{ MIND & BODY }

PUT A SPRING IN YOUR STEP

Dance Fitness Classes with La Jolla Sports Club’s Shannon Mahoney

BY NORA BYRNE

Shannon Mahoney started dancing with her sisters when she was just two years old. She loved it so much that she never stopped, dancing her way through college for the Buffaloes’ athletic teams at the University of Colorado. After graduating, she knew she needed to find a new outlet for her love of dance. That’s when she started taking dance-inspired fitness classes, and ultimately found her calling. Now she’s sharing her love of dance with others at La Jolla Sports Club (LJSC).

Shannon Professional Picture (1)

What kind of dance classes do you teach at LJSC? In 2011, I got certified to teach fitness classes and began teaching Dance Fusion, which combines Latin styles, hip-hop, jazz, burlesque, salsa and Zumba®.  Soon after, I began teaching Cardio Barre and Pilates as well, and I currently teach an array of these 60-minute classes throughout the week.

Can you describe what these different classes entail? The dance classes combine body-sculpting movements with easy-to-follow dance steps. The dance routines feature aerobic interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body while maximizing caloric output, fat-burning and total body toning.

Pilates classes focus on floor exercises that target deep muscles, enhance mobility and correct spinal alignment and posture.

Barre workouts follow a basic structure. There’s a center floor cardio warm-up to start. That’s followed by a series of exercises with weights. Then there’s some lower-body and core strength exercises at the ballet bar that use resistance bands and exercise balls. 

What sets these classes apart from a more traditional workout? Dance is a fun way to get your body and mind in shape. It can help people get their mind off of life’s stresses. You can literally dance your troubles away! And, in the process, you can also strengthen and tone your body and improve your fitness.

What do you enjoy most about teaching these classes? My favorite part about teaching is watching people improve their dance and fitness levels, and I absolutely love seeing the joy that it brings them knowing that each time they are getting stronger. 

Do you have to have prior dance experience in order to take these classes? I try to encourage everyone to try my classes because dance is truly for EVERYONE. You can feel the music and have fun dancing without worrying about getting the moves perfect.

Do you need any special shoes or other gear to take these classes? There’s no special gear needed. You just need regular workout clothes. Choose clothes that are form-fitting, not baggy. For the dance classes, normal athletic shoes are fine. And you can go barefoot for Pilates and barre classes.

What do you like to do when you’re not teaching classes? When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. And believe it or not, I love to go out dancing! I enjoy taking hip-hop, burlesque, line dancing, barre and yoga classes because it helps me continue to learn and grow as an instructor.

[ WORK IT OUT at La Jolla Sports Club, 7825 Fay Avenue, La Jolla 858.456.2595 lajollasportsclub.com ]