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Sunday Fitness Fun-Day Workout

Hey I got a workout in on a Sunday! It’s a miracle. Normally my mind is thinking about everything but working out on Sunday. It’s my last day off before the week! So I usually spend it relaxing with my boyfriend.

I streamed my 3 strength exercises live this morning on my Periscope Account (or tried too…the live stream kept stopping or would pause half way through). So I had to take three shorter videos as back up to download to my phone which I’ve uploaded below. Hopefully I’ll get the kinks figured out soon so I can do live stream workouts that you can join me on!

This workout is structured like my last workout Putting the Ballet in Planking as follows:

10 Minute Treadmill Warm Up – Ramp Setting. Steady Incline Starting at 8. Steady Speed Increasing to 3.5

After Warm Up do Circuit 1:
– Pass through Lunge
– Man Maker
– Plan Twist w/Row

10 Minute Treadmill w/Arm Weights – Ramp Setting. Steady Incline Starting at 8. Steady Speed Increasing to 3.5. At 5 minutes, pause. Grab 10 lbs weights and 10 reps of a bicep curl to shoulder press combo. Pause again, put down weights and finish until 10 minutes is reached.

Circuit 2:
– Pass through Lunge
– Man Maker
– Plan Twist w/Row

10 Minute Treadmill w/Arm Weights – Ramp Setting. Steady Incline Starting at 8. Steady Speed Increasing to 3.5. At 5 minutes, pause. Grab 10 lbs weights and 10 reps of a hammer curl to tricep kickback. Pause again, put down weights and finish until 10 minutes is reached.

Circuit 3:
– Pass through Lunge
– Man Maker
– Plan Twist w/Row

10 Minute Treadmill w/Arm Weights – Ramp Setting. Steady Incline Starting at 8. Steady Speed Increasing to 3.5. At 5 minutes, pause. Grab 10 lbs weights and 10 reps of a Pec Dec Fly. Pause again, put down weights and finish until 10 minutes is reached.

5 Minute Cool Down and Stretch!

**REMEMBER** When holding weights on the treadmill you should not be running…or jogging. The highest speed should ever be 3.5. If you want a faster cardio workout, don’t use the weights. Like I’ve said before we aren’t trying to make an appearance on America’s Funniest Home Videos or break a leg…

Here’s the three exercises in the Circuit:

#1- Pass through lunge
I used a 5lb weight and did 10 reps (r/l)

#2- Man Maker
This is a combo exercise. Start in a plank position. Push up. Jump your feet in to your hands so you’re in a deep squat. Lift the weights above your head to a shoulder press. Lower the weights back down to the floor in a deep squat and jump your feet back to your plank position. Repeat!

#3 Twisting Passé Plank w/Row
I used 5 lb weights and 5lb ankle weights. 10 reps (r/l) Notice arms and legs are in opposition.

Enjoy the workout! Let me know how liked it in the comments below! I’m planning to go live tomorrow from 9am-10am MST with a high cardio workout lower impact strength training workout for Muscle Monday! Follow me on Twitter @jessclay1983 so you don’t miss the live feed (hopefully will work!)




So you want to take dance classes? How to choose a Dance Studio.

So  you want to register your child in dance class? Or maybe you’re an adult who is looking for a new hobby or a good exercise regime? There are dance studios on every corner, thanks to TV shows like Dance Moms and So You Think You Can Dance. How on earth are you supposed to choose a dance studio with all those options? Why shouldn’t you just choose the studio closest to home? I hope this blog gives a little incite on the dance industry. Competitive vs recreational dance, and how you can tell the difference between a quality dance program, vs someone who just wanted to open a dance studio.

Here are some facts about dance and the human body: 

  1. Dance is an athletic activity. The body is the instrument. Therefore careful teaching techniques must be followed to avoid injury.
  2. Most children don’t have fully developed bones and joints until between age 12 – 14
  3. Injuries among dancers are on the rise 37%

I’m not making it up…here are some articles:
10 Common Dance Injuries
Skeletal Development in Children
Intense competition drives young dancers to extremes
As Dance Grows in Popularity, Injuries Rise

dsc08463So I don’t share those above articles to scare you out of enrolling in dance classes, or signing little Suzie up for her first ballet class in her sparkly tutu…I want you to sign up your kids for dance class, but, I want you to be smart about it!

What are some things you can look for in a QUALITY dance program?

  1. How strong is their ballet program?
    Ballet is the basis of ALL dance. Yes even tap and hip hop. Most of the famous hip hop and tap dancers have had some type of ballet training. Does that mean they are professional ballerinas? No- it just means they’ve used ballet technique to train and build their muscles to properly execute advanced moves to avoid injury.So how you do you know if a dance studio has a good ballet program?
    Looking at the website is a great place to start. Do they even offer a ballet class, and if so, how often? What type of ballet do they offer (yes there are many different styles: Balanchine, Vaganova, RAD, Checcetti)? These terms may be foreign to you, so here’s a great Blog Post from the Diablo Ballet Blog that explains the different techniques.

    How often is ballet on the schedule?

    -If ballet is only listed one day a week or not all, I would highly suggest you air on the side of caution.
    – If they have a ballet program offered every day of the week, but it’s only one or two levels, that is also a red flag. There are 8 levels of classical ballet that dancers should be trained in.

    Are the students required to take ballet? Or is it optional?
    – If the studio makes ballet optional, it’s probably not too focused on ensuring their dancers receive the best training.

    Do the students wear ballet attire?
    – In ballet there is one uniform: leotard, pink tights, pink ballet slippers and hair in bun. If the studio doesn’t enforce an appropriate dress code for their ballet program; they probably don’t put too much care in the technique that is being taught.

  2. What is on the Teacher’s Bio?
    Have you thought about reading your teacher’s bio? What type of dance experience do they have? In general a quality dance educator should have at least 3-5 years of pre-professional dance training with an additional 2-3 years of assistant teaching experience. (No a STUDENT should NOT be teaching dance classes). A lot of studios will employ their students as the teachers to save money. This is a huge RED FLAG. Students can assist a professional dance teacher, but should never be in charge of a class on their own.What should I be looking for in my Teacher’s Bio?
    – Where did they train?  Do they list the studios they have trained at in their bio? Are the studios prestigious companies (ie: Julliard, Joffery, Alvin Ailey etc) or did they train at a Dolly Dinkle Studio…ie: Jan’s School of Dance  (not to say that every Jan’s School of Dance is Dolly Dinkle…) So how can you find out? I would google the studios your dance teacher lists on their bio or resumé and check out their websites. If you want to see an example of a professional dance instructor bio, please read mine.

    Who were their teachers?
    – Does their bio include who they trained with? Obviously there are big names in the dance world that would indicate someone has received quality training. Did their teachers have successful careers of their own? Of course if you’re a mom just looking to enroll Suzie in her first dance class, you may not have any idea of “big” names in the dance world. So I would suggest that you Google the people your teacher has trained under.

    What if my teacher doesn’t have a bio listed? 
    – Red Flag! I’d ask to see a copy of their resumé or ask the questions above.

    What about a degree?
    – Most professional dancers do not have time to attend college to earn a teaching degree. A degree does not necessarily indicate quality training.

3. What kind of dancers has the studio produced?
Take a look at the studio’s website. Has the studio produced any professional, performing dancers? How many? While this can be a benefit to a studio, a studio that hasn’t produced professional dancers may not necessarily indicate poor training. For example my program, Dance Exploration, is non-competitive. So it’s very unlikely our program would produce any professional dancers. Our program is designed to instill a love of dance in our dancers and we hope they will go find a professional dance studio to continue their training once they’ve graduated from our program.

4. Can you Observe a Class? 
I would suggest you always call the studio and ask for a class observation. Let them know you’re considering enrolling your child (or yourself) and want to observe before you commit to registering. If they don’t allow you to observe a class it’s definitely a Red Flag. I’d be immediately wondering why they won’t allow an observation.

How many injured dancers do you see?
-If they do allow you to observe, I would look at the kids waiting in the lobby/dressing rooms. Do you see braces, crutches, boots etc. Are any kids sitting out to observe because of an injury? You don’t want to pay for injuries…they are expensive and they can ruin a career!

How is the studio maintained?
– Observing will also allow you to see how the studio is maintained. Are floors well taped? Mirrors clean? What does the office look like? Is it organized or a disaster.
– How is the office staff? Did the office staff greet you and make you feel welcome?

How does the teacher engage with the class? 

– One of my pet peeves as a dance teacher is when a teacher turns their back on their students and teaches through the mirror. The mirror is a tool for the students NOT the teacher. Clint Salter, author of Dance Studio Transformation, writes in his book:

“I’m sure you’ve seen a teacher take a class where it’s almost like they’re the only ones in the room, as they spend the whole time looking at themselves in the mirror.”

At Dance Exploration, our teachers always teach facing the students. We also teach in circles rather than lines so all students can see the teacher and feel included.

Is the instructor patient?
– Most dance studios are NOT like the TV Show Dance Moms and Abby Lee Miller. If you’ve ever seen the show, they portray Ms. Miller screaming and barking at her students (now of course this is made for TV…but it’s a perfect example of what NOT to look for in a dance teacher). Nothing is worse than a teacher who spends the whole class screaming and yelling at the students. Corrections should be applied in a positive way. Students should be encouraged to reach their full potential and should have trust in their dance teacher. This can’t be accomplished in a hostile environment.

How are steps taught and corrections applied?
– Dance is learned first through imitating the instructor. If the instructor is marking combinations or sitting down and not demonstrating at all, it’s hard for the students. An exception can be made for more advanced level dancers who should know the terminology well enough to perform steps without necessarily seeing them performed.

– I am a big believer in hands on corrections. Dance is also learned through feeling. If you’re performing a move incorrectly a hands on correction can help you fix the mistake. For example if a student is standing in sou sou with a sway back, the teacher placing their hands on the lower ribs and back can help the student “feel” the correct way to stand.


Recreational vs Competitive vs Pre-Professional

There’s a difference between a recreational, competitive and pre-professional dance studios.

Dance Exploration is a recreational dance program. We operate by traveling into the local schools. We do not participate in competitions nor do we host big recitals. Our dancers do have the chance to perform in private showcases for their families. Our program teaches beginning to intermediate levels of dancers through elementary school.

A competitive studio usually participates in big competitions. They may offer recreational programs in addition to competitive dance teams. Competitions can be team or individual based. Competitions all have different standards by which they judge routines. Now a days many competitions focus more on the tricks performed rather than the technique. There’s a blog post by Bree Hafen circulating the internet which discusses the difference. (In case you’re wondering, technique should always be taught before tricks. I call this teaching progressively and it’s the best way to avoid injury). Competitive studios usually put on big recitals for their students which include the costumes.

Pre-Professional studios are usually big named studios (Alvin Ailey, Joffrey, Juilliard etc). Most states have a Professional Ballet Company with a Pre-Professional dance academy designed to produce the next generation of professional dancers. I was trained at the Colorado Ballet Academy which is the Pre-Professional training program to the Colorado Ballet. Schedules may be more rigorous and tuition may be higher as the training is considered more prestigious. Most Pre-Professional ballet companies do not participate in competitions besides the major ballet competitions. They also provide opportunities to perform in professional productions such as the Nutcracker.

Hopefully this helps you decide how to pick your dance studio! I hope you don’t just choose the studio across the street. Do some research and be sure the program is right for you! If you have any questions about picking a dance studio, leave me a comment! I’d love to help!




Workout Wednesday – Putting the Ballet into Planking

I got a great workout (and read in) this morning. As you may know, I’m hosting a 4 Week FREE E-Course called Dance Studio Planning – Kicking off the New Year!  Although this course is focused on the dance studio industry, I think it is a really great course for anyone who has goals and wants to accomplish those goals! I cover 4 main parts of the goal planning process:

  1. Evaluating and Reflection
  2. Goal Setting
  3. Planning
  4. Implementing

I talk about finding your Theme Word for the year, and then creating a theme word for each month, week and day. Then how to set your “appointments” to meet each and every task on your daily list of “must do’s.” If you have a goal to lose weight, write a blog, start a business…or whatever your 2017 has in store, you should give the course a try. It is free afterall…

Any way I was reading The Marketing Plan my William M. Luther while treadmilling. Sure, it’s an older book- he talks more about TV and Print ads than what we have now a days on the internet…but he made so many good points about the importance of finding your target markets and how many companies took off or went under based on the image they presented in the community, or simply targeting the wrong market. He’s inspired me to change my Marketing Plan section on Week 3 Course 2 to an Action Plan course and leaving a Marketing Plan E-Course for a later time. More on that soon. Without further ado, let’s talk about my workout for today and how I burned 730 calories doing a  ballet infused strength/cardio workout!


If you follow me on Twitter, @jessclay1983 I am going to start going live more frequently on periscope with my workouts. If you don’t follow me, I’ll try to post them here. It was my goal when I started this blog to be highly fitness focused- hence the name Fitterina Ballerina. Keep in mind, I started the blog 3 years ago when I was still in my ballet company and Performing Ballerina was my primary job. Now my primary job has changed from a Performing Ballerina to Entrepreneur as I am hyper focused on running my three businesses.

That being said, I still love a good work out, and since I still frequently perform in Musical Theater productions (view my latest performance post) as a featured dancer, staying in shape is still very important to me.

So I’m not going to abandon my Fitness blogging, it just won’t be the only focus anymore.

Alrighty. That being said, here’s what I did today. I burned 730 Calories on this workout…and my undershirt was soaked in sweat when I got home…gross, but at least I know today was a good one. I use the Orange Theory Heart Rate Monitor to track my burns.



So here’s how I start my workouts every time. I do a short 5 minute walk on the treadmill. I’ll set it to about 3.5 speed and an incline of 8.

After warming up I complete the following three exercises:

Inspired by a Tracy Anderson Pin I found on Pinterest. I did change a few things from the pin and made it more balletic.







Move #1 I called this one the kicking punch plank…I’m sure there’s a more technical word for it. You basically get in a crab walk position. With a weight in your right hand cross your right leg on top of your left and punch and kick at the same time. The first few times I fell over LOL so definitely try to get your balance. You could probably do just the kick without any arm weights or movements if you’re needing a modification.

Click the link in my tweet below to watch from my live broadcast.


Move #2 Twisting arabesque plank to a kick. You start in a plank with your right leg off the floor you twist and put your right toe on the floor (heel lifted) and kick your left leg, then slowly lower yourself back down to your starting position. I was thinking a fun exercise would also to be some calf raises in that kick position…do a couple heel lower and raises while trying to balance…so it’s on my to do list.


Swinging arabesque plank into a Penché Pike. No need to do a penché pike…but I did because I’m a ballerina and it’s what I do. You can get a nice burn just doing a 45 degree leg in a plank position. Don’t worry if you’re not as flexible as I am…I wasn’t called “Miss Gumby” for the first 15 years of my life for nothing 😉


After you’ve done 10-15 reps of these exercises you grab a 5-10 lb weight and head to the treadmill. I wear my ankle weights on the treadmill. Start the treadmill back up. 3.5 Speed and a slow rising incline starting at 8. My treadmill increases the incline and speed for me… if yours doesn’t just improve the incline/speed as needed. I climb for about 5 minutes. Then I pause the machine at at about 5 minutes and grab my arm weights and continue the climb while doing an arm combo exercise. Today my first arm combo was a bicep curl to shoulder press. Do 10 reps. Pause the treadmill, put the weights down and continue climbing until you’ve been on the treadmill for 10 minutes.

Next leave the treadmill and repeat the circuit of 3 exercises I shared above.

Then back to the treadmill for another 10 minutes. 5 minutes on a steady climb. Then another arm weight combo my second set was a tricep kickback to a hammer curl. **NOTE** Perform the arm weight moves while walking at your own risk… make sure your treadmill isn’t set on super high speeds that are going to cause you to drop weights…or fly off the machine. Seriously we aren’t trying to make it on AMFHV and we’re certainly not trying to get hurt. My speed is never higher than 2-3 when I’m holding weights). Complete 10 reps of arm weights. Continue walking on your climb stop when you reach 10 minutes.

Repeat circuit of 3 exercises.

Then back to the treadmill for your last 10 minutes of cardio and combo arm weights. Again steady climb for 5 minutes. Pause, grab your arm weights, start treadmill again on slow climb. 10 more arm combo reps. Stop finish your 10 minutes.

After this last 10 minute burst I do a 5 minute cool down and stretch.

Remember, exercise at your own risk and modify any exercises. Don’t use weights and lower legs, heels where needed.

If you try this workout, let me know in the comments how you liked it!

Til next time,

Fitterina Ballerina




Why Hello Dolly!

I just finished a run as a Silly Girl in the Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast. If you’re not familiar with the stage version of the show, the Silly Girls are the three blondes who fawn all over Gaston in the cartoon. In my Production at Vintage Theatre Productions we were a blonde, brunette and a red head… and no that’s not the start of a good joke…okay well maybe it is LOL. Anyways, I had the wonderful opportunity of performing in 22 shows with an amazing cast. Along with a Silly Girl, I danced my hair out of my pony tail every night as an enchanted napkin for Be Our Guest and Human Again. I also got to play a wolf with a big old wolf head (picture below). Beauty and the Beast was my first Disney Musical. It was everything I hoped it would be. It was definitely a bucket list show.

Here’s a few photos from the run:

(Photos by Christine Fisk)


That girl is so Peculiar! (I’m the Silly Girl in Green and the red head)


It’s a Pity and a Sin! (Me front and Center)


Oh Gaston….say it isn’t so! (On the left. Please don’t marry Belle, Gaston!)


My what a guy! Gastoooooooon!  (Right before we do our cup clanking dance).


Go on and fold your menu! (Middle Napkin in Be Our Guest)


We’re OBSESSED! (Whee – napkin on the right).


Our lovely Cast. (Vintage Theatre Production’s Beauty and the Beast).

To see all the photos from the show: Click Here

As Promised…me as a vicious Wolf…the tongue on that thing always made me laugh…it meant business.


It was definitely a fun show, with a super talented group of people. I always miss the shows when they are over. This show, being my first Disney musical, really held a special place in my heart. As such, I was pretty sure that I would be taking a break from performing until the summer…and then I got a call…

Performance Now Theatre Company is putting on Hello Dolly in March/April this year. I  love this show!  I grew up watching the Barbara Streisand movie as a kid. I watched it over, and over, and OVER again! I think I was most mesmerized by the costumes. What’s not to love? Large feather hats, feather boas, over the top lace umbrellas and sequins galore!

Despite how much I loved this show, I was adamant, that I wasn’t going to do it. Not because I don’t love the show, or don’t love performing…but I hate the snow! In Colorado March/April can be blizzard season here and I just simply didn’t want to drive across the city to get to a theater in traffic and a blizzard (that sounds like a good Title for a Book or Movie “Traffic and a Blizzard” …hmmm). Well…as time went on, the audition got closer and closer…I got sadder and sadder. I almost considered putting in a last minute audition, but then Dance Exploration’s New Year Celebration was scheduled for that weekend…Oh Well! Maybe next time.

Then in some weird twist of destiny, I was approached to send in my conflicts for the show. So I did, and next thing I know I’m getting a call to accept a role in the ensemble! Well Hello Dolly! It must be fate! I’m very excited to begin this show. It has an amazing cast, and we will be dancing our socks off! If you’ve seen the show, you know there’s a big waiter scene where the waiters dance around with their trays in their tail tuxedos…I want to be a waiter! We will see if I will trade in a tutu and tiara for a mustache and tuxedo, if I do, you can guarantee there will be blog on this adventure! Time will tell!

Hello Dolly by Performance Now Theatre Company! 

Running March 24th – April 9th 2017 at the Lakewood Cultural Center


Tickets on Sale Now! 

Stick around for more blogs on my newest performance opportunity!



Creating a Vision Board



A big goal in 2017 is EXPANSION…in fact that’s my theme word for the year so I’ve created the hashtag #2017expansion … everything this year will revolve around EXPANDING. To start, I’m EXPANDING my  horizons and challenging myself to create, write and publish a 4 Week E-Course on setting goals and planning the steps needed to make 2017 the best year yet (or whatever year it may be). I’ve created E-Courses before, but nothing to this extent. I’m writing the content, creating the Worksheets/Videos and publishing them to my website and then e-mailing them to my followers (all while running my three businesses). There will be 3 E-Courses over the span of 4 weeks. That’s 12 different courses that I’ve created for my followers. It’s a challenge, and I’m loving it!

So far, I’ve created 6 courses. I just finished the last course of Week 3- Creating a Vision Board..Yes! This blog is part of the Course! I’m a crafty person. Anytime I can grab some glue, scissors and paper and create something it’s right up my ally. I create a ton of props for Dance Exploration (in fact keep an eye out on the Dance Exploration blog, I have a fun snowflake craft and game that is perfect for kids and parents to play at home). I’m definitely an artistic/creative individual with an analytical mind and a knack for detail. That’s why creating these E-Courses have been really exciting.

I figure, a Vision Board is not specific to one industry and anyone can create one. So this is the focus of my blog today.

What is a Vision Board?- 
It’s exactly what it sounds like, it’s a board on which you place images, words, quotes etc that inspire you and motivate you to accomplish your goals.

What do you need to make a Vision Board?
All you really need is a board (peg board, poster board, magnet board, etc) and pictures, quotes, words, etc that you can pin or glue to it. For my Vision Board I just bought some magazines and cut photos, words and articles to paste on it.

  • Poster Board (or Peg, Magnetic Board)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Magazines

My Vision Board- 
I purchased a 3 panel foldable Poster Board as my Vision Board. I wanted the largest section to be focused on my business(es) and the sides to be my Fitness Goals and My Dreams/Wishes.

I know in 2017 (or at least in the next few years) I have some big plans, hopes and dreams. I wanted these to be displayed on my Vision Board-

  1. Expand my Business- I hope to have 3-5 more Dance Ambassadors representing the ‘Dance to Learn!’® Curriculum. I would also like to begin research into branching out into Canada, Australia and the UK as well as the USA.
  2. Get Fit and Stay Healthy- I’m a dancer, a ballerina at that. Keeping my body in top shape for performances is very important. I also want to start a ‘Princesses on Pointe’ collection for Dancing Princess Parties which means more gym time, ballet classes and pointe strengthening exercises.
  3. Home- I would like to begin preparing for home ownership.
  4. Travel- I hope to finally get a passport and get to one of the many places on my bucket list.
  5. Wedding- Todd and I have been together 6 years, he’s the one for me.

The Magazines I Used- 

I used 4 different Magazines that I figured would have words/images that could express these goals/wishes/dreams.

  1. Conscious Company
  2. Oxygen
  3. Colorado Homes
  4. Traveler 

Once I had the magazines I got to work cutting out articles, words and pictures that conveyed my desires.

First I knew I had to display my Theme Word for the year: EXPANSION

None of the magazines had the word Expansion, so I just cut out some funky letters and spelled the word EXPAND and glued this to the very top of my Vision Board.


Everything I found, I knew needed to revolve around this word.

In Conscious Company I found an article “The World’s Top 25 for Benefit-Companies.” The article awarded companies different badges based on their purpose and mission. Some of the Badges included:

  • Considerate Compensation
  • Benevolent Benefits
  • Tribe Culture
  • Remarkable Customer Care
  • Water and Waste Conscious
  • Partners for the Planet
  • Employee Growth
  • Eco-Minded Materials
  • Freedom Focused
  • Caring through Sharing
  • Early-Friendly Energy

I liked the article and the badges because of the bright rainbow colors. Dance Exploration’s logo and website is colorful and bright, and these badges fit right in. I cut out the different badges and found my own words to go along with them. Like in the photo below- the mountain with the flag fit right in with the word ELEVATION which I will be using to remind myself that I want to EXPAND my brand and businesses to a nationwide and eventually world wide brand.



I set off to find 9 words that described my business in 2017 and where I’d like us to EXPAND this year!

  1. Wealth – We’ve been on a steady growth financially each year. I hope this is our break through year financially through EXPANDING with our Ambassadors and continuing to create programs that add value to our community.
  2. Social Impact – I hope that our ‘Dance to Learn!’® Curriculum makes an impact not only for dance educators, but also for school teachers. I also hope to continue our EXPANSION in the Title One Schools around Denver and bring dance to children who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity.
  3. Elevation –  EXPAND my brand and businesses to a nationwide and eventually world wide brand.
  4. Leadership – I want to continue to EXPAND my  own horizons and grow my tribe through E-Courses to help others reach their goals.
  5. Systems – I want to EXPAND my registration and enrollment through systematic automated emails and enrollment processes. EXPANDING our referral programs and retention strategies are on the plan.
  6. Training – I want to EXPAND my national reach by finishing my ‘Dance to Learn!’® Independent Ambassador online Dance Teacher Certification
  7. Plan – I want to EXPAND my personal goals and create monthly, weekly and daily action plans to accomplish the big picture.
  8. Inspire Change – I want to EXPAND the knowledge around the country on the benefits of dance education in school and continue to be a spokesperson for Dance in School Programs nationwide.
  9. Value – I want to EXPAND my brand for my dance families and continue to add value in my programs including the addition of an intranet for enrolled families and students to access our ‘Dance to Learn!’® at Home with Me™ programs, our Monthly Newsletters, How To Dance Videos and more!


There was another article in Conscious Company that discussed the 7 Characteristics of Evergreen Companies. I loved the Characteristics and so I cut each one out and pasted them next to the words I felt the fit with the best. For example, in the photo above, PURPOSE was the first of the 7 Characteristics.

I felt”PURPOSE- Being passionately driven by a compelling mission and vision” fit best with the word VALUE.

The 7 Characteristics include:

  1. Purpose
  2. Perseverance
  3. People First
  4. Profit
  5. Private
  6. Paced Growth
  7. Pragmatic Innovation

There was another article on Leadership and Women in Business. This article was filled with a lot of Sub-Headlines with statements such as:

“Get Comfortable with Failure.”

I cut these headlines out and pasted around the board. Some other fun phrases included:

  1. Empower employees to live your mission.
  2. Commit to finding mentors.
  3. Ask for everyone’s opinion.
  4. Get comfortable with failure.
  5. Start with transparency
  6. Don’t expect overnight results.



That wraps up my Business section of my Vision Board. Next I started my Fitness Goal side!

Grabbing Oxygen, I cut out a few images of the women who I felt had the type of muscular physique I would hope to work for in my fitness goals.

One of the first words I found was GOALS written as a headline…perfect.

I also found an image of a post it note that said “I’m gonna make you so proud.” Note to Self and underneath I glued You are an Athlete!

Meal Plan
Get Fit
Lose Weight
Exercise Regularly

These were a few other phrases I was drawn to. So I cut out and paste!


Then the third side of my Vision Board is my Hopes and Dreams. Think of this as the 1-5 year plan LOL! Hopefully these come true this year, if not…I’m pretty sure they will be on my Vision Board until they come to fruition

At the top: HOME

We would love to move this year! Even if it’s just into a larger apartment. I’d love to have a separate space for an office and have an Office Manager work with me form home. We’ve already looked at a few floor plans we love…so hopefully we can make this happen this year!



I don’t have a Passport. The furthest I’ve ever been “out of the country” was to Puerto Rico when my dad took me as a graduation gift. I didn’t even need a passport. My mom and I promised we’d go to Paris together for my 25th birthday…that never happened…so hopefully in the next 1-5 years I can make it to some of my bucket list places. Until then, Todd and I have another photography road trip planned in February to Arches National Park!


Lastly – WEDDING…okay let’s start with engagement LOL. I’ve been so in love with my my sweetheart. 2017 is the beginning of 6 wonderful years together. I’m ready to commit to my life partner for better or worse.


Alright friends! There you have it! I hope, if you’re thinking about your 2017 and ready to put all our goals, hopes and dreams down on paper, that you grab some magazines, scissors and glue and get to work! If you do make a Vision Board this year, don’t forget to put it in a place that you can see daily. Mine is small enough it will fit on my new office desk and I can look at it every day as I work towards EXPANDING my horizons this year! PS don’t be afraid to share your Vision Boards with me in the comments! You can also tweet me at @jessclay1983 or tag me on Instagram @fitterinaballerina 

Have fun! If you haven’t yet, sign up for my FREE 4 Week E-Course! It’s focused on Dance Studio Owners…but it works for anyone who has a goal or plan that you want to accomplish!

Join Me!

First Blog of the Year! How to Set your Fitness Goals

Welcome Back to me and Happy New Year to You! Another year, another set of Fitness Goals! So okay, it’s been a while, and it’s not that I haven’t been working out, I have, I’ve just not had the time to blog about it.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on my business…er businesses. Yeah I started a few new adventures in 2016. Dance Exploration is still my number one priority, but I am now also doing Princess birthday parties. Yes I dress up like Elsa, Anna, Cinderella etc and celebrate kids’ special days. It’s a lot of fun, and I was thinking about doing some blog posts on how I turn into a Princess. I also just started a new Continued Dance Education website as a supplemental program for ‘Dance To Learn!’® Ambassadors. My first 4 Week E-Course is all on setting goals to be successful. Writing and creating this E-Course inspired me to write my first blog of 2017! I love the featured image I made using a photo taken by my amazing Photographer boyfriend: Todd Strong Photography. We did this photoshoot a few years ago this image is my blog header and thought it would be perfect for today!


With all I’ve got going on- it makes it hard to find the time to blog, but as I’m learning while writing my 4 Week E-Course on goal setting, it’s more about scheduling times and commitments rather than focusing on numbers. What do I mean by that? So you know a new year’s resolution right?

I want to lose 5 lbs every month.

That’s a resolution. What’s wrong with a resolution? You will probably fail. Maybe not right away…but it’s inevitable. Why? You ask? Two reasons:

white-background-worldnews-08-2-2#1 You haven’t made a plan! You haven’t scheduled your monthly, weekly, daily tasks that are going to help you accomplish your goal .

#2 It’s number focused. If you don’t lose 5lbs every single week, you’ll feel like a failure and give up!


So here’s what you do instead:

I want to lose weight this year!

So now you have your goal, you must get SPECIFIC on how you’re going to achieve it! Grab a pen and write down your steps:

#1- I am going to go to sleep at 10:30pm

#2- I am going to set my alarm for 6:00am

image#3- I am going to eat a breakfast with a lean meat protein

#4 On Mon, Wed and Fri I am going to begin my workouts at 8:00am and finish by 9:00am

#5 On Tues/Thurs I will stretch, meditate or do a low impact workout for 30 minutes

#6 Sat/Sun are optional

#5 I will keep a food journal I will eat 3 meals and 2 small meals and keep my sugar intake to 25g or less.


Sounds easy right? If you can stick with this, you probably WILL lose weight this year! Now you’ve planned what you’re going to do! Now you have to make a schedule with yourself! This is a weekly schedule you put in your Google calendar or planner. This is not a deadline! A deadline is a high pressure/stressful word. This is a schedule, like a work schedule or a house cleaning schedule.

I like themes- my entire business revolves around themes to help me stay on track! So if I were to create a theme for my fitness calendar it would look like this:

Muscle Monday’s – Cardio + Strength

Toning Tuesday’s – Abs/Core/Stretch

Workout Wednesday’s – Cardio + Strength

Thinning Thursday’s – Abs/Core/Stretch

Fitness Fridays – Cardio + Strength

Sat/Sun – Optional

Easy to remember & now you have your schedule! Treat this like your work schedule! How many times do you miss work? It’s only in extreme situations (or I hope so). Make your food journal and each night before going to bed plan your meals and workouts for the next day. I like using Pinterest. Make a board and call it “My Workout for Tomorrow” and pin all the exercises you’ll do the next day. Make another board called “My Meals for Tomorrow” and pin some healthy lean protein meals. Stick to it!

Now to help you plan even better list in your journal any obstacles that may come along that will prevent you from completing your schedule. Some examples might be:

#1 – I have to be sure kid’s lunches ready to go and get them on the bus by 7:30

#2 – Hubby has to have his lunch made and out the door by 7:45

#3- It takes me 15 minutes to get to the gym so I have to leave at the same time as hubby.

Listing your obstacles will help you determine if your schedule is realistic. We want to set ourselves up for success not for failure! If you work a job that keeps you up til 2:00am then your workout schedule will probably look completely different!

If you want to join me in My FREE 4 Week E-Course on Kicking off the New Year and making 2017 the best year yet! You can join me at

This E-Course is designed for Dance Studio Owners. Don’t worry if you’re not a studio owner…if you own a business, have a goal or are just looking for ways to have a great year, this course is for anyone!


Join me now