Let's Review- Dance on TV

I've been doing research on Martha Graham for my Women Artists course for my MFA. Martha's been an obsession for me since college. I think I really identify with her because she started dancing in her teenage years, as did. She wrote in an essay "The function of the dance is communication." And it remind me of this post from 2013. 

One of my students asked me this weekend if I had seen a recent episode of "So You Think You Can Dance". I told him I didn't believe in such things. Upon reflection, he deserved a better answer. And I know this is something that my fellow dance teachers and I discuss frequently, and can disagree on. 

I love what reality shows have done for the profile of dance in America. People see it. They enjoy it. More than they have done those things in the past. 

My problem is that reality TV is not translating into real life. Are more people going to dance concerts because of these programs? Are more enrolling dance classes? 

More deeply, is dance being seen as an art form of communication, or simply a physical feat of beauty? In musical theatre dance, the movement is tied to the words. However, I try to carry a theme of movement through a piece, or a motivation. Many of my students don't recognize it until I point it out. Is anyone taking the time to do that on SYTCD and related shows? Are we making audiences look for connections and depth, or simply tying movement to a popular song, to get the dance to be popular too? 

I read in Dance Teacher magazine, in the history column on the New Dance Group, "The young art form of modern dance was empowered and validated by its alignment with the political and social issues of the day….It was a complete dance entity simmering in a social, political and cultural stew….they cared and water to use their art to raise social consciousness."

Are today's dance shows raising the social consciousness? Are we challenging ideals, norms, and stances? Are we standing for anything? Or just entertaining?

I truly don't know the answers to these questions, as I stopped watching many of these shows after one season, finding that the answers to all of my above questions were not acceptable. Have they changed? Is the awareness and appreciation they bring to the art of dance worthwhile anyway? Should I give them all another chance? Feedback and comments welcome!

I still don't know the answers to these questions. And I think just having the conversation may be as valid as answering the questions. I would now add to the list of questions: What are we communicating? 

As you will see in the comments on the original post, much of SYTYCD and DWTS is about sex, lust, love or heartbreak. Dance can speak to much more than that. Have we limited its power with what we display on TV?

Again, comments and feedback are welcome!

Let's Review- Art as Process, not Product

I originally wrote this piece in 2012. A lot has changed since then. But not really my ideas on Arts Eduction. As a matter of fact, I think it is even more important now that we teach the process of art making, rather than emphasize the final product. I've seen too many organizations and teachers put all the power of art on the "show".  When really, in terms of learning, it's the process that matters. 

April was full of events. Actually, most of them occurred all in 1 week! My high school students presented A Midsummer Night’s Dream and their semester dance performance. My students at Hedgerow performed for a fundraiser. Through it all, I was coaching, correcting, writing program notes, performing as well, and just generally hoping for the best. 

Weeks like that are the best and the worst. We celebrate as all of our hard work, scolds, suggestions and teaching become a beautiful final product. And, we worry that it won’t. Somehow, it always seems to “come together”. Yet, I’m concerned that miracle of adrenaline is something we take for granted. Do we, as teachers and directors, just trust it will “come together”, and then not instill in our students the importance of discipline, rehearsing as you would perform, and taking pride in one’s work, as much in the process as the product? 

If we do not encourage our students to be disciplined- prepared, on time, respectful of the process, their peers and their authorities- we miss a chance to prepare them for college and jobs, where they will not have us there to remind them. 

If we do not have them rehearse as they perform, we do not teach them that the arts, and most things in life, are group efforts. That the actions (or lack thereof) of one person has a ripple affect on the group, with consequences s/he may not foresee when focused on him/herself.

If we do not encourage our students to take as much pride in the process as in the finished product, we do not actually encourage learning. We are telling them that the end is all that matters. We do not take mistakes and failures as learning opportunities, rather we just focus on the happy ending (see chapter 1 of Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine). And in that, we don’t encourage creativity. If we cannot teach our students to try, to fail, to try again, to seek ways to improve we are not educating them. We are not creating a generation of resilient, innovative thinkers and doers, who operate with perspective and insight. We are simply teaching them to get to the end. By whatever means necessary. 

The arts in education should not be about just getting to the end- the performance, the final piece, the presentation. The arts in education should be a time to teach the value of exploration, to embrace learning and process as just as important as the finished product. If you never start, you can never finish. If you do not learn as you go, you will not end up in any place different than where you started. 

Viewpoint 2: Most Women Spend Too Much Time Thinking Negatively About Their Bodies

File under: Incredibly Obvious.

And maybe it’s not just women. Maybe it’s men, too. But I don’t work with them as much. Nor am I as interested in working with them as I am with women. But I do know that it is not just grown women. I know that my 7-10 year old dance students make regular negative comments on their own bodies. 7 to 10! That’s crazy. They are going to go through another 50+ years of body negativity? Yikes!

Love this!

Love this!

I had an eating disorder in my teens and 20s. Fitness saved me. It taught me to see my body as pure potential. To see food as healing, supporting and fueling. That experience has led to a burning passion for me to guide other women and girls to the same realizations.

I actually quote this statistic a lot in my classes-

“...on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily—nearly one for every waking hour.” (Shape Magazine, 2011)

I think that statistic is extremely low. An even more telling stat from the same survey is that 97% of women will have at least 1 “I hate my body” moment, EVERY day.

In my CABARRET classes, on our cool down stretches, I remind my students to thank their body, for all that it did, for exploring, for expressing. In my baby ballet classes, my 3 and 4 year olds thank their body parts for helping them to dance. This year, I introduced something new with my older girls, and on the last class before Thanksgiving, we talked about what we were thankful for...about our bodies!

These are not just silly exercises, or time-killers for my classes. This work is what I committed to- helping women celebrate their bodies now, even as they create a stronger, healthier body for the future. Helping women feel CONNECTED to their bodies, rather than trying to separate themselves from it.

Let’s be clear. Any time spent beating up your body is too much time. It needs to stop. I know, I know...the media…. The media doesn’t think your thoughts for you. Only you live in your head.

So, the next time a negative body thought pops up, capture it. (Maybe even try the exercise from the SHAPE study: for 1 day, write down every negative body thought you have.) Then ask your body to forgive you for that thought, and replace it with a thought of gratitude- that you are strong enough to pick up your kids, that you recovered from that cold, that your eyes are just the prettiest shade of blue. Something. Anything. Change the message. Your body hears everything your mind thinks.

As Louise Hay says “You’ve been beating yourself up for years now, and what has that done for you? Try being nice to yourself instead.”

Viewpoint 1: Most Fitness Regimens are Mindless

Well, that plan didn't quite work out (the one to repurpose content). Oh well. But now, I've got a new plan! 

Under the guidance of my biz coach, the fabulous Erika Lyremark, I've been working to really bring MY voice to CABARRET. After all, that is what the workout is meant to do- allow women to express themselves!

So the next few blog posts will be about what Erika calls "ViewPoints". The beliefs that I hold that help define me, and my business. So, I'm ready to step up and speak out! 

And this first one goes back to my original plan, repurposing content!

Viewpoint 1: Most Workouts are Mindless

Read the original post here.

What do I mean? I mean, when you go to the gym, you just check out. You read, watch TV, or follow the teacher without ever putting the power of your brain behind your movements! This makes for a less effective workout, a less safe workout, and could even contribute to those feelings of boredom that sometimes crop up at the gym. And you don't have to believe just me! Check out the word from scientists. 

Only You

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be revisiting some of my favorite blog posts from the past, and republishing the ones that are still relevant. 

Here is one from August, 2011, To Thine Own Self Be True

When you perform- dance, act, sing- you are creating. You are molding a moment in time that can never be had again. It might be recorded, saved, whatever, but it will never HAPPEN again. You may not consider yourself a creator, but you are. You may be executing someone else’s movements or interpreting someone else’s words. You may be under the direction of someone else. BUT. You are the do-er- You are creating the moment for the audience. 

No one else will have the opportunity. No one else will do it in the way you will. So, make it yours. Create your little creature and share it. Be true to your soul. Don’t acquiesce that responsibility to a director, choreographer, whoever. By all means,  follow directions, take your notes, do your job. And then, create an experience to share with your audience.

I've come to realize that this isn't just true in theatre. It's true in life. Your life is your creation. Whether you work for someone else or yourself, you're bringing skills, experience and insights that no one else has your particular combination of. 

You are creating a moment in time to share with those around you. Make it the best. 

AMRAP Giveaway and Review

A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity, through my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship, to review the new AMRAP bars. As someone who lives on protein shakes and bars, I was pretty psyched. 

Almond & Honey was my fave!

Almond & Honey was my fave!

Fig & Cacao

Fig & Cacao

Cashew & Vanilla

Cashew & Vanilla

The good news: They taste good! The Almond & Honey was actually my favorite. I thought it tasted like cookie dough!

The bad news: They are really high in calories. At over 300 calories each, these are a meal replacement bar. As a matter of fact, my usual protein bar, which is said to be a meal replacement only has 250 calories. And has more protein than these! AMRAP bars are definitely only for use as a meal replacement or a killer workout. Or try half at a time!

So, I won't be switching from Isagenix to AMRAP for my bars. That said, they are a very good, very clean option. So good, in fact, I'm giving you the opportunity to win some! I'll be choosing 3 winners! Good luck!

4 Mantras to Help You Survive Anxiety and Overwhelm.

As I prepare to move (yeah, again), I’m feeling a lot of anxiety. Plus just the regular, everyday stresses of teaching, running a business, and having a life. 

I took this pic as part of the #RadicalSelfLoveJuly Instagram Challenge hosted by Gala Darling. The day's topic was "Favorite Book".

I took this pic as part of the #RadicalSelfLoveJuly Instagram Challenge hosted by Gala Darling. The day's topic was "Favorite Book".

I’ve been working through “A Course in Miracles”. The text is full of so much beauty and truth. The workbook exercises are simple, yet challenging. This book, as well as Michael Singers’s “The Untethered Soul”, have been incredibly enlightening and inspiring for me in the past few months. , I’d like to share these ideas from “A Course in Miracles” to help you survive your stressful, anxiety-filled times. 


“When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into communion but will also understand peace and joy.”

When I read this, it struck me that much of our anxiety comes from fear that our authentic self is not “_____” enough. Good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, etc. And we feel the need to cover up our perceived lack. This closing off of ourselves keeps us from entering into deep relationships with other and from experiencing peace in ourselves. Start to expose the real you, and feel the release!


“You can never control the effects of fear yourself, because you made fear, and you believe in what you made.”

One of the premises of “A Course in Miracles” is that fear is our own creation, from our egos. It is simply a false state of being. You believe the fear, because it is your own invention. And much like Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster, it cannot be controlled. 


“When you are sad, know this need not be. Depression comes from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have.”

Now, this is not talking about clinical depression. Mental illness is a real thing and should be treated as a medical issue. Ok, with that disclaimer-

If you are truly content, you cannot be depressed. This was an amazing change of mindset for me. I allow myself to be discouraged and saddened by WANTING. It is, of course, ok to want things if that want pushes you to make changes, work harder, take steps to your goals, etc. It is not ok to want things at the expense of gratitude. We must learn to be thankful and grateful for what we have and where we are, and that gratitude will protect us. 


“Guilt is a sure sign that your thinking is unnatural.”

Oh, boy. This was another big one for me. Guilt is a big motivator in my life. And when I read the above sentence, it was like a lightening bolt. 

I often summarize “The Untethered Soul” for those who haven’t read it as “Stress comes from two places- feeling guilty about the past and worrying about the future. And neither of those things are something we can control! We have only the present to live and work in.”

So if you are suffering feelings of guilt, you need to learn how to leave those in the past. That is no longer a moment you can control. Concentrate your thoughts, energy, life on the present!


I hope you found a bit of wisdom here! And if you haven’t read the books I mentioned, I really can’t recommend them enough!

5 Things To Do When You Need a Break From Yourself.

Gala Darling has declared this month #RadicalSelfLoveJuly ! And she has a whole Instagram challenge going for the month. I am participating, but must admit, I’m not doing very well. But, it’s OK! No guilt for the lack of demonstrating self-love is actually having self-love, right?

If you’re like me, you have moments where you find it difficult to be with yourself. That last bad decision or unkind word keeps playing in your head. Your life looks so overwhelming you wonder how you got yourself into this. You have to make a decision and are torn, and you wish you’d just make up your mind already!

Sometimes we just need a break for ourselves. And that’s ok. So, the next time you are on the verge of making yourself crazy, try one of these things instead:

1. Take a nap. I know you’re not 4. But a nap is the perfect way to both escape your life for an hour, and reset your mindset. The world always looks better after a nap.

2. Try some self-love. If you are loving yourself, it’s hard to beat yourself up at the same time! A massage, a long bath. Eat chocolate. Go to the coffee shop and have a date with you.

3. Write a letter to yourself congratulating you on the things you’ve accomplished in the past year. Just like above, you can’t be hard on yourself if you are impressed by you! So often, we don’t take the time to really reflect on, or celebrate our accomplishments. Give yourself that time now. I bet you’ve got more than one thing worth celebrating from the past year. It feels good to remember that!

One of my favorites!

One of my favorites!

4. Have a mantra or quote. Find something that inspires you. Put it where you can see it. Repeat it over and over to yourself, or out loud, when you are questioning your own ability to create the life you desire. One of my favorites is from Marianne Williamson: “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you NOT to be?”

5. Have a “2 Minute Meltdown”. This is actually one of my favorites. I find it incredibly effective. Set a timer for two minutes and let it all out. We often deny ourselves negative feelings, or feel that we should just be able to “handle it”. But a meltdown can be incredibly productive.

My friend and coach Stacy Moscotti is great at this. She even lets me call her when I’m having my “2 Minute Meltdown” and she listens. And then says “Ok, so what are your options to not being in this situation?” I find one of two things usually happens: 1. I feel better so much better after letting it all out, that nothing needs to happen. I can deal with it now, I just needed to vent. Or, 2. The venting allowed me to clear my mind of frustration, so now I really can see the options available to me.

So the next time you’re wishing you could get a break from yourself, try one of these things. And, if you’re so inclined, join me for #RadicalSelfLoveJuly on Instagram. Let’s take a month to treat ourselves like the amazing creatures we are.

How I scored a chance to work for ESPN for a day. And what it taught me about running my business.

Last week, I had the opportunity to work for ESPN as a judge for the Fitness Competition portion of their Fitness Universe Weekend in Ft. Lauderdale. How did I get such a cool gig? Well, simply by running a solid business. They Google’d for dancers dance teachers in the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area, and discovered my CABARRET website. When they learned I was not just a dancer and dance teacher, but also a Pilates and fitness instructor, I was a natural choice! Not only did they ask me to join the panel of judges, but they asked for my help in recruiting other dance people! Frankly, I felt like I had won a competition! Finally, someone was noticing all the work I was putting into my business! And not just any someone- ESPN!

Lesson Learned- Do The Work. Even when you’re tired. Even when it seems like it isn’t making a difference. Keep doing what you know needs doing. It matters. The Universe is noticing.


Now, since joining Isagenix, I’ve heard about fitness competitions. But I really had no idea what they were. In my head, it was bizarrely muscled people in small swimsuits, awkwardly posing. So, when they told me there was a talent portion, where each contestant had to perform a 2 minute routine, this movie in my head became hilarious. Imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger doing an interpretive modern dance. That’s what I was picturing.   

Turns out, not so much. The Arnold-like bodies were competing in the Physique and Muscle Mania categories. These people were, for the most part, former gymnasts and dancers. (And, since all but 2 were women, I’m going to write the rest of this post with the feminine pronouns.) While definitely fit and muscular, they were not what I had imagined. Each contestant had clearly put in a ton of work on her routine, her costume, her music. And we had to score them on all of it. But, importantly, we were not to compare the routines to each other. They even took away our score sheets quickly to make sure we couldn’t. We were simply to judge each contestant on her ability to create, execute, and really perform, her own routine. This actually took a bit of mental work, but was a great lesson. We weren’t “allowed” to remember 1 girl did back handsprings, one girl did them with twists, and one didn’t do them at all. It wasn’t about being more advanced than someone else. It was really doing your best, against your stiffest competition- yourself.

Lesson Learned- Comparison happens. But it really doesn’t matter. Work to be better than you were yesterday. At the end, you are evaluated on the work you put in, and the execution you pulled off. Don’t get caught up in the flashy, fancy tricks. They last a moment. But a consistent, well-thought-out, excellently done, your-own-style performance is what will get the highest marks.

Lesson Learned- Only you are you. Your creativity and style makes you stand out. Don’t shy away from it. Rock it.

We saw 3 categories of performers- Women’s Open, Men’s Open and Pro Women. As I mentioned above, there were only 2 men. While I agreed with the decisions we, as a panel, reached for the 2 women’s categories, I vehemently disagreed with the men’s. As did the other dancer/dance teacher on the panel. But, I do think my background as a dancer/dance teacher and a fitness instructor gives me a good insight into what is required in these routines. Turns out, we don’t all have the same appreciation of the skills required for certain physical execution. However, since we weren’t supposed to be comparing the routines to each other, but only to the rubric, perhaps my other judges were right. The truth is, we don’t know what other people see. We can all be looking at the same thing, but see something totally different.

Lesson Learned- Perspective matters. Your background will color what you see. And it may not match everyone else’s. Stick to your guns. You’re allowed to like what you like, don’t what you don’t. You do not need to explain away or excuse the points of view that make you who you are.

I don’t know that I will ever participate in a fitness competition. After watching one, I think I could, and do fairly well. However, I’m not certain that’s how my performing skills will best serve me. I do know that I was thrilled for this opportunity and the lessons I learned from it! My business coach, Erika Lyremark, has been hammering home for me the importance of personality and individuality in business. This was just another opportunity for me to learn those lessons. 

What to Wear to Your Very 1st Pin-up Convention!

The first Pinned Miami was Memorial Day weekend. I found out about it a few weeks before, and was so excited. Really. Like, “this is going to be the best weekend of my life” level excited. I’ve loved old movies since I was a little girl. But, since I moved to FL two years ago, I’ve become *almost* obsessed with vintage, pin-up and burlesque. I’ve slowly been building a vintage/vintage-style wardrobe and learning more about the history and culture. For more on this, check on C. Madeline’s blog (and store!)    . 

Pinup and burlesque are celebrations of the female form. There are girls of every shape, size, color, and style. The #1 rule is - wear what makes you feel good. While there are plenty of pinup styles I wish I could wear, I just look silly. I’m not the typical curvy pinup. I also hate product in my hair. And use organic/natural make-up. So that makes styling me a bit difficult!

There is a picture in my head of what a pinup girl is. But, I know my body, and personality, does not in any way fit that! So, I go with my assets. My legs. My long lines. I keep my style more Audrey than Marilyn. 

And that’s what I encourage you to do to, if you’re going to a pinup convention, or to the grocery store. You don’t have to go with the style of everyone around you. You know what feels good, what looks good. Play to your strengths! 

So much of fashion is dictated by models, designers, celebrities, and people who don’t have to wear real clothes to do real life activities! They can be PhotoShopped to look great in whatever, and have a team of stylists to get them as close to perfection as possible. Make your style really YOUR style. Whether you’re buying your clothes at the vintage store, Target or Saks. 

Dress in a way that makes you feel good, and shows off what you what to display and covers what you don’t. I’ve taken to wearing short shorts pretty much all the time, because: 1. I live in South Florida. 2. I like my legs, I’ve worked hard for them, and I want to show the results!

Your style should reflect who you are. Not who society wants you to be. Make your clothes as much of your identity as your writing, voice, and work. Style is one of the first things people will notice about you. Say what you want them hear- visually!

Here are some pics from the convention. And I did have incredible amounts of fun- dancing, learning, watching shows and getting photos done.  

Liebster Award- I'm Honored, and Honoring Others!

Info About the “Liebster Award”

The Liebster Award, or “the favorite blog award”, is an internet-based award that is given to bloggers by other bloggers. In Germany, the word “liebster” has the same meaning as “favorite, beloved, or dearest.” This award is primarily given to blogs that have less than 200 followers. That way, it helps the blogger with being more known to the world as well as giving the blogger the opportunity to learn about more amazing bloggers.

Liebster Award!

Liebster Award!

Thank you Gabi for nominating me! Here are my responses to your 10 questions!

1.) What is the story behind your blog?

I started a blog in 2011! Crazy. Originally, it was a lot of posts about the arts, particularly dance and theatre. As I have morphed professionally, so has it. Now, my post is mainly about fitness and health, but with an emphasis on the connection of the mind and the body. It’s really a place for me to go a bit more in depth than I can with a class I’m teaching. I also explore topics like relationships, arts, and do product reviews, because those are all part of a holistic existence!

2.) What is your favorite meal to make at home?

Whole wheat pasta with sauteed chicken, tomatoes, and spinach, tossed with lemon juice and parmesan.

3.) What is the best $100 you have ever spent?

My weekly Pilates lesson. It’s not quite $100, but close. My body, and my teaching need it!

4.) If you could be featured in Health magazine for your blog, what kind of article would you contribute?

Definitely a post about mindful fitness. About focusing on the work of the muscles, moving with control, knowing the big picture. We get so caught up in just following our instructors, or going through our routine, that our mind checks out. Not only does this make our workout less effective, because our energy is divided, it also leaves us open to injury and strain!

5.) What is one skill you would like to obtain over the next two years?

Photoshop. It evades me. Thank God PicMonkey is easy!

6.) What is one piece of advice that you wish you could pass on to everyone else?

We are stressed because we feel guilty about the past and worried about the future. Yet, the only moment we can control is the present. Be here, now.

7.) If we were to pull out all of the items in your gym bag right now, what would we find?

Oh, my. A lot! 2 different cords to attach my phone to the various sound systems in various studios. 3 pairs of shoes. A cosmetic bag with a comb, hand sanitizer, lip gloss and a pony tail holder. A folder with my class lists and diagrams for my dance classes with young children. A notebook with class and dance ideas. An Isagenix Want More Energy stick and a packet of Isagenix protein shake. An apple. My wallet and iPhone. In the front pocket is pens, highlighters and post-its, and my university ID (teaching, not student).

8.) Whenever you are having a bad day, what is the best thing you can do to help cheer yourself up?

Get a vegan chocolate chip cookie and an iced coffee with almond milk at Whole Foods.

9.) If, like the newspaper, you could have anything of your choice delivered to your doorstep every morning, what particular item would you want it to be?

Clean laundry. ;)

10.) What is one way you hope to influence readers with your blog?

I hope I encourage readers to integrate their mind and their bodies. Whether than means being thoughtful about what they are eating or their fitness regimens, or if it means being gentle to themselves as they work on their goal, or even look in the mirror. There is a 2012 study that found that American women think 13 negative thoughts about their body a day. I think that’s actually a low number. But that is NOT the kind of mind/body integration we want. I want to encourage positivity and potentiality. Your body hears everything your mind says, and takes it as true, and makes that your reality. So, let’s craft a beautiful one.

So, we're supposed to nominated 10. I tried. But, despite calls on Facebook, I only have these 6 very worthy nominees:

The Road Lots Traveled. This is my sister. She has many adventures. Fun read and great pictures.

The aJennda. All things dance and ballet.

The 109th Bead. Dance discussions and reviews.

Completely Rita. Rita is a barre instructor, which is how we connected. Her blog right now is covering her sugar detox. Very inspiring!

The Love Cook. Jane and I went through the same business coaching, and I LOVE her and where she’s going with her business. Dating and marriage advice!

Field Notes. Sheridan was in the course with Jane and I. She designs the MOST gorgeous jewelry. Her blog covers fashion, mindfulness, and much more.

Nominees, here are your questions!

1. Why did you decide to start a blog?

2. What has been your biggest blogging milestone? ie: 100th post, comment from someone you respect, getting a bajillion retweets, etc.

3. Which blog post are you most proud of?

4. Sweet or salty?

5. Red or white?

6. What do you want MORE of in your life?

7. When and where was your last vacation?

8. Favorite inspirational quote?

9. Do you have a morning ritual? If so, can you share it (or part) with us?

10. What is your superpower? ie: inspiring your students, taking amazing pictures, whipping up an organic gourmet meal in 30 minutes or less.


Nominees, here are the rules:

1. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you.

2. You must pick 10 bloggers with a small following to be nominated for the award.

3. You must create 10 questions for the nominees to answer on their blog.

4. Then link back to the person who nominated you.

5.  And then go to each new nominees’ blog and notify them of the nomination!

Let's spread the blog love!

Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention

May is Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. I don't very often do sponsored content for my blog. But, because this is a concern for many of my clients, and in my family, I felt it fit. So, here is a graphic from the American Recall Center with some pretty scary facts about osteoporosis. 

Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Facts.

Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Facts.

Osteoporosis is a big concern for many of my clients. In fact, some of them came to Pilates on their doctor's recommendation. And, I'm happy to report, many have found increased bone density because of Pilates. Weight bearing exercise, with resistance like springs, is a great, safe way to address osteoporosis. 

Perhaps most importantly, Pilates is a great way to help PREVENT osteoporosis or bad consequences of the disease. Pilates works to develop even and balanced muscles throughout the body, both protecting your bones and bettering your posture to decrease chances of falling.

For a great article on Pilates and Osteoporosis, that really describes how Pilates benefits your bones, check out this interview with Rebekah Rotstein

Super-Berry Super-Protein Pancakes (Paleo!)

  • 1 packet of Berry Harvest Vegan Protein Powder (Isagenix)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup almond meal (left over from making almond milk)
  • ¼ cup almond milk or water
  • 20 blueberries

Blend the banana, egg, almond meal, and milk in the blender or mixer until a smooth batter

Fold in the blueberries.

Pour coconut oil in the middle of the skillet.

Turn on stovetop to medium heat

Pour in batter.

Cook until brown and flip. Cook until brown.

Makes about 6 pancakes. 

Rock Your Bikini Body!

While being featured in SHAPE as an expert trainer is still something I’m very proud of, I’m very disappointed in their editorial team for how they handled this amazing story. 


Eating healthy and working out isn't about losing weight. It's about being healthy. Losing weight isn't even about losing weight. It's about being healthy and treating your body well. 

One of the things I’m most passionate about is women embracing and loving their bodies. Appreciating their bodies for all the things they are capable of. Running. Carrying 5 bags of groceries. Carrying a child. Touching your toes. Hanging upside down on a pole. Lifting weights. 

So here is my body, about 60 days ago, at the beginning of the IsaBody Challenge. Can’t wait to see my changes by the end of this month! 

Me, about 60 days ago. 

Me, about 60 days ago. 

Feel free to post your bikini pics in the comments, or make a post of your own in support of Brooke and in celebration of all of us, and our bodies. Today, I celebrate my ability to dance, to move, What are you celebrating?  

It's Another Giveaway!

Awesome inspirational jewelry from Momentum. 

Awesome inspirational jewelry from Momentum. 

Most of you know, I'm not really a jewelry person. I wear my shooting star necklace (thanks Sarah J. Gafgen!) every day, to remind me of my big dreams, and that someone believes in me. That's about it. I wear earrings so infrequently my holes have grown shut. I wear rings when I go out. I rarely wear bracelets, because they usually slosh around on my tiny wrist. 

But, for the past 2 weeks, I have be rocking the wrap bracelet from Momentum. And I've gotten tons of comments on it! 

Things to Love:

  1. Because it's a fabric wrap, I can loop it around my wrist as many times as it takes. 
  2. It stays put- which means it isn't getting in my way when I teach Pilates, when I'm on the pole, or even in aerial, when I might have the swing wrapped around my wrist for a bound grip. 
  3. The saying "inspire & empower" is perfect for me and CABARRET, and I love seeing it all day every day, reminding me why I really do what I do. 

And because I love it so much, and Momentum is so generous, we're going to give one away! Contest ends on 5/16, so enter now!

What would you choose?

What would you choose?

Here are your choices for sayings and color! One of the ways to earn an entry is to post your design in the comments, so leave one below! Good luck!

Giveaway- Panties by Post! French Lingerie for You!

So excited to host a giveaway here and on Facebook! And it's perfect for all my pin-up girls! Panty by Post!

Win French Lingerie from Panty by Post and caBARREt!

Win French Lingerie from Panty by Post and caBARREt!

Here's a little about them: 

Panty By Post started in Paris in August 2008 and is based in Vancouver, Canada. Owner and founder Natalie Grunberg (read her profile in our blog) has always been inspired by Paris and it’s no surprise she's built a company that has distinguished itself as a unique brand with a very French twist. Customers subscribe to the service from all over the world, with the biggest following in Canada, the USA, and France. 

Our mission is to spread the pleasure of French lingerie all over the world. With each pretty package, send a message of love and joie de vie!

Placing a PantybyPost.com order is easy and almost as much fun as receiving them in the mail! Choose from our enticing styles and shop our Signature, Bridal or Men's Line. Ordering online is easy, and can also be placed via our toll-free line 8AM-10PM (PST). We ship worldwide.

Good luck!

The End of Back Pain- A Book Review

Remember book reports? I loved them. Because I loved reading, it didn't really seem too much like homework. And now, I get to do book reports for you!

I was asked to review an advanced copy of The End of Back Pain by Patrick A. Roth, MD because of my affiliation with Girls Gone Sporty. The book is now available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. 

I was excited to read this book, because, as a Pilates instructor, I have seen exercise do great things for people who experience back pain. One of my students in Philadelphia, when I was just starting, included a women with herniated discs. When she came to me, she couldn't even bend over to tie her shoes. Through her work with me, she was able to not only tie her shoes, but return to hiking, and accomplish a complete Intermediate Reformer, with spine-heavy exercise like Short Spine Massage and The Semi-Circle. It was absolutely incredible to watch, and as a new instructor, was so inspiring, and proof that the Pilates method worked!

Currently, one of my students is a woman in her 60s with spinal stenosis and fibromyalgia who finds great relief and increased mobility in her work with me. Another is a former professional wrestler with multiple spine and joint issues. His Pilates work is the only thing that helps to mobilize and relieve pain in his neck. 

So, I think I was understandably surprised to read on page 6 that Pilates would not be the best course of action for someone with back pain, as it only works the front of the body. Um, what?  Clearly, Dr. Roth has never had a classical Pilates private session with a certified instructor. Dr. Roth, if you are ever in South Florida, please call me! You can have one with me! I'd love to introduce you to the magic that is real Pilates.

This error is likely not Dr. Roth's fault. There are so many "Pilates" methods out there, and what many think of as Pilates is the mat work, done in a class in a gym with an instructor who got certified in a weekend. Not the in depth, personal work on equipment as well as the mat, tailored to individual needs and goals, with an instructor who has spent over 1000 hours studying and practicing and has taken 6 exams, both written and practical, to prove her capabilities.

Dr. Roth describes his workout, The Hidden Core Workout, as a way to "build all of your muscles to form an internal brace around your entire core- front, sides, and back." Perhaps Dr. Roth would be surprised to learn that Mr. Pilates described the PowerHouse in much the same way, he defined it as the muscles that run from shoulders to hips/buttocks, on both the front AND back of the body.  Actually, Dr. Roth, if you are reading this, I recommend you check out Joseph Pilates' Return to Life Through Contrology, or his second book, Your Health. He was a man quite ahead of his time!

The Hidden Core Workout is a series of exercises for someone with back pain to do at home, to both strengthen and stretch (another Pilates concept!) the spine and the muscles around it. As an exercise professional, of course I recommend that people do these with a trainer or instructor, to make sure they are maintaining their form, and engaging the proper muscles. Dr. Roth believes that these exercises are safe enough to do at home, without supervision. And he may be totally correct. But, I know how easy it is to cheat in our workouts. Or even to be earnestly trying, and not quite get it right. 

Despite our disagreement on Pilates, I fully agree with the premise of this book. Exercise is a great option for sufferers of back pain and must be considered as viable as physical therapy, pain killers and therapy. But many people shy away from it for fear of more pain. 

Dr. Roth does a great job of breaking down scientific concepts and medical theories into understandable examples. I definitely have a better understanding of the spine, and several common back issues because of reading his book. I'm certain this will help my Pilates teaching immensely. 

My two favorite lines in the book line up with Pilates exactly: 

The key to back health, however, is to focus on muscles that can't be seen in the mirror. (This does not necessarily imply that we must devote ourselves only to the mere development of any particular pet set of muscles, but rather more rationally to the uniform development of our bodies as a whole....- Joseph Pilates, A Return to Life Through Contrology)

I'm going to engage not only your body, but also your intellect. (Logically, man should develop his physical condition simultaneously with the development of his mind. Neither should be sacrificed at the expense of the other, otherwise the all-important balance of body and mind is not attainable. It is this very lack of harmony between man's physical and mental health that is primarily responsible for man's unfortunate physical and mental condition today.- Joseph Pilates, Your Health)

Dr. Roth makes it clear that a big part of alleviating pain comes from being an active and engaged participant in your course of treatment- whether that means exercise, therapy, pills or surgery. Dr. Roth provides clear, non-scary descriptions of conditions, as well as questions to ask your doctor along the way. He encourages patients to use their minds and their intuitions. After all, they are the only ones in their bodies!

I definitely learned a great deal from this book, and will be keeping it on hand. After I get it back from the chiropractor friend I lent it to!

And We're Back!

I'll fill you in on everything that happened in February and March. I promise. But for now, go look at the CABARRET website. That will give you a good start!

I'll have a new post next week, but to get back in the swing of things, I'm posting a list of all my recent guest posts- and there have been quite a few! So, if you missed something, here's the round-up!

Where Did She Go? Don't Lose Yourself in Love! For Rebelle Society, 2/12/14

What is Pilates' Equipment- Your Complete Beginner's Guide. For Girls Gone Sporty, 2/13/14

The One Thing Your Workout Needs. For Business Heroine, 2/26/14

Celebrate Your Sexy Self! For Rebelle Society, 3/3/14

Training Tip 1: Engage Your Postural Muscles. For TrainingTips.com 3/5/14

I was interviewed for the article The 35 Habits that Successful Entrepreneurs Use to Get Things Done on Idea Mensch. 3/6/14

Why Being Single is a Surprisingly Good Idea. For Madamesque Magazine 3/12/14

I was interviewed for the Outside Health & Wellness Podcast that aired on 3/17/14

Training Tip 2: Your Glutes Are Your Secret Weapon. For TrainingTips.com 4/3/14

Training Tip 3: Alignment in Exercise. For TrainingTips.com 4/8/14

When "Fitspiration" Goes Wrong: 5 Prime Examples. For Girls Gone Sporty 4/13/14

Plus, I've got another scheduled for Business Heroine and for Madamesque Magazine! Stay tuned!

Stay Tuned...

I know that I haven't written a lot lately, at least here. But trust me, I have soooooo much to say!

I'm currently going through a business coaching course that is resulting in some rebranding and new ideas, for both myself and for CABARRET! It's exciting and terrifying. The new vision I have for me, the business and all of you, thrills me! But it is definitely taking some work right now. All of my creative energy is currently being poured into creating and re-creating my business. Meaning, I'm not writing a lot for the blog at the moment. So, please stay with me, because these things are going to be awesome! 

And in March, there is going to be a video series for the blog, and some new workout videos for CABARRET!

Until then, check out the current CABARRET video library! There are some great workout ones in there. And, I've updated the class schedule page, because there have been a few changes.

See you soon!