Image Courtesy of Identity Media Co.
Each week, social media is ablaze with images of women posted in front of mirrors with a hashtag that's become easily recognizable in South Florida: #VixenArmy. The workout craze where flirtatious club moves meet traditional dance technique has spread across the region, and allowing women to release their inner pop star, Heat Dancer, or diva. Professional dancer Janet Jones is the mastermind behind the movement, and she shares what is in store for the Vixen Workout:
You originally started off as a Miami Heat dancer, and quickly expanded your dance career. How do you draw upon those experiences in your current role as a teacher?
I think having such a diverse background in both classical and commercial dance has a huge part in my teaching. I have 15 years of classical ballet training which definitely makes me understand movement and the body more than most people. I also have been teaching dance for 10 years, so through experience I've learned what methods of teaching movement is most effective for dancers. My experience as a professional dancer in live shows, TV, and tours helps me think out of the box and definitely adds to the "production" quality in my classes.
How did the idea of creating the Vixen Workout begin for you?
I left my career in dance and joined corporate America when the economy took a hit. I got pregnant with my daughter so I was "stuck" in my job, if you will. The experience of working 9-6 everyday, to then come home and be responsible for the house, dinner, and the responsibilities of being a mother was overwhelming for me. Then doing the same routine every day for a few years, and having absolutely no 'ME' time, caused me to lose myself.
With a stroke of fate, I was laid off and that forced me back into the dance world. I remember a night out with friends, who are all professional, successful women, to a Miami Beach nightclub and some of our favorite songs came on but no one felt that it was appropriate to let loose and dance how we wanted to. Everyone brought their daily roles of career woman/mother/etc... to the club and were unable to just let loose and just be [themselves].
That's when the idea dawned on me. I have had the privilege to be on a stage and feel larger than life performing for thousands ... I also know what it feels like to feel invisible. Most women will never experience themselves on stage with lights, performing and feeling larger than life. Most women only know themselves as invisible.
What if I can give them the experience and feeling I felt when I was on stage? What if i can let every invisible woman know that they can feel like the Vixen they see on that stage, on TV, etc...
At what point did you realize that this class had really made its mark here in Miami?
I knew what I created was special when women kept giving me the same feedback [on] not only quick weight loss, but how the confidence they get from class has improved their lives immensely. I knew its left its mark when our 15 classes a week are booked two weeks in advance. It's still unbelievable to me.
The #VixenArmy tag is full of pictures. What kind of connection has social media been able to provide you to your students?
I've never advertised the workout. It's happened completely by word of mouth and our Instagram account [that] I opened around five months ago. I think our grassroots approach makes our clients feel like they are part of it. The #vixenarmy allows our girls to share their experiences and communicate with each other. Our #vixenarmy is like a community of women who empower each other. I really love that.
You recently held a gigantic class at LIV, and you are now expanding the class to NYC. Are there any other plans for the future in terms of expansion?
I think NYC will be big for the vixen workout. My plans are to take this nationwide, then if possible international.
What is the main thing you hope that women take away after attending your classes?
That they sweat their butts off after an intense workout of dancing to their favorite songs. That they have such a great time that for one hour they forget the world. That they feel SEEN and empowered. Hopefully that confidence & empowerment will trickle down to their daily lives and make them better.