A Way of Life
Water bottle in hand, hair up, sneaks on and ready to throwback to my dancing days, I entered the Dani-Fit studio for my first Vim & Vigor class and the energy in the air was palpable. The three-year-old fitness studio in Woodlawn, NY is fun, funky and not at all intimidating – just the way I like my workouts. Did I mention there’s a disco ball hanging from the ceiling?
Before Dani-Fit was a fitness studio, it was a class. Similar in style to Zumba. Owner Operator Danielle Pietrocarlo offered her more organic version of the hot and sweaty dance class at various gyms in the area until the idea eventually expanded into a full on passion project, Dani-Fit the studio.
The expansion allowed Danielle to get creative with what defines a fitness studio – or doesn’t. You won’t find any contracts or pushy trainers, long winded pitches for fitness products, or rules on exactly how to work up a sweat.
What you will find at Dani-Fit is the opportunity to learn how to execute a healthy lifestyle out in the wild (AKA the real world). You know, the “teach a man to fish” story. That’s what’s happening here. And if dancing is enjoyable, challenging, exciting, different and/or a fun way to spend an hour for you, add Dani-Fit to your list of workouts to try.
In addition to group classes the Dani-Fit studio offers nutritional coaching, personal and group training, natural bodybuilding training, power lifting coaching and more. While this isn’t your standard gym with tons of equipment sitting around, they have more than just classes, and each time you visit you’ll be greeted with direction and guidance from a trained professional that knows what they’re doing. In other words, say hello to actually achieving your goals.
Is Dani-Fit the right fit for you? Let’s find out. Tired of your same old routine (running/spinning/walking/wandering around the gym)? Need to be pushed out of your comfort zone (see aforementioned boring examples)? Want to work with some seriously inspiring personalities? Dani-Fit is an excellent way to shake it up. Your first class is always free, dropping in to a class any time costs just $8, and a five-pack is $35. Plus, they’ve recently started offering childcare for $2 per child, or 2 for 5 bucks.
Classes offered at Dani-Fit include:
Vim & Vigor – The class that started it all. A “cardio dance class that uses hip hop and other current songs as a base to shake your grove thang”, plus a little arm, leg and core toning for good measure
Boot Camp – A full-body boot camp unlike any other. “Each workout will run you through a series of cardio, stability, strength and interval training exercise.
Tabata – Interval training that consists of simple yet intense exercises, “improving your balance, strength, and cardio endurance.”
Fight Club – Punching, cardio kickboxing, the whole shebang.
The Buffalo Meltdown
Now that you’re familiar with all things Dani-Fit, it’s time to get into the good stuff. What they’re doing to get you healthy and stay healthy. Introducing The Buffalo Meltdown, Dani-Fit’s own 8 week long weight loss competition (think Biggest Loser style). As one of the most successful weight loss contests in the area, The Meltdown teaches you how to loose weight by learning to eat right and take care of your body all while still dealing with the real world – a benefit actual Biggest Loser contestants don’t quite get.
Starting September 27th, contestants (like me and you, we’re not talking just body builders here) will gather at Dani-Fit for an initial weigh-in where measurements and before-photos are taken. You’ll need these later to show everyone how fabulous you look. Then you’re treated to the mother of all lessons – how to eat right. They’ll start you off on a high note with a Free To Be Fit nutritional seminar lead by Jeff Dettelis of EatLivePrimal and Danielle Pietrocarlo, the owner of Dani-Fit.
Once a week on Saturdays, contestants come together for a weekly workout and weigh in. Included in the cost of participation is the Saturday class, plus one additional free Dani-Fit class per week (choose from any they offer), a Dani-Fit t-shirt, before and after photos and video statements, access to a private Facebook Anchor Group, access to coaching and training from 5 Dani-Fit trainers, a whole lot of support and a road paved to success. Costing you a grand total of $149. THIS IS A STEAL!
Need more motivation? Of course you do – enter the prizes! The first place winner gets $300 and a full makeover, plus there are prizes for 2nd place and most inches lost.
One of the major pluses to doing The Buffalo Meltdown with Dani-Fit as opposed to working on a meltdown of your own? The support. Not only are you meeting with trainers and other contestants who will be holding you accountable on a weekly basis (sometimes this is all you need), you have exclusive access to the Meltdown’s Facebook Group. The group consists of the Dani-Fit trainers, veterans of the Meltdown and rookies like you working hard to achieve their goals. So when you cut carbs from your diet and wind up with some less than desirable side effects (along with a bunch of desirable ones), you have tons of people to turn to for advice. They’re going through the same thing and know how to help. It doesn’t get much less intimidating than that. To learn more and register for Dani-Fit’s Buffalo Meltdown, click here.
Beyond the Studio
As you can see, Dani-Fit aims to motivate Western New Yorkers to live healthy, passionate lifestyles, and their mission doesn’t end inside the studio. They’re currently raising money for an awesome outdoor Adult Fitness Park at the Nike Base in Hamburg. To donate, visit freetobefit.us.
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