For our Academy Award challenge we asked participants to submit their stories and we were blown away by the responses. Today we're sharing some of our favorites. The challenge may be over but these stories will stick with us and continue to inspire. Keep up the good work everyone!
Challenge Results & Stories
I am down 10 lbs since January and am feeling great! Now these 10 lbs. may be the baby weight coming off, but it has been so great to have Dancers Shape through my pregnancy as well as afterwards. It has been so much easier to come back after this pregnancy due to consistent attendance before delivery. Gaining access to those deep abdominal muscles after my C-section has been difficult, but by maintaining strength during pregnancy, I am gaining access to those deep muscles quicker than I thought. I love being back and I feel great.
Dancers Shape has changed my life. When I first started coming, it was all about how I looked. Now, it is more about how I feel when I take class. DS has inspired me to live a more healthy lifestyle. With the people DS works with, like Chelsea and Snap, and the challenges throughout the year, I've been given motivation to build and maintain healthy habits. And I had no idea how competitive I was inside! I look at what the twenty-somethings are doing and push myself to do it too. I am never bored as there is so much variety and inspiration in the studio. DS has become like a family to me. Though I don't know the instructors outside of DS, they have become friends always willing to provide support.
Soon after I signed up for the challenge, I realized that I would miss the last week of it – as well as some random days in between the start and end of the challenge – due to travel to visit family and for vacation. My challenge became, then, to take all the classes that Dancers Shape had to offer, whether ones that I’d never tried before or classes that I used to take but just fell “out of the habit” for various reasons. My challenge was to diversify my barre regimen.
My approach had outcomes beyond what I expected.
1. I rediscovered classes that I used to take and remembered why I used to love taking them. For example, I really enjoyed the revamped Cardio Express (no more shoes!) and Power classes, both of which I simultaneously looked forward to but also dreaded because I knew I’d be pushed to go beyond my comfort zone (but in a good way).
2. It reconfirmed the importance of taking “slower” classes and now want to inject them in my usual regimen as a sort of refresher. Restorative and Graceful classes helped me to fully appreciate each movement more slowly and to refine my technique. Yoga reminded me of how vital it is to keep the mind–body connection.
3. I had increased not only my physical stamina but also my mental fortitude (the latter was an unexpected bonus!). I was truly amazed how much confidence I gained when taking classes I was “afraid of” or didn’t think I could handle. I toughened up both physically and mentally, doing “crazy” things like taking Power and immediately following it with Groove – and I had fun doing it! The physical and mental endurance I gained during this challenge was incredible!
4. It confirmed why I love going to this local studio and remaining very loyal to it. The community built around this challenge was motivating and supportive. The DS instructors have always been very encouraging and constructive, and the environment they create is always positive. In addition, there was such great camaraderie among the clients who were doing the challenge – and with those who weren’t. I found myself encouraging others to take classes that they were hesitant to take (like how I used to be!) and letting them know classes were both challenging and rejuvenating. We all were helping one another to keep going and to try something new or challenging for ourselves.
This is the most fun I’ve had doing a Dancers Shape Challenge. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to improve in many ways.
Thanks for everything!