I am proud to be a group fitness junkie. As a personal trainer and yoga instructor who is lucky enough to have her own home studio, I have zero excuses not to workout on my own. But why would I workout boring solo style, when I can attend one of the many amazing group classes in Chicago? I first got the fitness fever in college when I discovered the beauty of classes. Should I hit the hideous elliptical machine before facing scary weight machines, or dance and jumping jack it out to Janet Jackson in good company? No brainer. I am a sucker for the class experience. I once was a personal trainer at a private gym, and one of my fellow trainer buddies always said I needed to open a studio…and name it CLASSES! (Hi Cheston!)
I discovered MaZi dance fitness a few months ago, and have been hooked since my first class. MaZi is owned by a gorgeous sister duo, Marisol and Ziba (MaZi) who trained and danced professionally. These sugary sweet babes opened their doors in 2009 and have since created an amazing community where females unite to support one another through grueling but FUN dance based workouts. The choreography they create is inspired by the physical and emotional benefits they knew in the ballet world. My favorite class is Ballerina Bum Body. I am 100% hooked. Since discovering the class, I go every single week. Even if it’s a day I am extra busy or not feeling great, I can’t miss it. The workout is super challenging, but I also truly enjoy it, which is why I need my weekly fix!
When the sisters first approached me about becoming an instructor, I shyly declined. I thought to myself nooo…I am a personal trainer and yoga instructor. I haven’t lead shoulder rolls and booty shakes since college. I can’t pull that off. When they asked again…I couldn’t say no. Who am I kidding to pass up such a fabulous opportunity?! I am up and rolling with my first class on the schedule, Ballerina Bum Body, Friday’s at 12:30pm in the Lincoln Park studio (more to come), and I am beyond happy with my decision to go for it. I feel like my fitness life has come full circle…it feels amazing to be leading a group of energetic babes through high knees and body rolls just like my good old college days when I started teaching “aerobics.” This is also my first experience teaching set choreography. I wasn’t sure I would like it, but because the moves are so unique being created by ballerinas, I am enjoying the challenge. There is still plenty of room for my own creativity, and because I love and believe in their methods so much, it’s an honor to teach them. I also love that the MaZi team is so passionate about their content. Every two weeks they switch up the routine, and email fresh material to their instructors. I have been on such a MaZi high lately, I have been blasting the Spanish dance jams they rock all over my house, and even my heavy metal husband is into it. Cherry on top; the MaZi sisters share my passion for fashion. Both beauties are fellow Carbon38 ambassadors, and sister Ziba even has a gorgeous blog called DancingMamaStyle. Their gym swag involves darling tees with phrases like “Muscles and Mascara” and “Barre Belle.” Yes indeed, these stunning sisters are my fitness soulmates!
Photos by my darling friend Dani Sommerfeld of the Once Upon a Dollhouse blogging sensation.
Outfit deets! Ruffled top and bottoms by Carbon38, one of my favorite outfits ever! I sized up to a medium in the top, small bottoms. The top is almost too cute to sweat in, but it looks so cute with denim. The pants are so comfy and flattering, I love the ruffle bottom. Drop the code JCHEZ20 for 20% off your first Carbon38 order. Gucci bag, Nike wedge sneakers, Jenny Bird hoop earrings.
The bottom line of this lengthy MaZi love letter is that it feels great to be fired up for fitness! I am blessed to love what I do after all of these years, but it feels fantastic to be super charged up for a new challenge. Never stop pushing yourself, and note there is no age limit on shoulder rolls and shimmy shakes. Check out my Instagram stories for sneak peaks of MaZi routines in action!