Vixen Army: Senior Vanessa Richter introduces empowering workout class to campus

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Cadence Neenan, Senior Staff Reporter

The overhead lights dim, the multicolored dance lights flicker across the ceiling and roughly 30 excited girls crowd close to the mirror, stretching and striking a few poses — walking into a Vixen Workout class can be intimidating.

Within moments, however, Vanessa Richter, Vixen Workout instructor and Tulane senior, leads you through a militant call-and-response of self affirmation: “Yes, I’m sexy, yes I’m fierce, yes I got this, yes!”

This femme-fierce attitude is what defines Vixen. Originally inspired by the Miami clubbing scene, Vixen is an “intense hip hop cardio” workout class. Instead of doing squats or crunches, class attendees spend the hour-long class popping, locking and booty dropping.

And now, with the help of Richter, one of the youngest instructors of the “Vixen Army,” Vixen has arrived at the Reily Student Recreation Center.

“At first, it had a little bit of a negative stigma, because it sounds like this sexy workout class, so they didn’t want to approve it at first,” Richter said.

After teaching practice classes for free to friends and friends-of-friends, Richter returned with a petition and her own personal “Vixen Army” to again request that Vixen be featured at Reily.

“It wasn’t until I started teaching and I did my demo class that they could really understand what it was,” Richter said, “How it’s not just sexy dancing, but it’s bringing these women together, and it’s an escape, where you can be this alter-ego or find your true self and let go.”

With the lights down, and the sounds of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj or Pitbull blaring around you, whatever inhibitions you might have had about an hour-long workout class chock full of hair flipping and sexy strutting are left at the door — that’s the beauty of Vixen. As it says on the Vixen website, “Each workout creates a fun club atmosphere where women can let loose, forget responsibilities and transform into their ‘alter-ego’ or as we say ‘getting your Beyoncé, Ciara, Rihanna on.’”

Richter ensures a space of empowerment by beginning every class reminding everyone that the class is a safe environment.

“I always say it’s a safe space, no judgments, and that is rare, especially in college when a lot of women are going through a hard time,” Richter said, “And a big transition and trying to figure out who you are and what you want in your life, and I think that escape is really special.”

It’s this attitude of female empowerment, of sisterhood and of acceptance that makes Vixen unique. Walking into the class might be intimidating, especially if you haven’t gone before. The routines build in difficulty throughout the semester, so attending for the first time can be confusing, but by the end, you realize everyone is too busy sweating and panting to bother checking anyone else out in the mirror.

“I always say to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and you’ll discover things about yourself that you didn’t even know you could feel or do,” Richter said. “This class is a safe space that we’ve created, with a sisterhood of women.”

See original article HERE

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Instructor Spotlight: Kamilah Humphrey

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  • Why did you decide to become a certified instructor?

I saw Vixen in a video clip and immediately knew it was something I needed to be a part of. I could FEEL the energy through the video and knew it was going to be something BIG. On the other hand, as a former competitive boxer who used to teach classes and train fighters, I was always known for my highly energetic classes. I soon decided that it was time to test my limits with something that was “out of the box” for me. Dancing is soooo not my thing! But I realized that if I could master this I’d be able to motivate other women to also become better versions of themselves, proving to myself and my clients that I was willing to step up my game and dedication level to my craft of fitness!

  • Tell us about your first class as a Certified Instructor for Vixen Workout:

My 1st class was AWESOME! I like my classes to be very intense so the weeks leading into my 1st class I stayed up practicing until 1-2am every day! I had over 15 ladies in my 1st class, it felt so liberating and full of energy. I immediately knew that I was going to keep Vixen as part of my fitness repertoire.

  • What is your favorite thing to do on your time off?

I am a busy body, but I am also a mother of 4 (17 year old, 14 year old, 11 year old, and 4 year old). So when I have “off time” it really just means “on time” as a mom!

  • Who is your #1 Man Crush?

Idris Elba

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  • Who is your #1 Woman Crush?

Elisabeth Akinwale (Crossfit Goddess)

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  • What would you do with your life if you had a billion dollars in the bank?

I would travel the world to learn other cultures and languages.

  • Tell us about your current goals:

My current goal is to open my own fitness studio “The Xperience by Kam” so I can eventually work for myself teaching exciting fitness classes to women!

  • What has inspired you the most in your journey as a Certified Instructor?

Honestly, I have been inspired by Janet’s journey of small beginnings as a woman and mother. Seeing how she was able to build something from nothing motivates me every day. I have been shadowing her vision and tracking the progress of her dreams to see what I can learn from her. So that one day, I can help someone else build the pathways towards their dreams.

Follow Kam on her journey in Houston, TX

Website  |  Instagram

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Certified Instructor: Vanessa Richter

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Name: Vanessa Richter

Age: 21

Where are you from? Miami, FL

Where are you now? I’m a senior at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA

When did you become certified? September 2015

Why did you decide to become a Vixen Instructor? When I first went away to college I felt alone and lost, desperately searching for inspiration and meaning in my life. I’d just moved to a new city by myself, my parents were getting separated, I was going through a nasty break up, and I had no idea what kind of career I wanted to pursue. I’d always been a dancer and performer growing up, and all of the sudden I stopped exercising all of my creativity. I had no passion or purpose outside of my studies. I’d lost that inner light that Janet always talks about, and it took me a long time to rediscover myself and my dreams. Whenever I went home to Miami on breaks from school, I’d go to Vixen and it was like therapy for me. I wished so much that I could take it while I was in NewOrleans, and I knew that so many other young girls at my university needed the experience just as much, so I decided that I would just have to bring it there myself. I quite literally bothered Janet until she caved in, and haven’t looked back since! 😉

What is your most memorable moment as an instructor so far? Oh how can I pick just one… I will say that just this past week at my Thursday class I got really choked up. I wasn’t feeling 100% that night because I was battling the flu, but it was the first time in 2017 that class was a full 70 girls. A wave of emotions hit me while we were dancing to “Champions,” and we felt so in sync. I dazed out, realizing that in less than a year, this huge group of strangers behind me had become a family, and we held a true powerful and meaningful connection to each other. I had the biggest, cheesiest, smile with tears running down my face throughout that whole routine just thinking about how far we’d come to be there together that night. It truly felt like a revolution, and I’d never been so proud to be a part of the Vixen Army movement.

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What is the Vixen Army hashtag for your community of Vixens?#vixenarmynola

What advice do you have for women thinking of becoming certified? Vixen actually just posted one of my favorite quotes recently, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” If you’ve been thinking about getting certified, I say do it! Even if you don’t feel “ready” yet. Stop waiting to be in the perfect shape or technique/confidence level, and push yourself out of your comfort zone so that you can start learning and growing towards your dreams TODAY.

Where and when can people take your class? Mondays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm in Lakeside Studio at Tulane’s Reily Recreational Facility

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INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATIONS FAQ

 

 

Sooooo, you are thinking about becoming a Vixen Instructor.  Yasss!  We are excited to have you join the fam and we’re sure you have tons of questions.  We’ve put together this Instructor Certification FAQ to answer any questions you may have.  Not to toot our own bedazzled horn, but if you’ve followed us over the last couple of years you’ve probably noticed that the Vixen Workout has been the most talked about dance fitness program in the media.  Imagine how exciting it will be for you to be one of the first to bring Vixen to your area?  Not to mention, we will provide you with all the tools you need to teach your Vixen Workouts and create your own community of #vixenarmy

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How do I become a Vixen Instructor?
You can become a Certified Vixen Workout Instructor by completing our online Vixen Phase 1 course, attending our Phase 1 training, and passing the test at the end of the day. If you are granted a Certification, you will then be required to join our Vixen instructor portal, “The Base” for $24.99 a month. You must have an active membership with “The Base” in order to use the Vixen Workout IP.

What does being a certified instructor mean?
It means you have a license to use the Vixen Workout IP after successfully completing the online guide and 8hr training and passed your performance exam at the end of the the training.

Are there Prerequisites? Do I have to have professional Dance or Fitness Experience?Any woman 18 years or older may attend a Vixen Instructor Training. There are no prerequisites for taking the Vixen Instructor Training. However, it helps if you’ve already taken a Vixen class before or if you have previous experience in dance or teaching group exercise classes.   You will need to show your ability to pick up choreography. Not to worry; many of our Master trainers were former students who did not have any teaching experience.

How do I prepare?
Set aside the 2 weeks prior to your training date for studying. You will receive a link with access to our Online Vixen University with our library of basic moves, technique, & several Phase 1 routines. You must complete this guide prior to attending training.

Why do I have to study before my training? Aren’t you suppose to teach me what I need to know at training?
Our goal is to prepare our instructors with the tools they need to be successful teaching a Vixen Workout. Vixen Phase 1 consists of a lot of content that you need in order to have an understanding of what you’re learning in order to recreate the Vixen experience. In order for us to get through this training in only 8hrs, you need to do your homework.
Vixen Phase 1 is divided into Technique (Where you need to know the names of the moves, how to correctly execute the moves, and what muscles each move is working).
Method: How to teach Vixen (Class intros & outros, Cueing, Mneumonic Devices, motivation)
Choreography: A Vixen Workout class consists of at least 10 routines. You have to learn and correctly execute 10 routines in different styles of dance prior to teaching.
Style: How to execute the movement correctly and clearly.

Does everyone receive a Vixen instructor certification after completing the training?
No, not everyone who attends will receive a certification to teach. It is important for us to see that you will be able to replicate the Vixen Workout experience.   We will need to see that you can execute Vixen workout moves clearly and represent the brand effectively in your city.  Don’t worry, you have 2 whole weeks to practice your Vixen combinations prior to attending training and we will be reviewing them during training day. Remember, our best instructors were our clients not dancers. If you have no experience, you’ll just have to spend more time preparing prior to your training and more time practicing before you begin teaching.

What can I teach with a Phase 1 certification
You can teach a Phase 1 Vixen Workout & Vixen 101’s
How much does it cost? and whats included?
Certifications cost
Regular: $299.00
15 days or less: $328.00

You’ll receive:
Access to the Vixen University
Full color Vixen Instructor Manual
8hr Live Training with a Vixen Master trainer

What is the Base and is it mandatory?
The Base is our Vixen instructor portal where we provide you with the Videos, choreography tutorials, Teaching how-to’s, and marketing & business materials. It is mandatory to join the Base upon certification. We charge only $24.99 a month for full access to all of our materials.
Why is it mandatory?
Vixen Instructors can only teach choreography provided by the Vixen Workout. It is important for the quality of the brand that instructors provide the same experience where ever they teach.
If I am not planning on teaching right away can I freeze my membership?
You can only freeze your membership for a total of 3 months in a year before your membership becomes inactive & you will be required to retake the Certification.

Why?
As with any reputable occupation, a professional is expected to keep up-to-date on industry knowledge and stay fresh with their industry skills. Vixen wants its instructors to be the best in the industry and maintain a high level of expertise and proficiency. To help instructors attain and maintain this status, having an active membership on the Base is mandatory.
What if I attended the training and did not receive a certification? Do I get a refund?
No. Your certification fee includes the online guide & 8r Live Training.  The Master Trainer might decide to give you a “Pass-Pending” video submission which would give you the opportunity to submit a video correcting the notes your Master Trainer gave you.  If you do not get a pass pending, you will have to try again at our next training which are approximately 6 months apart. Make sure you practice and come better prepared for your next try. There are no refunds but you will receive 50% off your next cert if you are retesting within 6 months of your first training.

What if I paid for certification and I need to cancel?
If you are unable to attend your training, you have two options:

1. You can request a refund. If you cancel your registration 30 or more days before your training date, you will incur a $25 USD cancellation fee. 2 weeks prior your training date is when you will receive your pre-certification study packets, at that point we do not accept cancellations and do not offer refunds.
You will however, be able to transfer your registration to another certification for a transfer fee of $15.

If I can’t attend the training that I registered for, can I transfer it to another certification?
If you are unable to attend an Instructor Training, you can transfer your payment to another Instructor Training. Please keep in mind that a transfer fee of $15 USD will be applied and that you are responsible for any possible difference in price (including differences due to rush/early bird rates).

If I attend a training can I teach in a different state or Country?
Yes, you can teach the Vixen Workout anywhere except in our restricted areas.  Restricted areas are the areas where our Master Trainers teach Vixen Workouts.
South Florida: Miami Dade County
NY: Manhattan
All other areas are open for you to teach and create your own Vixen Workout business.

I’m a fitness professional, can I get CEU’s by attending this training?
Yes, we are an approved provider for AFAA & ACE.  Fitness professionals receive: ACE .7 CEU’s and AFAA 8 CEU’s

How do I keep my certification active?
In order to teach and work as a Vixen Instructor your membership with the Base MUST be active. If not Active you are NOT able to teach a Vixen Workout class.
To help instructors maintain the quality of the brand, Vixen provides numerous opportunities for continuing education and recommends all Vixen Instructors to log-in 8hrs of additional training with the Vixen Workout or AFAA & ACE.

After receiving a certificate, when can I start teaching?

After completing the Instructor Training, you can begin teaching whenever you feel comfortable and ready with the Vixen Phase 1 combinations. Every instructor is a licensee of the Vixen Workout, which gives you the freedom to set your own schedule, rates, terms, agreements, etc. at any facility you choose.
In your instructor Vixen portal, you will have access to all of the phase 1 combination instructional videos as well as other supplemental videos on teaching technique.

Some fitness facilities require their instructors to have a general group exercise certification. The Vixen program is considered a specialty certificate, just like pilates or yoga. Ask your local fitness facility what their requirements are in order for you to teach at their facility. You can always obtain a Vixen certificate first and then obtain a general certification. Some facilities may allow you to start teaching Vixen classes as long as you have a Vixen certificate and evidence that you are working to obtain a general certification. Two highly recognized certifications are ACE and AFAA. For details, go to acefitness.org or afaa.com.

If you have any other questions please email:
Certifications@vixenworkout.com

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