Join the Party and Get Happy!

Happy Tuesday! As we move into the heat wave of August, we are keeping you cool with the BEST new music around. Music is EVERYTHING at DMF and we truly believe in its power to uplift, motivate, and energize your soul! That’s why we spend hours curating the perfect playlists to bring you joy, laughter and inspiration. There is nothing like a good song to get you out of a funk or pump you up and we wanted to share a few of our new favs that we will be dancing to this month! Check out these fresh new tracks and come bust a move with us this week!

 
Have a favorite song that you haven’t heard in class? Let us know and we’ll make sure to plug it into our playlist ASAP!

Whip It! By LunchMoney Lewis

I’m in Love with a Monster by Fifth Harmony

Paint the World by Jidax and Enzo Darren Feat. Chester Rushing

Are you laughing enough?? Seriously, though, DMF is concerned for your health!  Did you know that the the average 4-year-old laughs 300 times per day and the average 40-year-old, only 4?  That’s really sad people.  It’s especially concerning considering laughter is SO good for your health!

Laughing releases our favorite little buddies, endorphins, bringing a sense of happiness and contentment to the body. Laughing boosts our immune systems by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. And laughing relieves stress and relaxes the body.

We laugh a lot at DMF, for your health of course!  And why not?  Why not pair your favorite exercise (dancing!) with laughter and get a double whammy of endorphins and positive health benefits?  Our mission this month is to increase your laughing quota and get you having a bit more fun EVERY day!  We don’t underestimate the power of laughter and neither should you.  We need more laughter in our lives and we’re here to serve it up!

So come get your laughter on this week at DMF!  We can’t wait to bust a move with you.

 

Our next DANCE FOR A CAUSE is right around the corner! Please join us on Thursday, July 9th at 6pm for a super-sweaty DMF party in which 100% of your donations goes towards expanding our program to under-served NYC schools. Minimum donation is $25 (price of a single DMF class) but feel free to give more if you feel inclined! All donations are tax deductible as we are now an official 501c3 organization.  We have AMAZING raffles including Sparkly Soul Headbands, DMF Class Packs, and tons of high end beauty products!!

This particular event will help to support our summer camp at PS 126 at the end of July.   The DMF Youth summer camp empowers middle-schoolers to dream big, discover new skills and develop confidence and self-esteem through dance and fitness.  Throughout the week, campers will have daily dance-fitness classes, arts and crafts, theatre games, team building activities, and “power” discussions designed to help them tap into their ultimate potential.  The camp will culminate in fully a choreographed dance to be performed for family and friends.
Can’t come but still want to donate? We would LOVE that! Every little bit counts!Here’s how it works: If you just want to donate, click the button HERE! If you would like to attend DANCE FOR A CAUSE, please donate through the button and then email info@dmfnyc.com to reserve your spot! Your generosity fuels the success of DMF YOUTH and impacts the lives many children who would not otherwise have access to this type of program and we are so grateful for your support!
When: Thursday, July 9th at 6pm
Where: DANY Studios-305 West 38th St
Price: Minimum $25

Why: Because you want to make a difference in the lives of under-served NYC

youth! Check out more about DMF YOUTH at www.dmfyouth.orglogowithjennyIMG_0628

Hello! I’m thrilled to invite you to our next DANCE FOR A CAUSE benefitting DMF YOUTH, our newly established not-for-profit! Please join us on Thursday, November 13th at 6pm for a super-sweaty DMF party in which 100% of your donations goes towards expanding our program to under-served NYC schools. Minimum donation is $25 (price of a single DMF class) but feel free to give more if you feel inclined! All donations are tax deductible as we are now an official 501c3 organization! We have awesome raffles including Sparkly Soul headbands, Colorscience Luxury Mineral Makeup giveaways, and DMF class packs! Can’t come, but still want to donate?? We would LOVE that! Every little bit counts!

Here’s how it works: If you just want to donate, click the button below. If you would like to attend DANCE FOR A CAUSE, please donate through the button below and then email info@dmfnyc.com to reserve your spot! Your generosity fuels the success of DMF YOUTH and impacts the lives many children who would not otherwise have access to this type of program and we are so grateful for your support!

When: Thursday, November 13th at 6pm
Where: DANY Studios—305 West 38th St
Price: Minimum $25
Why: Because you want to make a difference in the lives of underserved NYC youth!




ABOUT DMF YOUTH

DMF YOUTH is a dance-fitness in-school and after-school educational program that blends a positive, motivational dance workout with a life skills development curriculum. Our goal is to empower kids and teens by building self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth and nurture health in all aspects of their lives–physical, mental, emotional.

DMF YOUTH is not a traditional “dance-class.” We are based in fitness and create a positive environment for youth to get fit in a non-competitive, fun way without the pressure of having to be a perfect dancer or athlete. Our motivational, cardio-dance and strength training workout feels more like a dance-party than a class. We incorporate life-skills and character development into the curriculum, making this program truly unique. We use dance and fitness as the platform for helping youth realize their ultimate potential and gain the necessary tools needed to live healthy, happy and productive lives.

Each week, we discuss and use dance and exercises to delve into topics like cooperation, attitude, team work, leadership, positive self-talk, self-control, body-image, nutrition, and standing up to peer pressure. Everywhere young kids turn, there is pressure to “be cool” and “fit in.” DMF YOUTH helps participants shed insecurities and the need to “be” like everyone else and encourages them to tap into their own unique talents, power and potential.

Despite the rising childhood obesity epidemic and the strong correlation between higher academic achievement in healthy children, many children receive little or no time in the gym and do not meet both national and state standards for physical education. In its biennial survey of high school students across the nation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in June 2012 that nearly half said they had no physical education classes in an average week. In New York City, that number was 20.5 percent, compared with 14.4 percent a decade earlier, according to the C.D.C.

DMF YOUTH provides a solution to lack of physical activity in NYC schools. Requiring no equipment, DMF YOUTH classes can be held either in a gym or open space where participants can freely move. Limited gym space is often cited as a reason for the lack of PE classes, but DMF Youth can be performed in the classroom with a quick move of desks. DMF Youth provides a safe, non-completive environment for children to meet and exceed daily recommendations for cardio-vascular exercise, while simultaneously teaching the value of healthy living and providing life-skill tools that transcend the classroom.
dmfyouth2 dmfyouth jennylindi dmfyouth1

This week, I wanted to just let you know that you are awesome…right where you are.  You probably don’t own and recognize your accomplishments, do you?  You’re probably like me and you’re constantly working on the next thing, stressed about where you are and where you want to be, or where you think you should be.  So today, I thought I would remind you that you are pretty amazing and you should take a moment to acknowledge that. And when I say acknowledge your accomplishments, I’m not just talking about material or physical things; being brave enough to pursue your dreams or quit your job to figure out what you really want to do with your life is an accomplishment too!

I work a lot with kids and one thing I love about them is they own their accomplishments.  They learn a new skill or step and proclaim, “I did it!” with enthusiasm.  As adults, many of us have lost that sense of satisfaction and contentment when we accomplish something because we are quickly on to the next venture and comparing ourselves to others.  We rush our journey and the small milestones along the way.  We feel we must get where we want to go NOW. But why?  I think it’s because we live in a society that thrives on comparing ourselves to others–we compare our bodies, our careers, our homes, our lives! We feel pressure to be a certain way and fit in to what we believe to be the norm.

I don’t know about you, but I often suffer from what I call the “should be” syndrome.  The tape that plays in my head goes like this: At this age, I should be more successful.  I work in the fitness industry, so I should beable to maintain a perfect body. I should be further along with my non-profit by now.  I should be further along in my career. 

But then I remind myself, who said?  Who decides what should and should not be??  My journey doesn’t have to look like my colleagues’ or competitors’  and someone else’s definition of success might be very different than mine.  When I compare myself to others–and I often do and have to fight it!– I see how much further I have to go and I negate what I’ve just accomplished. I know many of my clients and friends share this sentiment.  But what would happen if we accepted our own journey for what it is, without comparing it to someone else’s?  What if we accepted our accomplishments–physical, mental, emotional, or material–as being enough without the “should be” syndrome attached to the achievement?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t work hard and strive for greatness. I’m simply wondering if we stopped comparing our path to someone else’s, would we enjoy the journey more?!  And all that time worrying about how you compare to Joe Schmo could be focused on something productive that pertains to your story.  So who will join me in my mission to stop comparing and start enjoying the journey?  Let’s own our accomplishments! I dare you to!

Can’t wait to bust a move with you this week!  And remember that you are AWESOME!

 

Life is hard.  Life is bumpy… more like tumultuous! It hits you in the gut when you least expect it.  But at the same time, life is beautiful.  Life is hope. Life is magic. Life is a wise teacher. Life gives us daily gifts, even in the rockiest times. I wrote a blog a while back about my three “go to” words and I wanted to pull them out again as we start accelerating into 2014: Perception, choice, and attitude. These words are how I deal with the wild roller coaster of  life and what keeps me grounded and somewhat sane in times when I just want to scream and shout: WHY?!?!?  REALLY LIFE, REALLY?!?!

I am sure many of us have already faced disappointments, struggles, and hardships this year, even just two weeks in.  And if you haven’t, you probably will at some point in 2014.  Right now, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, Lindi, way to be a Debbie Downer!”  I know, I know…BUT there is a method to my madness!   By starting the year knowing that we have the tools to deal with the pain that will pop-up in our path, we can find light in even the darkest of places.  I often say to clients, instead of thinking, “Oh my god it’s burning!”  (insert negative, death voice here), think “Oh my god it’s burning!”  (insert happy, positive, excited voice here!) It’s about perception.  I tell my clients to get excited about the burn, because the more something challenges you, the more it changes you.  Now, trust me, I know this is easier said than done, especially when it comes to life outside DMF.

Things happen that are out of our control.  BUT, what we CAN control is how we CHOOSE to react and PERCEIVE these events and our ATTITUDE going forward.  By adopting an attitude of life is happening for us, rather than to us, we can make sense out of tough situations.  This idea has literally SAVED me the last few years, and continues to save me daily! Any situation, relationship, event, or moment that is challenging me or causing me pain, I look at as a teacher.  I ask myself, “What am I supposed to gain and learn from this?”   This doesn’t always come naturally and I often have to force myself to ask myself these questions, but I promise you it is worth a try.  It allows me to surrender to the situation and ultimately rebuild my hope for the good that is yet to come.  It’s much easier to fall into the “blame game” route as I call it.  This blame and victimization route is SO prevalent in our society.  We are constantly putting our problems on someone else: If only my boss wasn’t so controlling…If only my partner cared more…If only there wasn’t so much competition in by business…if only my co-worker wasn’t such an idiot…If only I had more money… If only I lived in a better neighborhood… If only I didn’t inherit my dad’s sweet tooth…If only I could vacation more.  It’s a nasty little habit that many of us fall in to.

The harder route, but SO much more powerful, is to find the courage to CHOOSE to take responsibility for our circumstances and then creatively work through them.  For me, it again goes back to perception, attitude, and choice: How can I perceive this situation differently?  What is this trying to teach me? How is this giving value to my life? When we can look past the painto the gain, life changes for the better. Once I deal with perception, I deal with choice.  I can either choose to go forward positively, with new found wisdom and light, or I can take with me a jaded outlook that life sucks.  And I will ALWAYS choose the positive ATTITUDE even if it takes me some time to get there.  You might say, “But Lindi, you are such a positive and hopeful person.” No, I CHOOSE to adopt a positive attitude because going forth with hope is the only way to free me from the pain of the past, and often, the present.

So as you venture into this New Year, remember that you have the power of perception, choice and attitude to help you make sense of any roadblock that pops up in your path.

Can’t wait to dance it out with you this week!

Love,

Lindi and The DMF Team

Happy 2014! We are SO excited to bust a move with you this year! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “New Year, New You” a gazillion times by now. I truly dislike this phrase. One, because I feel like it implies that I totally failed last year and I need to start over from scratch. And two, it’s become such a marketing tool in our commercial world–a catch phrase, if you will, for the media to pin a story of getting fit, making more money, being more productive, etc., etc.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a fresh start, new goals, and a clean slate, but I think we often get caught up in the immediacy of our sexy, new goals rather than taking the time to create a real VISION and PLAN for the entire year. I’m completely guilty of this myself. I jump head first into life, often without a solid plan.  Well, not this year.  I’m trying something different.  I’m actually taking the time to create the vision and the plan before I go about setting lofty goals. It’s a bit exhausting, but I KNOW it will be worth it.  Will you join me?

They say a vision will pull you forward. George Washington Carver says, “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” The Dalai Lama  says, “In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.”  So I ask you, what do you really want your life to look like a year from now? How do you want to feel? And most importantly, why? It’s nice to set goals, but often we don’t seepast the goal and we set them in a hasty, non-committal manner, without establishing the bigger picture.  That’s where vision comes in. Having a clear vision of what we want, and more importantly, WHY we want it, helps pull us through the difficult hurdles that are sure to pop up in our path.  For some people, defining a vision might be easy, but for others (like me!) the task can be can be daunting. What DO I really want??!!  What does that REALLY look like??!! Ahh, too many life questions!  BUT, while taking the time to sit with my thoughts, I’ve found that honing in my values and what I believe to be my purpose, helps me define my vision. What do I feel I was put on this earth to do and how will my vision drive me toward this purpose? What type of people, activities and lifestyle will lead me toward this vision? How can I foster relationships that will fulfill my vision in the upcoming year?  What about you? What does your vision look like?

Next step: the PLAN.  What’s your roadmap to the vision for 2014? It’s nice to say I want to change the world, lose weight, grow my business, save money, do more community service, buy a house, find a significant other, but if there is not a solid PLAN, in a month or so, life will surely get in the way. And I don’t mean a general plan, I mean a specific plan that includes small, daily and weekly habits that are key in achieving your goals, and more importantly your vision.  I read a great article recently about systems. The author says rather than setting goals, we should focus on the systems behind the goals.  For example, if you are a coach and the goal is for your team to win a championship, the system is the daily training and practice regimes.  If you’re a writer and your goal is to write a book, your system is a daily writing schedule.  Focusing primarily on the system, rather than the goal, sets us up for success.

 So this year I encourage you to join me and get specific about your system or plan.  What can we do daily, weekly, and monthly to propel us toward our vision for 2014?  I’m still working on mine, but I really feel that taking the time now will help me in the future.  What’s your plan look like?

We are ALWAYS here for you at DMF and hope we can bring some sweaty, dance-party joy into your life and vision for 2014! This year is going to be awesome and we can’t wait to share it with you!

Lots of Love,

Lindi and The DMF Team

So, if you are like me, you are already feeling the madness of this time of year setting in with upcoming holidays, parties, get-togethers, shopping, travel, and FOOD….everywhere.   Although merriment and excitement hover in the air, exhaustion, anxiety, and stress lurk around the corner too.  I often find myself slipping down the treacherous road of over-indulgence when it comes to the delicious treats and over-flowing spirits that abound this time of year.  Sound familiar? And with all the “things to do” and “places to be” I often lack motivation, personally and professionally, to stay true to my purpose and goals.   I can easily get swept up in the madness and lose sight of what this time of year is really about.

 So what am I to do? Well, this year I’m making a vow to savor these next six weeks.  And I don’t mean the food!  I don’t want to go into 2014 hung over and tired.  Even though my schedule is insane, and I’m sure yours is too, I’m choosing to remind myself that we are NOT guaranteed tomorrow, so to complain about the craziness of this time of year is wasted energy.  I’m choosing to slow down a bit and really savor what is important to me in life–friends, family, love, giving and gratitude.  And what a cool thing that I get more opportunities to be with friends, colleagues and family because of the added parties and events! I’m choosing to remember that food and spirits won’t bring me the type of fulfillment that being truly present and engaged with the ones I love will.  I am choosing to remember that, for me, this time of year is about gratitude, love, giving, and faith–NOT eggnog, gingerbread, and wine (though I’m not saying those aren’t added bonuses!) I’m choosing to express to people how much I love and value them with my words and actions, rather than stress myself out over finding the perfect gift.  My hope is that these choices will propel me into the new year with energy and a renewed commitment to what’s important in my life rather than the dreaded, “Ok, now I got get back on the bandwagon” mantra.

Want to join me in this quest?  What are your thoughts on this time of year?  We are committed to make these next six weeks AWESOME at DMF so join the party and come savor and celebrate life with us!

This week, I wanted to share with you my dream.  My hope is that you will have some wisdom, advice, or a connection that can help me turn this dream into reality!

I’ve been in the early stages of developing DMF YOUTH, a dance-fitness after school and educational program that blends a positive, motivational dance workout with a life skills development curriculum. Our goal is to empower kids and teens by building self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth and nurture health in all aspects of their lives–physical, mental, emotional.

DMF YOUTH is not a traditional “dance-class.”  We are based in fitness and create an awesome environment for youth to get fit in a non-competitive, fun way without the pressure of having to be a perfect dancer or athlete.  Our motivational, cardio-dance and strength training workout feels more like a dance-party than a class. We  incorporate life-skills and character development into the curriculum, making this program truly unique.  We use dance and fitness as the platform for helping youth realize their ultimate potential and gain the necessary tools needed to live healthy, happy and productive lives.

Each week, we discuss and use games and exercises to delve into topics like attitude, leadership, positive self-talk, cooperation, self-control, body-image, nutrition, and standing up to peer pressure. Everywhere young kids turn, there is pressure to “be cool” and “fit in.”  DMF YOUTH helps participants shed insecurities and the need to “be” like everyone else and encourages them to tap into their own unique talents, power and potential.  To build a sense of community and help youth embrace a “give vs. get” mentality, the program culminates with a service project that participants vote on, such as hosting a Dance-Off to raise money for a charity or hosting a dance party for sick children at a local hospital.

My goal is to get the program into inner city schools and charter schools like KIPP, Promise Academy and the Young Women’s Leadership Network. There is just no fitness program (other than traditional sports) that really delves into life skills and character development that so many of today’s youth, especially under-served youth, need in their lives.

Sound interesting to you and want to know more?  Have a contact or school you think could benefit from DMF YOUTH?    Want to join me in this quest? I’ll take ALL the wisdom and awesome advice you have!  Thanks for your support!  And thank you to EVERYONE who has ALREADY so graciously helped me on this journey!!!

This week, I wanted to share with you my “go to” words: choice, perception, attitude. These words and how I relate to them have gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life and have also helped me find meaning and joy in the day to day grind of NYC.  If you’ve been to a class of mine recently, you’ve heard me talk about perception.  I often say to clients,  instead of thinking, “Oh my god it’s burning!”  (insert negative, death voice here), think “Oh my god it’s burning!”  (insert happy, positive, excited voice here).  I tell my clients to get excited about the burn because the more something challenges you, the more it changes you.  Now, trust me, I know this is easier said than done, especially when it comes to life outside DMF.

Life gets bumpy from time to time and many things happen that are out of our control.  BUT, what we CAN control is how we CHOOSE to react and PERCEIVE these events and our ATTITUDE going forward.  By adopting an  attitude of life is happening for us, rather than to us, we can make sense out of many tough situations.  This idea has literally SAVED me the last few years.  Any situation, relationship, event, or moment that is challenging me or causing me pain, I look at as a teacher.  I ask myself, “What am I supposed to gain and learn from this?”   This doesn’t always come naturally and I often have to force myself to do this, but I promise you it is worth a try.  It’s so much easier to fall into the  “blame game” route as I call it.  This blame and victimization route is SO prevalent in our society.  We are constantly putting our problems on someone else: If only my boss wasn’t so controlling…If only my partner cared more…If only there wasn’t so much competition in by business…f only my co-worker wasn’t such an idiot…If only I had more money… If only I lived in a better neighborhood… If only I didn’t inherit my dad’s sweet tooth…If only I got to  vacation more.  This becomes a habit–I  have to force myself out of it too–and only creates  temporary relief from a challenge.
The harder route, but SO much more powerful in the end, is to have the courage to CHOOSE to take responsibility for your circumstances and then creativity work through then.  For me, it again goes back to perception, attitude, and choice: What is this doing for me? What is this trying to teach me? How is this giving value to my life?  I’ll give you two examples in my own life, one professional and one personal.
Starting a business while working full time is a tricky task and I’ve had many days, where I just felt I couldn’t do it—I was extremely overwhelmed and exhausted, wasn’t getting half the things done I needed to get done, and I felt like a failure.  The only thing that pulled me through was asking myself what feeling like this was supposed to teach me.  When I really thought about it, it taught me to ask for more help from the amazing people in my life and to get creative in how I got things done.  It taught me I needed INTERNS—whom I’m SO thankful for! I have setbacks ALL the time, but CHOOSE to PERCEIVE them as lessons and these lessons make me work harder to find creative solutions and keep my ATTITUDE positive going forward.

As for the personal… Last year I started dating again…ugh!  After my divorce, I took a lot of time off to figure out, well, life!  I finally felt ready to date.  Honestly, it was a bit overwhelming at first with lots of highs and lows, but I kept a positive attitude.  However, after months of first and sometimes second dates, I was starting to doubt that a quality guy with my same values, zest for life, desire to change the world for the better (I know it’s cheesy but it’s a must for me:) and passions existed.  And then I met someone special.  We connected quickly on many levels—intellectual, physical, spiritual— which I always find difficult.  We could talk for hours and I felt supported and happy with another person for the first time in years. I finally had someone to motivate ME and be MY cheerleader and I felt I did the same for him.  I wanted to be a better human being because of this person.  But unfortunately, the timing and the circumstances were not ideal for him and it ended as fast as it started.  I’m not gonna lie…I was a bit heartbroken.  BUT, what that person and our time together taught me was that there ARE good guys out there.  It was almost like the universe/GOD was giving me a little taste of the amazing so I wouldn’t get discouraged by all the mediocre! Here is where choice, perception and attitude come back into play.  I CHOSE to PERCEIVE the heartbreak as a lesson, a reminder of all the good things that one day I will find in a partner.  I chose a positive ATTITUDE going forward, rather than be jaded by yet another one that didn’t work out.

So, as difficult as it is, get honest about the things that happen to you.  What are they there to teach you? Don’t blame others for the circumstances of your life–that’s the easy route. Don’t blame your significant other, parents, the government, or boss for your problems.  Be bold, be courageous, and try to perceive the situation in a new light.  Remember, life is happening for you, not to you.
I’ll leave you with two of my favorite perception and action quotes:
“One new perception, one fresh thought, one act of surrender, one change of heart, one leap of faith, can change your life forever.”– Robert Holden
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” –Wayne Dyer

Lots of Love,

Lindi


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