While Dallas is quickly earning a reputation as one of the most active cities in the United States, fitness studios in the metropolitan area realize they can’t afford to rest on their laurels. It’s becoming more and more important for studios to offer boutique class experiences that lead to real results, and keep members coming back for more.
The Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas (JCC Dallas), is leading the pack with innovative offerings, including a recent Soul to Paint series of two classes that helps members take their workouts to the next level.
The first of these classes, Namaste & Spray, combines yoga and art to help members cast their cares aside. Members begin by participating in a 30-minute yoga flow class led by expert teacher Lisa Reynolds. Afterward, they join their classmates and local artist, Heather Cordova, in an Arts-to-Go mobile studio for a fun and collaborative spray-painting activity that helps them unleash their creativity.
Brook Benten Jimenez, the executive director of healthy living at The Village Dallas, recently tried out Namaste & Spray. “From the positive vibes of the teacher leading the yoga class to blasting spray paint over canvases, Namaste & Spray was feel-good magic cleverly disguised as a workout,” she said.
For members who find high-energy dance is more their style, Dance Jams & Spray Cans is another Soul to Paint wellness experience offered. Members step into a 30-minute dance jam session led by expert teacher Gina Chew. After they’ve finished dancing their hearts out, they release the energy generated during their movement experience by participating in a community-building, spray-painting activity guided by Cordova.
Are you wondering how spray paint fits into a workout session? You’re not alone. Members commonly have questions about how these kinds of classes fit into their fitness experience. Art experiences, like spray-painting, are part of today’s wellness revolution. Fitness studios have long focused on providing well-developed training routines that challenge members and lead to measurable physical changes.
Art therapy, such as spray-painting, completes the fitness experience, helping members gain cognitive and emotional strength as they are gaining physical strength. The integration of physical, cognitive and emotional health helps members develop the tools they need to succeed in all aspects of their lives, not only in the studio.
In keeping with the spirit of holistic wellness, the classes are also family-friendly, making it easy for busy adult families to spend more time together. “It was a fun, relaxing and expressive way to share an afternoon with my family,” said Rachel Chanon, a Namaste & Spray participant. “We all had the best time being together, doing something we wouldn’t typically do.”
I would encourage newcomers to give innovative classes a try, remarking that nearly all the members at the Dallas JCC who have tried the classes have come back for more. Namaste & Spray and Dance Jams & Spray Cans are exciting new takes on wellness. Combining movement, Zen and art therapy, the Soul to Paint series doesn’t train just the body, it trains the mind.
Terri Arends is the group fitness director at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas and a Master Instructor for Spinning and a well-known presenter on the national fitness front. Terri loves to create group programming that encourages the development of community.