Join us this Wednesday, January 17th for the launch of Hip Hop Flow with fitness celebrity,Ashli Katz Stretch yo’ body and yo’ mind as you flow through the movements while vibing to hop hop beats spun by hottie DJ Miss Eddy Pink.
We first met Ashli during the Propel Co:Labs event in Miami where Janet & Ashli were both panelists and we fell in love with Ashli’s infectious energy.
Ashli once dreamed of touring the world as a backup dancer, only to find her true calling lied in fitness, helping others reach their fitness and life goals. Her experience as a gymnast and dancer as a child led her to further her passion at Florida State University, majoring in Exercise Science. She has always been passionate about movement and its connection to music. Now Master Instructor for Flywheel Sports and certified yoga therapist, she continues to pursue her passion and hopes to bring the same adoration to others.
We are so excited to have Ashli join the Vixen Workout studio team and to introduce this exciting new class to our studio programming!
Janet Jones wants you to shake things up — and not just your booty. The founder of Vixen Workout, a hip-hop-inspired dance-fitness program, is opening a new studio May 1 in Wynwood after a five-year journey of rediscovering herself.
“All of us, as women, go through the same thing,” she says, “growing up with mixed messages about we’re supposed to be.”
Jones began her rich and varied life as a dancer in classical ballet and explored many forms of movement, including martial arts. She earned a BFA, performed with the Miami Heat Dancers, and worked in Los Angeles with celebrity choreographers in the entertainment industry. She honed her knack for stage production while dancing on major artists’ tours and TV network shows.
Once she returned to Miami, the business-savvy Jones opened a talent agency for dancers. It all looked good. But the agency took a hit in 2008 during the Great Recession. So she settled into a more traditional life: marriage, motherhood, and a job in corporate America.
“I stopped listening to my heart and was trying to fit into a mold,” she says. “I thought that would be my happily ever after. I thought all of that would make me an adult. But it was the death of my spirit.”
The 9-to-5 grind drove her into depression. “Most women never discover what it’s like to be alive,” she says. “We go to work. We serve everyone else. We put ourselves last.
“You can read dozens of books and attend dozens of seminars on empowerment,” she adds. “But you are still in a battle with everything you’ve heard and seen through society’s messaging.”
The year Vixen Workout was born, Jones had no idea her heart’s calling would come back so strongly. It all began innocently enough and perhaps a bit un-Vixen like: She simply added a Monday-night fitness class for moms at a dance studio for kids she opened in 2012.
Business picked up. By 2013, she had so many women signing up for the hip-hop-inspired cardio routines that she moved classes to a larger space in Coconut Grove. By then, more than 100 members of the Vixen Army — as loyal fans are called — were consistently lining up for each class of the workout that helps women get their “Beyoncé, Ciara, and Rihanna on” while reclaiming their self-confidence.
“Vixen is such a powerful force in the empowerment of women because it forces you to mute decades of negative messaging that we all carry in our heads,” she says.
That same year, Jones opened pop-ups in Manhattan. By 2015, she had created a certification program for the signature workout. Today 120 certified instructors and counting teach Vixen Workout across the United States, Canada, and the Dominican Republic.
On May 1, Jones will open the first stand-alone Vixen Workout studio in Wynwood. She has no regrets about having to start all over again. Her passion for dance has come full circle in a more balanced life.
Dance was the answer, which she hopes will help other women on their own paths. “Dance forces you to disconnect from your consciousness and connect with bodily self and spiritual self,” she explains, “your truest self.”
Jones has since remarried and is raising her daughter, now 7, who started dancing a year ago. “Vixen isn’t a children’s dance class, but she asks to come to work with me because she loves to see everyone dance,” she says of her daughter.
The majority of Miami’s Vixen Army, who are encouraged to vamp up their workout looks with “red lipstick and hair done like they’re performing in their own concert,” range in age from their 20s to 30s. “But we’ve got college-aged girls,” Jones says, “and recently a woman celebrated her 65th birthday party with Vixen.”
The Vixen Workout is open to all levels. Classes teach easy-to-learn routines with variations inspired by whatever is trending in pop culture. Atmosphere lighting adds a glam vibe to the one-hour fitness practice, which is a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout disguised as choreography. “It’s what makes Vixen so fun,” Jones says. “If there’s a viral dance, we’ll incorporate it. But the fundamentals are the same.”
Jones began her dance career as a little girl wearing a tight ballerina bun, but now she lets her hair — and spirit — flow freely. “You need to take care of yourself first,” she says, “so you can be better prepared to take care of others.”
Vixen Workout Studio Opens May 1 at 547 NW 28th St., Miami. Members-only, soft-opening limited classes begin Sunday, April 23. Free open house with 30-minute preview classes every hour Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. RSVP on Eventbrite. Visit vixenworkout.me.
Fitness fashion trends ebb and flow quicker than a six-minute Baptiste yoga sequence, but one accessory that seems to have staying power is the beanie. Show up to one of New York City’s buzzier dance cardio spots and you’ll spot someone sweating her way through the workout with a wool topper.
And with fitfluencers like Vixen Workout’s Janet Jones, SoulCycle’s Sandra Jacob, and Broadway Dance Center’s Joanna Numata keeping their hats on (60 degree winter weather be damned), it seems to be as integral a part of the workout as mastering the grapevine.
“It puts me in my element,” says AKT in Motion founder and dance cardio superstar Anna Kaiser, who remembers sporting beanies as far back as the mid-’90s with major choreographers like Tina Landon and Wade Robson. “When you dress the part, you feel the part—and [you’re] more likely to perform that part.”
Kaiser, whose sell-out fitness fashion collab with Target featured a workout-ready beanie, notes that it’s a throwback look—but it’s not all form over function. “Beanies are such a big part of urban streetwear and that movement.” she explains. “[It’s] an homage, like baggy pants; it lends itself to a style of dancing and a way of moving.”
Plus, it’s way easier to get into choreography for “One Dance” if you’ve loosened up your ballerina bun. “Something about wearing a beanie when dancing to Drake makes me feel more comfortable,” explains Phoebe Kurtzman of Broadway Bodies. “It would be very difficult to dance to hip-hop if I was wearing a leotard and tights with my hair pulled back.”
If you’re ready to go all hats-off on this trend and, you know, keep your beanie on, there’s one style rule these pros suggest you follow: “Coverage on top means less coverage elsewhere. If I’m wearing a hat, I’m also wearing dance shorts,” says Heather Grosse of Mitchell Wayne Productions.
Kaiser agrees and says that when it comes to adding street-style elements into your workout wardrobe, the way to keep your look (and your body) cool, is to layer. “I’ll wear a hoodie that I can take off or [a] pair of sweatpants with shorts underneath.”
Fashion #fitspo aside, Numata says sometimes leaving her beanie on serves a completely practical purpose: “It gives a bit of edge to your look—just like a pop of color. But sometimes, sure, it’s about a bad hair day.” And who hasn’t had one of those?
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. Ihad 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 forme. I wishedso much that I could take it while I was in NewOrleans, and I knewthat 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.
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
By Mashonda and Elizabette Quezada for LifeStyleHer |August 16, 2013
ATTENTION LADIES!!! Are you a sultry bombshell? Are you a sensual diva? Are you a seductive temptress? Millions of women around the world today are exploring different forms of exercise, not only to burn calories but to join together and release their inhibitions!
One class that is trending from Miami all the way to NYC is the VIXEN WORKOUT!!! Miami Native, Janet Jones, created a fast-paced cardio session infused with the latest Hip-Hop moves where students are expected to burn anywhere between 500-1000 calories/class, all while having fun with friends at classes branded as the official “Twerk School” of the East Coast.
The newest fitness trends infuse routines that not only help sculpt your body, but that also promote exuding sex appeal, confidence, and female empowerment. Whether you’ve always wanted to learn how to dance, or you want to learn new moves to bring back to the bedroom, spicing up your workout hasn’t ever been this much fun!
After such an intense workout, ladies, don’t forget to stock up on your FILA Cool Body Sports Towels (found on www.beautyandhealthusa.com). They ensure you stay cool, hydrated and radiant during any and every cardio session!
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
I first heard about the Vixen Workout when I encountered its fierce and confident creator, Janet Jones. If she had a personal fan operator I would have confused her with Queen Bey herself. I was intrigued so I obviously began to lurk http://www.vixenworkout.com. I decided to sign up for a class at Body and Soul, a boutique gym located in Coral Gables.
I received an email after I signed up encouraging me to wear my finest red lipstick and sneaker wedges. I don’t have sneaker wedges, but I’ll rock a red lip #alldayeveryday! I didn’t know what to expect when I got to the class. With a name like Vixen Workout, I was bracing myself for a stripper poll. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I would be booty dancing sans any equipment for an hour – all while getting in a full-body cardio workout.
I took my first class with the #bosslady herself. Janet began by asking who was new to the class and I awkwardly raised my hand with a few others. She welcomed us to the Vixen Army and let us know that there was a good chance we would be completely lost. She assured us this wouldn’t be a problem – the main goal for those 60 minutes was to keep moving, forget the day-to-day, and slay! I take instruction pretty well so I was all in. We began the class with an affirmation repeated three times:
The loud music started pumping and the fluorescent room lights were replaced by colorful strobe lights to set the mood. And even though I was surrounded by more than 50 beautiful women, I actually felt like I was the star of my own concert… minus my personal fan operator, of course. The booty poppin’ and kitten stretching commenced and a playlist of Beyonce, JLo, Pitbull, and Miami’s own DJ Laz helped us cruise through the (very sweaty) hour. I quickly realized I had two left feet and weak thighs, but I definitely felt like I was a part of something special. I came out of the class beaming with confidence and excited to show off my moves to the outside world. (Btw these moves really work in the club! During a recent tipsy happy hour, I showed my friend the kitten stretch – Vixen’s signature move – and a dude came up seconds later!)
Since my first Vixen experience, I have become a bona fide soldier of the Vixen Army. With more than 15 classes under my belt I can safely say my booty can move in ways I never thought possible. But more than that, I have never felt more confident and I’m seeing results! My body is changing shape and becoming strong. It’s a little cheesy, but being in a room with a group of women dancing and chanting about our fierceness really does something for your mind, body, and soul.
If you ever get the chance, I encourage you to come workworkworkworkwork with us – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
On February 23, Orgullosa, self-defined as “a community for Latinas by Latinas”, hosted its annual Living Fabulosa event at the Paley Media Center in New York.
Guests were instantly greeted warmly with hors-d’oeuvres and white wine. Prior to the panel, guests enjoyed the P&G Beauty Bar where they were treated to hair and makeup touch-ups and well as some gifts from Pantene, Olay, Crest, Secret, and Venus. To document the beauty consultations, guests were able to take advantage of the photo booth. The guests were also gifted Orgullosa shirts that reflected different Latino backgrounds, including Mexican, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan, among others.
Guests proceeded to the auditorium for the panel of powerhouse Latina trendsetters hosted by actress, Diana Guerrero (Orange is the New Black). The panel included singer/songwriter, Raquel Sofia, personal branding expert, Denise Soler Cox, Vixen Workout founder, Janet Jones, and Head of Multicultural Marketing at Google, Eliana Murillo.
Check out some of our favorite quotes from the panel below:
“I want to share advice that I was given from someone that isn’t Latino. He was male actually. He told me once, don’t be subtle. It’s this one line that I’ve thought about a lot, and so now whenever I’m a little nervous or waiting for permission, I tell myself ‘don’t be subtle, just go for it.’ ” -Eliana Murillo
“The biggest thing I want all of you to remember is the importance of authenticity and originality. Someone once told me, people don’t have time for things that aren’t transparent. The more authentic you can be and true to yourself, the more you’ll want to keep going and the more you’ll want to pursue your dreams.” -Raquel Sofia
“The importance of you know when you find something that you want to do and you find a purpose where you say maybe I can contribute to that, don’t ever think ‘oh, that’s been done. Don’t waste your time.’ It’s already been done yes, but it hasn’t been done by you. You can bring something so incredibly special, so incredibly different, so don’t waste your time thinking ‘it’s already been done. I can’t tap into this.’ because yes you can. Who says you can’t?” -Diana Guerrero
“All of my mistakes happened when I stopped listening to this feeling that you have here (put hand on heart). Sometimes the brain is telling you something different, but it’s what is in here (put hand on heart) that connects you to your journey.” – Janet Jones
We got the chance to speak to the guests of honor on the red carpet. Check out our exclusive interviews here.