Truly, more than any external transformation, I’ve evolved with an internal transformation because of Vixen. I’m always a jolly person cracking jokes and enjoying life, but I remember there was a time, where there were so many problems I was facing in my personal life, that I’d just drive and wait like 7 hours in the parking lot of body & soul because I had nowhere else to go. I’d literally just wait in my car waiting for Vixen to start. To go from that wait-time of contemplation, crying, and confusion to suddenly walk into a class full of just being able to let it all go and release it through movement, through bumping music loud enough to feel vibrations in my body made me feel alive again.. made me feel like nothing else mattered. That I was here at this moment and it was healing. Vixen has become my method of meditation cuz it’s the only time where I can easily disconnect and be so live and present that it leaves me refreshed and just so happy and like a badass afterwards lol.
More than anything, the reassurance that hey, life will throw curveballs but to be at your optimal state to handle those things, you NEED to absolutely take care of you, and that this is your outlet was like… FINALLY! I am my most authentic self in class because it’s not about just putting in werk lol, it’s about letting loose and going so HAM in a judgement free zone that you sweat all that stress out. And because of that acceptance of myself, I bring that authenticity more and more outside those body & soul walls and really just try to live it IN my body and soul. Ever since I started these classes, Vixen has consistently been in my top 3 things to be grateful for in life.
That last dance where we end with that Rihanna song usually puts me on the brink of tears, because the words in that song come to life at the moment and just mean so real. It puts you in the moment of look… we conquered another challenging workout and we ended with sweat and smiles on our faces. It’s a reminder that you can conquer anything but to do it with swag and your invisible crown because we are all queens and that’s all that truly matters in life.
Thank you for Vixen. It means so much more to me than I could ever express.
Vixen partnered up with Propel Water this passed weekend in their CO:LABS event in NYC. Vixen founder, Janet Jones (aka “The Bawse”) lead the workout with dozens of fitness enthusiasts most of whom were new to the #Vixenarmy. The theme for the weekend was #Madetomove and Propel did a great job in making sure everyone did just that. Propel Co:Labs event was loads of fun and we are so excited to welcome the new members to the #Vixenarmy. Check out some event pics below.
Janet Jones has made the art of booty shaking a national fitness phenomenon. Jones’ Vixen Workout is a high-energy experience that builds on the latest dance trends, encouraging women to sweat into their sexy and embrace their sassiness within a safe space. At Vixen, the fantasy of working it like Beyoncé becomes a reality, all while burning hundreds of calories fueled further by female camaraderie (a.k.a #VIXENARMY). The classes have sprouted loyal legions in Miami and New York and have sprouted branded collaborations with Urban Decay and Covergirl. Hip popping popularity aside, the former Miami Heat dancer credits her creation to helping her rediscover her womanhood, and her dedicated followers have echoed similar spikes in confidence and self-love. Jones is tossing out taboos—a theme we also highlighted in our 2016 Trends Report, Sexual Wellbeing: Taboo No More—and embracing her fierce feminity. Here’s how she owns it—and how you can, too.
Spafinder: How did the creation of the Vixen Workout concept enliven you as a woman?
JANET JONES: Creating the Vixen Workout did more than just enliven me as a woman—it brought me back to life. The inspiration for the Vixen Workout came from my darkest moments as a woman; for years I stopped listening to the voice inside of me and instead surrendered myself to societal roles of practicality. The life of routine, responsibility, and what everyone called “adulthood” felt like my personal hell. My identity up until to that point [“adulthood”] was who I became when performing; I was strong, powerful, confident, vivacious Janet. I quickly became depressed, desensitized, and confused as to why everyone else’s “happily-ever-after” was not mine. I discovered that my personal hell came from living as a lesser version of myself by trying to fit myself into boxes that society had chosen for me. I didn’t have the opportunity to tap into those [lost] layers of myself.
I, however, was the lucky one. I knew that there was much more to life than my current experience of it and I came to the daunting conclusion that this is the only experience most women know. This is what all little girls are programmed by society to strive for. “Happily ever after” was a muted existence.
Outside of the fitness aspect, what are the mental effects Vixen has had on participants?
The most important part of the Vixen Experience is to create an environment where women feel safe to let go of any role they carry in the outside world and tap into their inner selves. Our worrying about how we are perceived, creating the wrong impression, or doing something that is deemed inappropriate usually excludes us from enjoyment.
The Vixen environment is meant to remove these outside obstacles in order for women to lose themselves in music and movement. By losing your “self” through movement you create a sensory awareness of your participation in life—a.ka. feeling alive.
Tapping into our physical selves for the first time also improves our own body-image, which is what leads to an almost immediate sense of self-confidence.As we become adults, the amount of time we dedicate to our social lives and relationships changes to focusing on career and family. Our need for community and belonging, however, does not change. The #VIXENARMY, which is what we call the women who attend our workouts, provides that sense of belonging that we sometimes lose.
Why do you think women suppress their sexuality? How does Vixen allow them to embrace their sexual well-being?
As women, we live with this sense of guilt without even knowing why we feel guilty. Women are sexual beings—some studies show that women actually have stronger sex drives than men. However, we feel as if we are not permitted to express our sexual feelings or even to enjoy sex in many contexts. “Sexy” is not a bad word, in fact, a woman’s sensuality is a key factor in her confidence and body image.
We are bombarded with messages of being too thin, too thick, too this, too that, and taught that our sexual selves cannot live in the same world as our values and virtues. [With this messaging] how are we supposed to not hate our bodies?
Through Vixen, I encourage women to pretend they are J.Lo, Beyoncé, or whoever they admire. By pretending they are someone else, it makes it okay to tap into layers of themselves that they normally wouldn’t—like their sexuality. By making sexuality okay, if only for that one hour a day, it changes their negative perceptions of their own bodies.
How and why would you encourage women who are shy, or believe they “can’t dance” to try Vixen?
Because I am painfully shy. In school, teachers would ask my mother if I could speak because I had been in their class for a year and they had never heard me speak. I was the kid who would burst into tears when the teacher would call my name because I was mortified by having any attention on me. When you dance you are free to be whatever you want to be. When I dance, I am everything I don’t have the courage to be in the outside world. Eventually, if you dance with enough abandonment, you will realize you are no longer pretending.
What do you say to those who insist that the word Vixen has a negative connotation?
Vixen is embracing all of the layers that make up our womanhood and being unapologetic for doing so: A shining light in a society made to dull anything that shines. I encourage anyone who thinks there is anything negative about Vixen to come join the #VIXENARMY.
Why restrict yourself to the four walls of a gym when Miami offers so many outdoor spaces perfect for getting in a full-body workout? From the waters of Biscayne Bay to the gym rooftop, here are 10 outdoor spots that Miami’s fitness pros use to keep their routine fresh.
Christa DiPaolo: Biscayne Bay
“If I want to head outdoors for a sweat sesh, my favorite place is Biscayne Bay to do some SUP (stand-up paddleboarding). I love to take full advantage of the gorgeous Miami water. Being in the ocean is extremely energizing and helps clear the clutter of my mind.” —Christa DiPaolo, creator of The Cut presented by Equinox (Aventura, Brickell, Coral Gables, and South Beach locations)
Allison Santini: Shops at Merrick Park
“My favorite place to work out outdoors is right outside of the SoulCycle studio at the Shops at Merrick Park. There’s a huge set of stairs and a long bench at the bottom. I’ll do tricep dips on the edge of the bench and freestanding sumo squats—two of my go-to outdoor moves. I love high-intensity workouts, so running up and down the stairs in-between sets is a great way to get my heart rate up.” —Allison Santini, instructor at SoulCycle (Coral Gables and South Beach locations)
Sharif Tabbah: Beach at Key Biscayne
“I love working out on the beach in Key Biscayne. I’m outside with a beautiful view, and the sand creates a unique and challenging workout. Training in the sand increases demand from the stabilizer muscles of the ankles and hips, while it also works the intrinsic muscles of the feet, which is difficult to do in any other setting.” —Sharif Tabbah, doctor of physical therapy, co-owner, and strength and conditioning specialist at Athletix Rehab & Recovery
Julie Wiesman: Brickell Key
“One of my favorite outdoor spots for an interval workout is the pathway around Brickell Key. This one-mile waterfront loop is great for jogging, sprinting, bench jumps, elevated push-ups, and stretch markers, and even has grassy areas for abdominal work. Don’t be afraid to switch it up and get creative with your heart rate.” —Julie Wiesman, celebrity trainer & group fitness specialist
Marc Megna: Rooftop Turf
“At the rooftop turf at Anatomy at 1220, there are no limitations. I have the full range to do any workout at any intensity. There’s even a nice view of palm trees and the sunset while doing it.” —Marc Megna, co-owner & chief body architect at Anatomy at 1220
Rachel Robinson: Legion Park
“My favorite outdoor workout spot is Legion Park. It has a beautiful open space, and you can run along the water. I like to do sprint intervals mixed with all-bodyweight workouts when I take it outside: Think push-ups, squats, burpees, pull-ups, lunges, dips, and sprints. Bring a resistance band and you can get it all in.” —Rachel Robinson, instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp
Brandon Price: Tropical Park
“Tropical Park has an awesome track and field. It’s a great place to get a workout in, whether it’s running or pickup soccer. Especially in the summer, get outside and have fun with your workout—enjoy the beach, find a scenic rooftop, chase the sunrise and sunset, or challenge a friend.” —Brandon Price, performance specialist at DBC Fitness
Janet Jones: Margaret Pace Park
“As a choreographer, I need constant inspiration. One of my favorite places is Margaret Pace Park in Edgewater. I put my favorite playlist on blast and go for a jog on the park’s sidewalk, which has amazing views of the bay and cruise ships.” —Janet Jones, creator of Vixen Workout
Johanna Torres: Hollywood Beach
“Hollywood Beach is my favorite outdoor spot for a total-body workout or a run, and it has the best view. It is one of the few beaches in South Florida that doesn’t get overcrowded. There’s nothing like working out on the sand—it adds resistance and pushes your fitness level.” —Johanna Torres, instructor at SoulCycle (Coral Gables & South Beach locations)
Manning Sumner: Outdoor Turf
“We have an outdoor field with a sand pit, hill, and turf at Legacy Fit. I can get creative in the space and create a tough workout.” —Manning Sumner, owner of Legacy Fit and private strength and conditioning coach