Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015

Folk Dance - the non-dancer's best friend

Do you love to dance but don't exactly love having to stand up straight, point your toes, and wiggle your body in strange and impossible ways?  Fantasy Fitness' Gypsy Sojourn folk-style dance enables participants to move to the music without having to worry about perfect technique and form.

The majority of folk dance styles began as ways for people to get together and celebrate informally, not for professional performance. The moves are often boisterous, the apparel ample, and the opportunities to make noise and whoop it up, many. Nearly every culture has its own version of folk dance, frequently incorporating the clothing of its people to accent moves and gestures.

Like the colorful nomads of yore, our Gypsy genre traces its origins to India through Russia and on to Eastern Europe. We make use of percussive coin bracelets, anklets and tambourines, clapping and especially skirts. There is lots of skirt flipping and whishing which is just plain fun!

While you're welcome to wear boots when you dance, we advocate casting off your footwear and enjoying feeling the earth under your feet as you swirl and twirl in a wooded area or park as part of our fresh air Elementals program.

Being a social activity rooted in rich cultural traditions, a Gypsy Sojourn Dance Party is a natural addition to a Gypsy Jamboree Siren Soiree for a birthday party, bachelorette bash, or any girls' get-together. As with all Siren School experiences, participants have the unique opportunity to take a vacation from the ordinary and immerse themselves in their siren persona of choice for an hour, a half day, or multiple days.

Step into your skirt and gather around the campfire as we invoke our Bohemian sisters of days gone by.

If you're interested in obtaining certification in order to teach this happy-go-lucky dance form, join us on 17 October 2015 at 11:30am PST / 2:30pm EST for a 2-hour group videochat training session

Siren School 101 - 2 hour free group videochat
Salonniere training - 1 hour free group videochat
Fantasy Fitness Business Basics - 1 hour free group videochat

Thursday, June 25, 2015

We're going green!

We've all heard the benefits of green-living shouted from the rooftops. From recycling to reducing our carbon footprints, there are innumerable ways we can lead a more organic lifestyle and improve the health of our planet. But did you know the same concept applies to your workout regimen?

In recent years, the practice of 'earthing' (walking barefoot in nature to soak in the soil's inherent energy) has attracted a following, and it's understandable. It's incredibly life-affirming and energizing to connect with the world around us by walking barefoot, breathing unprocessed air, inhaling the intoxicating scents of flora and fauna, basking in natural light, and getting lost in the music of birdsong.

At a time when many people (especially the young) often find their physical activity limited to thumb and finger movements while playing a video game in front of a TV in their living room, the benefits of outdoor exercise have become increasingly vital. Even those who go to the gym on a regular basis may find improved levels of fitness when they 'take it outside'.

Reuters Health writes, "Outdoor workouts left women in a better mood and kept them exercising longer than counterparts who exercised indoors, according to a small study from Canada."

Siren School's Headmistress Joy came to the same conclusion. "The other day I was sprawled out at the bay after the briefest of early summer swims. I closed my eyes as I felt the sand beneath my towel conform to the shape of my body, and I reveled in the warmth of the sun and the sound of the water lapping at the shore. I thought about how I needed to get back into Fantasy Fitness dancing, but nothing could compare to the enlivening experience of being outdoors, and then it hit me. I'd lost sight of what inspired Siren School and Fantasy Fitness in the first place.

It was during a swim at that very same bay, before the intense health challenges of the last few years, that I felt an overwhelming desire to cut loose from societal constraints, and to express myself in the most natural and beautiful ways imaginable. At the time, my initial inspiration included doing aquatic dance in a mermaid tail alongside all of the salt water denizens of that environment.

Somehow I'd gotten away from that original concept and over time, when working on ideas for teaching Fantasy Fitness, my mind automatically slogged back to the gym and dance studio—not exactly the best environment for female archetype immersion that is such an integral part of the Siren School experience.

Clearly, it's time to get back to basics, which means getting back to nature."

Dance magazine's Let's Take It Outside article by Camille LeFevre offers: "When you do site-specific dance ... you open yourself up to these fabulously serendipitous moments of incredible beauty that you simply can’t plan for.”

As a result, our new Plein-Air Elementals classes will be conducted in secluded areas of public spaces, enabling participants to connect with their natural surrounds away from crowds and noise. And class fees will be reduced thanks to the literal lack of overhead.  Contact us to see how you can get involved, either as a participant or instructor. All are welcome.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dancing up a storm!

Genies, dropping in for a Belly Bliss class
Well... four years, one month and seven days after the lightbulb went off, inspiring Fantasy Fitness, our very first (and very fabulous) trainees earned certification as Genie Belly Bliss instructors.

The session was sweet, fun, thought-provoking, packed with information and even emotional, as sirens shared how dance had transformed them, and the deep and healing impact they envisioned bringing to bear on their classes, as they help woman blossom and thrive through the Fantasy Fitness approach to wellness and femininity.

Trainees ranged in experience from absolutely no dance whatsoever, to seasoned professional performance, to more than a dozen years of teaching dance. All were equally enthusiastic and supportive of one another, developing bonds of sisterhood that will ultimately benefit both themselves and their students.

Siren School's Headmistress Joy shared, "It really is a dream come true for me. I've worked and waited for this for nearly half a decade, and to see it come to fruition with such lovely, genuine women makes me profoundly grateful, as well as proud.  To think that this is just the tip of the ice berg, with 17 more Fantasy Fitness genres to train in, boggles my mind with wonder at how things will unfold. And for what it's worth, I'm having a blast! Can't wait for next month's Bollywood Blast and Fathoms Deep water workout trainings."

For upcoming training dates, visit the Calendar page on the Siren School site.
For more detailed information on specific upcoming sessions, see the events pages posted through the Fantasy Fitness page on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A workout on the halfshell

Not quite the same as our Rocking Seahorse
Down Dog, Monkey Pose, Gate Pose, Full Boat... the list of entertaining yoga pose names goes on and on. But did you know that the same can be said for aquatic dance in the mythic realm? Fantasy Fitness' Fathoms Deep water workouts include moves and poses such as:
  • Half-Shell
  • Bellows
  • Churn
  • Rocking Seahorse
  • Clam Up
  • Full Ferris
  • Skimming
  • and even, Yoohoo Sailor

The bulk of basic moves are done at or below the water line, while advanced moves are executed in water up to 10 feet deep.  The languid environment supplied by the water does wonders in preventing injury and reducing stress on joints.  Mermaid and Naiad exercise forms each work different sets of muscles while providing a solid core workout, improving stamina and elevating overall fitness.

Here's instructor Sarah Gates to give you a teeny taste of what you can expect:

     If you're in California, join us Sat, April 18, 2015, 11am-2pm for instructor training at a private pool. Or if you're off swimming in another part of the country, join us by videochat!  Here's a link to the event page on Facebook if you'd like to RSVP there.