Morgana's Top 5 Workout Picks for Her Fitness Goals as a Dancer

At The P.E. Club, we are all about balance. We consider ourselves your fitness homeroom.  Clients of The P.E. Club still go out and enjoy everything they love to do, but at the end of the day, we make sure it all fits within their fitness game plan to achieve their individual goals.  

This week, we're featuring club instructor Morgana as she shares her top 5 picks when it comes TO planning her week of fitness based on her goals as a dancer.

By Instructor Morgana Mauney

As a dancer, it is incredibly important to keep up your technique by taking dance classes. It is a great way to work your body and mind, but to also keep your face well known in the dance community. All of this is great, but there's also more work to be done. Physical appearance is over half the battle in the audition world and sometimes dancing isn't enough. I have found that balancing my dance class and rehearsal schedule with workouts has helped me become a better dancer. I tend to gravitate towards yoga, pilates, and TRX classes. I used to be able to take HIIT classes and extreme bootcamps, but after multiple injuries and having extreme sciatic pain, I figured that listening to my body was more important than pumping crazy iron. Here is a list of my favorite work out spots, why I love them, and why it's important for my career as a dancer.

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1.) The P.E. Club

Obviously I am biased because I work there, but I have to tell you, TRX helped me gain back my balance while healing from foot surgery. Nerve damage caused permanent numbness in my big toe, so I had to relearn how to balance. TRX saved my career and my mind. Not only is the TRX upper body work great, but the abdominal exercises are my favorite! It's beyond hard and the ab sequence happens at the end of The PE Club classes when you're already exhausted! There are classes for everyone there.  Whether you want to work your booty in a Long & Lean class or get it kicked in our TRX Bootcamp class, they're all important. It's all about balance!

2.) Exhale Yoga

It took me a while to find a yoga teacher that I liked. They were either too crunchy granola for me or too flexible! Ha! My ideal yoga class brings me peace of mind, a great core workout, and a deep stretch. Maybe I'm picky, but living in NYC has taught me to always get the most bang for my buck. The classes at Exhale are challenging, calming, toning, and overall, fun. Their classes tend to incorporate core work at the beginning of the practice so I feel like I have proper alignment throughout class. It's far from a snooze fest and afterwards I feel like I can take on the world.  As a continuously auditioning dancer, it's important that I take care of my mind and body. Having casting directors judging me for how high I kick my leg or what I am wearing takes a toll after a while. Yoga allows me to find and keep my inner peace throughout the grueling audition days.

3.) Flywheel

To be perfectly honest, I am not a fan of spinning, but it is important to implement cardio into this dancer's routine. My husband is an incredible instructor there so it gives me incentive to go and get my butt kicked while being a supportive partner. It doesn't matter how far back I sit from the podium, I always get called out for not pedaling fast enough-so that pushes me even more. Dancing in shows that are long, challenging and cardio heavy can be difficult if I haven't been working on my cardiovascular health. Doing cardio helps me focus on my breath so when I am performing in a long dance piece with lots of intense partnering or movement that quickly changes levels, I am able to find my breath right from the start. Believe me, I still huff and puff during the show, but it takes me longer to get to that point.

4.) Core Pilates

I absolutely love pilates. It works all of those inferior muscles that I didn't even know existed. I am a stronger partner because I have a strong core. I am able to push my body in certain ways because I know I am executing movement safely. The instructors at Core Pilates have incredible cueing and never once do I feel lost. In class, I shouldn't have to look around at other students to see what the instructor is talking about. I find that pilates instructors don't let you get away with anything! So many profanities want to come out of my mouth during pilates classes, but I know that going through the movement correctly and slowly will benefit me in the long run. 

5.) Earth Yoga

I love hot yoga, but I have to say that I'm very particular in which hot studio I take. Sometimes I feel like goldilocks trying out the three bears' porridge. Some hot yoga studios are too hot, some are not hot enough, and some are just right - cue Earth. It is a beautifully hot studio where I can do some awesome power poses from great yogis, get a good sweat on, stretch a little deeper all while not sliding off my mat into my neighbor. As a dancer, I love to move and I feel like the sequences are creatively put together so that when I'm flowing I can really dance through the movement. Why not implement dance into as many different aspects of my life? It combines the soul soothing calm that I crave while still being able to actually move.

So there you have it! Some of my favorite studios throughout the city. Remember folks, life is about balance. Try to keep your work outs exciting and consistent. I hope you're able to check out these studios for yourself and see what your type 5 favorite NYC studios are.  Share below!