From Elvis to The East Village

At the 14th Street Y, we like to offer fitness experiences that are fun, energetic, and addictive.  

Because you don’t always have time to try all the classes that interest you, we offer additional fitness intensives every month to give you a chance to try something different.  In April (this Saturday, in fact!) we’re excited to offer NIA, a great combination of energy, dance, flexibility and strength training that also happens to be very, very fun.  Especially when it’s taught by Yvonne!

 

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1.  How did you get into Nia?
I was waiting to take a Body Sculpt class at a Fitness Club and was amazed to see the members dancing like no-one was watching. Being a dancer, I knew that class was for me. And so…byebye Body Sculpt.

 

2.  What do you love about teaching Nia?

I love teaching the Joy of Movement. (Nia motto) and spreading the joy through dance arts, martial arts and healing arts.

 

3.  What do you find special about teaching at the 14th Street Y?

I find the members of the 14th Street Y a uniquely joyful bunch. I sense them anticipating the fun of the routine we’re going to share every Tuesday. I can see them thinking…’wonder what she’s going to teach us tonight?’

 

4.  Is there anything you would say to people who may be interested in trying NIA but haven’t yet?

I have much to say to people who may be interested in trying Nia but haven’t yet. First, many people say to me, they can’t dance and have two left feet. I say to them, come in and bring both your left feet! I tell them, Nia means, No Inhibitions Allowed and to leave their inhibitions at the door. There’s no right or wrong. I encourage them to move ‘their body’s way’ I am there for guidance. “Life’s a Dance You Learn As You go…sometimes you lead…sometimes you follow…That’s my slogan. 

 

5. I heard you had a hip surgery and that you were back to teach very quickly. Tell me more. I had a hip replacement in December. Osteoarthritis. Dance was not the issue. I was given the okay to teach 4 weeks later by my doctor. And so I did. I recovered quickly because I was in good physical condition from the get-go. Also have taken good care of my health throughout my life.

 

6. You had a brush with Elvis, yes? I danced in 2 films with Elvis. ‘Kissin’ Cousins’ and ‘Roustabout”. I did not date him. I dated his cousin. I became a professional dancer when I was 18. I lived in Hollywood, CA and was very lucky to work constantly during those years. I danced/acted in films, on television, in night clubs and musical theatre. I was fortunate to be cast with a group of entertainers by USO and traveled to Europe, and Southeast Asia, landing in Vietnam just after the bombing of Pleiku. I am also an award-winning playwright and have written a play about the journey to Vietnam. At 76, I will continue to ‘dance through life’.

 

Yvonne teaches NIA   every Tuesday night at 6:15pm at the 14th Street Y.

TOP 5 Indoor Gym Workouts to Try (while it’s still cold)

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So….you woke up this morning cursing the cold and wind, right?  It was a very King Lear moment for most of us as we woke to the world, despite the additional dose of light coming in earlier all the time.

Take heart though.  Spring is on it’s way, and before long you’ll find yourself getting a healthy dose of vitamin D outside while you get in your daily activity level.  While it’s still chilly, head over to the 14th Street Y and try some of our favorite classes!  In no particular order:

1.  7:00PM Monday night:  PUNK ROPE.  The Y is happy to host Tim Haft’s PUNK ROPE in our Basketball gymnasium every week, bringing in the vibe, people and music of the East Village.  The class is a combination of everything that was fun about recess, and everything that is challenging about a solid, sweaty boot camp class.

2.  6:15PM Tuesday night:  NIA.  Love to dance?  NIA is a combination of the grace and power of dance, martial arts and overall body conditioning. Plus, our instructor is Yvonne Pucket, a former Hollywood dancer.  Real Hollywood.  Like, California.  With Elvis!

3. 6:20PM Wednesday night:  ZUMBA.  There’s a reason Zumba is so popular.  In our version, the energetic and popular Adja Diarra leads you through Latin rhythms, easy to follow and fun moves, plus some resistance training to help you tone, sculpt and burn.

4.  6:30PM Thursday night: TABATA.  This is that thing where you alternate periods of short, intense aerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods, for the entire hour. Taught by the amazing Jennifer Hamlin,  You’ll sweat like it’s summer.

5.  11:30AM Friday Morning: Power Sculpt and Ab Blast:  45 minutes of intense power sculpting that works your endurance and strength, followed by a 15 minute classic abs workout.  Taught by Elizabeth Schneider, who’s style makes you feel really good about the fact that you can barely lift your arms to put away your mat.

 

Try these and so many more fitness classes at the Y by becoming a member!  Click here to find out how.

 

–Camille Diamond is the Director of Community Engagement and Communications at the 14th Street Y.  Her arms still hurt from last Friday.