Music and dance, food for the soul!

Music and dance, food for the soul!

“A fit woman is a powerful woman” when l read this Moving Comfort motto l think – that’s me! It would have read as a dream five years ago. Life gets busy, life can be tough and time can just slip away and as we all know, exercise is a healthy alternative to help deal with the everyday stress. I unfortunately had never found a place to escape to until l came across Dance Dynamics and l have never looked back.Although l see myself as an ambitious and successful business woman, l have shied away from sporting and personal past times. After suffering a mild stroke in my mid twenties, it opened my eyes to my health, to life, it made me realize that sickness can strike at any time at any age. I knew l had to find something physical that would keep me healthy and that l would enjoy.  l did suffer muscle weakness and back pain and after trying Pilates and gyms, l soon discovered that it wasn’t for me. Although l had good intentions, l found them boring, l became unmotivated and l soon lost interest.After having two children, l came to the realization that l was indeed unfit and a little heavy, l had put on a few extra kilos and l desperately needed to tone. There never seemed to be enough time nor any  place to go.Tragically l lost my best girlfriend, she passed away quite suddenly, then my sister was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer then my mother with a form of leukemia. My world was turned upside down. For the years to come, l cared for them both. Words cannot describe the heartache and pain that l carried during this time. My sister had three children and she was dying.  My mother, who was my rock and my soul, to witness her suffering this dreaded  disease and the heartache of losing her daughter was so painful to see. So l set out on a quest to make their last days the most beautiful. I had to be strong but l was falling apart within. I remember my mother’s doctor asking me what l was doing to look after myself. I had no answer. “You need to find something for you, some form of exercise, a stress release because if you don’t look after yourself you are no good to anybody”. I never looked at my life like that, l had always put myself last and if l wanted to continue to be the best mum, the best me then l had to change.Enter Dance Dynamics – dance studios based on fun and fitness. This was the change l needed. It took me a little time to muster up the courage to join as l was a little worried about my lack of co-ordination and my two left feet but l soon discovered that l had nothing to worry about. The Dance Dynamics instructors are professional and passionate about sharing their love for dance and fitness and nothing pleases them more than to see students progress, achieve, have fun and walk out that door with a smile! I was blown away by the huge variety of dance styles, Zumba, Cha Cha, Jazz, Salsa, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Rumba, Jive, Ballet Basics, Strength N Tone and much more. It has everything you need under the one roof. I knew this was for me and before long l was dancing up a sweat in the many group classes, burning the calories and learning new dance steps along the way. I lost 13 kilos and l was having fun. I was meeting new people and making many friendships. I was returning home feeling more energized and ready to take on life!I was struck down with grief after losing both my sister and mother. Within a short time frame l had lost three of the closest women in my life. My sadness was overwhelming. So l turned to exercise in a big way. I decided to learn how to run, my sister was a runner, l couldn’t even run down the end of my street. I had always wanted to participate in fun runs, to raise money for cancer. I knew l had to do this for me. So with the help of John Paul Collins and his Dance Dynamics team, off l went. I commenced the Dance Dynamics fitness classes, Strength N Tone, Stretch, Tabata, Bootcamp and Personal Training together with the many dance cardio sessions.  I worked hard and the good endorphins were released. I turned my grief into fuel and l was letting it burn. I began to feel strong.I   have participated in my runs and became an Ambassador for The Cure for Life Foundation, raising money for brain cancer research and l will be attempting my first Half Marathon for the Foundation mid year. None of this would be possible without the help of Dance Dynamics. I have found an environment that is nurturing, friendly and warm, wonderful Instructors and such a huge range of dance and fitness classes, concert performances, in fact,  l have even participated  in 23 performances during my time and l am currently learning the Tango for my Street Latin gold medal. I had never thought this possible.I am proud to be a Dance Dynamics Ambassador, to promote a place that has changed my life. Music and dance is food for the soul. I constantly hear my fellow dance members state how wonderful dance makes them feel. I have seen many transform whether its been weight loss, gaining more confidence, or just finding something that makes them smile. To dance, get fit and have fun is healthy, it’s what keeps me young  and what l have learnt so far is that life cannot be trusted, sickness can strike at any time and tomorrow is promised to nobody. So do what makes you happy and make beautiful memories.This quote, l love – “Just knowing the amazing physical feats your body is capable of and experiencing your own strength and power gives you kick ass confidence that spills over into the other areas of your life”
So “A fit woman is a powerful woman’ is what l see when l look in the mirror. I look fit, l am toned l am strong. It’s never too late to change or to make a fresh start.
Dance Dynamics have four locations, BoxHill, Ringwood, Malvern and Richmond. They have unlimited access to over 180 dance and fitness sessions every week.
I love it! There is no place like it.

Meet New Instructor Stephanie


We are so thriller to have Stephanie Santarini on board and we welcome her to our Dance Dynamics team! 

Let's meet Steph! 
Steph was born and raised in Perth and began dance and singing training at a very young age at Jody Marshall Dance Company where she trained in jazz, tap, ballet and hip hop. in 2008 Steph completed her certificate 11 music theatre at WAAPA and in 2010 she also completed a Bachelor of music in classical voice. In 2011 she completed a Post-grad diploma of music.
Was it your dream to teach dance and fitness?
Yes, to combine my love and experience of dance with my other passion-  fitness is what l have always wanted to do. I am passionate about teaching dance in a fun unthreatening environment showing everyone how great a workout you can get dancing and still have fun whilst almost forgetting you are working out. 
What has been one of your greatest achievements?
Graduating from WAAPA with music theatre and The University of Western Australia with my Bachelor of music.
What will you be teaching at Dance Dynamics?
I will be teaching a mixture of classes. Mainly in my expertise being strength and tone, D Tone, barre fitness, ballet, Broadway jazz and Urban classes.
What do you do when you are not teaching?
I love to cook healthy and nutritious meals! I believe in nourishing and fuelling the body is essential especially with the active lifestyle that l have. Also, l spend my time training in fitness and singing or seeing a show in Melbourne and being inspired.
What makes you come alive?
I love anything in the performing arts industry. Whether it be teaching an inspiring dance class and knowing that l have touched someone and made their day. I love teaching and sharing my knowledge and passion for dance and fitness to others, or whether it be seeing an incredible show. I made a little pact to myself that l would try to see a show once a week and have done that so far since I have moved to Melbourne. Also performing on stage, can't get better than that!
What advice do you have for the Dance Dynamics students?
Give every class a go! Don't be scared or embarrassed, the class may surprise you. Dance Dynamics have a range of classes and experienced teachers who have created non-threatening environments to learn, create and grow. If you stuff up in class it doesn't matter at least you gave it a go. There's no fail in trying and that's how you learn and improve. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy.

Recovery Drink

With Bootcamp starting up again and the combination of the variety of dance
cardio and fitness sessions as well as training for my first  half marathon,
l  am finding the importance of drinking a recovery smoothie post workout.
Good healthy ingredients that help promote quick muscle repair as well as
healing inside the body which is important for overcoming soreness and help
fight inflammation. 
I have found this tasty recovery smoothie recipe which has the nutritional
value of spirulina  which is a form of edible algae that boosts the immune
system, helps enhance athletic performance and promotes recovery from
intense workouts and for those of you that have experienced the DD
Bootcamps, well then this smoothie will go down well afterwards!
It's tasty and healthy.

1 banana
I orange or 1 cup pineapple chopped
1 teaspoon spirulina
1 teaspoon chia seeds
Handful baby spinach or kale leaves
1 cup coconut water
Scoop of protein ( I'm using Pea Protein)
1 cup of ice.

Student Ambassador 
Rita Peruzza

Benefits of Strength 'n' Tone

Why Do Strength ‘n’ Tone?  

You’ll work the major muscle groups of your upper body and lower body during a Strength ’n’ tone full body workout—plus enjoy abdominal work to stabilise and reinforce the core muscle groups. The instructor will lead the class in an assortment of exercises using your own body weight as the main source of resistance. You will learn new exercises and techniques that you can even do at home, or following along with our online classes.   There are hundreds of exercises we do to keep your routine fresh and fun. Whether your goal is weight loss, toning, building your strength or increasing your fitness these goals will enhance your dancing and your enjoyment of classes. 

Jacqui's Strength 'n' Tone Online Class

Kate Ceberano & Dance Dynamics

Cosentino The Grand Illusionist at Dance Dynamics

Rita's Chia Smoothy - Delicious

With daily work outs and hot summer days I am conscious of nutrition and
maintaing energy levels. So l have been refueling with healthy and
refreshing smoothies made from organic vegetables and fruit. l have also
discovered the nutritional value of chia seeds, not only do they have more
omega 3 than salmon but  they help the body stay hydrated longer and retain
electrolytes. The seeds also slow down digestion helping you stay fuller
longer so it's ideal for weight loss but what l love most is that increases
stamina and energy so its ideal for runners and people who work out daily.
In fact Chia is a Mayan word meaning "strength" as the Aztec warriors used
the seeds for their long  travels as a form of maintaining energy.
I m lactose intolerant so the ice and coconut water is ideal for me and its
refreshing and delicious, makes an ideal snack.

Handful of kale ( 3 large leaves stems removed) Small punnet of blueberries
1 mango
1 ripe banana
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp of organic vanilla essence
12 ice cubes
1/2 glass of filtered water or coconut water.
I scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional)

Rita Perruzza

Student Ambassador Carmen, talks about her experience with food!

The original fast food; Taste the Rainbow!  

Music is my relaxation and dancing is my release. I could be in the worst mood, put on some music and I’ll start to feel better, but if I have a dance at the same time by the time the first songs over I generally feel happier and in a better mood! It’s amazing the benefit of exercise especially mixed with some music and fun dance moves and you have more of a good time more than anything else. Although exercise is wonderful, makes you feel better, help clears your head and all those lovely endorphins are released into your body, reducing stress, you also need to be aware that exercise is only a portion of what you need to do if you want to achieve goals within the weight area. A little more about me; Growing up I had a lot of stomach problems, I had gastroscopies, colonoscopies and they all came back normal. I was seeing a Chronic Fatigue specialist at the royal children’s hospital who had referred me to a child gastroenterologist who after some tests, swore I was lactose intolerant. Many years I believe this was the case, changed my lifestyle and even though some problems persisted I just believed I had eaten something I shouldn’t have. While I was pregnant I could eat ANYTHING I wanted, this was amazing. After my first child I was rushed to hospital about 2 months later with gallstones. I was put on the waiting list for the removal and 9 months later it was taken out. Little did I know how much of an affect this was going to have on my life? Everything I ate, I felt sick. I bloated, I didn’t want to eat anymore, I didn’t know what to do. I ended up seeing the GP and was referred to a different gastroenterologist who sent me for breathe tests. The results were not as I was expecting.. I was negative for lactose intolerance, for years I thought I was lactose intolerant, but I never was. Second I was positive for fructose malabsorption, this came down hard, I had to retrain myself with foods all over again. I wasn’t very diligent but then fell pregnant with my second child, once again I could eat everything with absolutely no side effects, I lapped it up, probably too much, as I put all the weight I’d lost back on. After having my son, things were still good for another couple months before it all went downhill again quite dramatically. So I started on my journey of nutrition and finding a dietician who specialised in fructose, along the way learning I also have salicylate intolerance. On my journey, I had to do two strict diets of elimination and re-adding over a good period of 6 months. I did a lot of food research myself online, trying to understand it all. Over the 6 months, been on basic foods, cutting out all that junk food, I dropped a lot of weight, I started tracking my food intake, not only what I’m eating but also the amount of kilojoules. It’s true what they say, everything is ok in moderation, and you need the good fats and well as the bad. You should listen to your body; it generally knows what it wants and needs and always lets you know when you’re hungry. While I was watching my food, I was also exercising. I had started dancing about 3 or 4 months before I started paying attention to my food and in those few months not much changed, but once I changed my diet, it all just started coming off. A doctor once told me, to lose weight every main meal should have 10 grams of fat or less and every snack should have 5 grams of fat or less, which would equal to around 40 grams per day with breakfast, lunch, dinner and morning and afternoon snacks. It’s never a bad thing to pay attention to the nutritional value of everything you eat, and remember sugar also turns into fat, so even if it’s low in fat, watch out for sugar content. So a few things to remember:
Everything in moderation
Try drinking a glass or two of water (even with lemon juice if you like) first thing in the morning
Don’t forget breakfast to kick start your metabolism; it’s the most important meal of the day
Try cutting down your meal size, especially if you like to eat big. You should eat to satisfy the hunger, not to feel like you’ve over eaten and bloated (and try keep the carbs to a minimum at night, it’s harder to burn off before bed (and no snacking after dinner)) Spicy food speeds up the metabolism
A lot of people have asked my secret, well this is it, combined with exercise. I am only on a wheat free diet due to my restriction and have to watch other things; I’m still learning myself about all the different things out there. But you should never deprive your body of anything, just monitor the amount and keep active! Don’t forget you have your own personal fast food service at every supermarket, there’s nothing better than fresh fruit and vegetables    LOVE, MUSIC, DANCE!

Carmen Beard

Why We Stretch

Everyone can learn to stretch, irrespective of age or flexibility. Stretching should be a part of your routine, whether you exercise or not. As you age, your muscles stiffen and range of movement in the joints can be diminished. This can put a damper on active lifestyles and even hinder day-to-day, normal activities. A regular stretching program will help extend your muscles and make daily living activities easier. Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect from a reliable stretching program:
Reduced muscle tension

  • Increased range of movement in the joints
  • Enhanced muscular coordination
  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Increased circulation of the blood and nutrients to soft tissues
  • Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)
  • Improved Posture
  • Reduce Lower Back Pain
  • Improved over all health and Vitality
  • longer leaner muscles that give you a toned appearance
  • Naturally improves movement and ability to learn and dance choreography.
Stretching is important for people of all ages!
The greatest benefits of stretching is that you're able to increase your range of motion, which means your limbs and joints can move further before an injury occurs. Post-exercise stretching (ie after a Zumba, D - Tone or dance Class ) will also aid in workout recovery & decrease muscle tenderness. The more accustomed your muscles and tendons are, the better they can handle the rigors of dance and exercise, and the less likely that they'll become injured.
Stretching comes instinctively to all of us. You probably notice after sitting in a particular position for a length of time, you stretch unconsciously. It feels good! In addition to that good feeling, a consistent stretching program will produce large gains in flexibility and joint movement. Be kind to your muscles and they will be kind to you!
View all our Stretch Classes in Studio
Try Our Classes Online 

Stair Way to Strength 'n' Tone


During the week of sweltering 40°+ weather in January, I went to the car park after work to pick up my car, only to find that the lift was broken.  My car was parked on the 7th floor.  I dreaded walking up 7 flights of stairs, but I found that I was able to reach the top without stopping which I would have had difficulty doing before joining DD and attending Strength & Tone classes.

Caroline Jung - Student Ambassador - Dance Dynamics