are group fitness certified with YMCA, AFLCA or Can-Fit-Pro, click here to check out the posting.


We Love Volunteers!

April 21-27, 2013 is National Volunteer Week in Canada.

This is the time that we at the YMCA want to say a giant THANK YOU to each and every volunteer that walks though our doors at all of our various locations throughout the city.  You make programs, community groups, and membership services to name a few run efficiently.   Without our volunteers, YMCA Calgary would not be nearly as successful as we are.

Volunteer Fact – Did you know that all of the drop-in group fitness instructors at YMCA Calgary are volunteers?  The certification process can be a lengthy and costly venture, and yet these ladies and gentlemen choose to give back to their community in wellness, paying forward those skills to give you a great workout as well as a great YMCA experience.


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