• How Dance Is Helping Some NYC Moms Get Their Grooves Back

    Fitness instructor Victoria Bader talks about her dance workout for new moms.

    By Elyse Carmosino

    Photo Courtesy of victoriabader.com

    Dancer and founder of her own dance school, Victoria Bader wants to make post-baby exercise a little easier for new mothers by offering them a dance-inspired body conditioning class designed specifically for their post-natal needs. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dance and the American Ballet Theatre National Training curriculum, the Australia native has over 30 years of teaching experience under her belt. During her long and diverse career as a dancer, she performed and trained across the globe before finally settling in Manhattan to open the Victoria Bader Dance School, where she teaches ballet, movement, and body conditioning to both children and adults.

    The idea to create a workout for new mothers came to Bader after working closely with many women who had little to no background in dance–including some who had just given birth. She noticed several of them had the same concerns: they were interested in getting back in shape, and they wanted to increase their flexibility while at the same time toning and lengthening their muscles. The dance instructor saw an opportunity, and in response developed specially-designed workout regimens for women using dance movements with the goal of getting in shape the same way dancers do–through an understanding of movement, weight transfer, and muscle strengthening from a musical standpoint.

    “I discovered how important musicality was for the body to really respond to movement, whatever the goal. An understanding of weight transfer, balance, how to work a muscle and to specifically work a muscle group [gives results that] are fast and permanent,” Bader says. “The students understand why and how to work their bodies, working their ‘body brains’ synergistically with their physical bodies.”

    Because the post natal body has its own specific needs, adult conditioning classes eventually led Bader to develop a unique program meant to accommodate new mothers. The movements she incorporates into every class are graceful and meant to produce an overall leaner, healthier physique, including toned arms, stronger thighs and abdominal muscles, and more hip flexibility, which Bader helps each student achieve through one on one assessments. These classes run an hour long and are meant to be attended three times a week for six weeks.

    “The importance of a professional to work with you is crucial. My classes are tailored to fit your specific needs. Your ability to utilize core muscles will be reviewed during your first lesson and worked into a strengthening regime.”

    When she first created her post-natal program 20 years ago, Bader noticed results in her students almost immediately.

    “Each lady lost weight, and her ‘tummy pooch’ was flattened, if not toned up entirely, which is the way a dancer works,” Bader says. The results weren’t just physical, however. “Most importantly, their moods and coping skills were reportedly positive; a strong motivator to the attendees. They felt amazing when they accomplished their workouts–a feeling that lasted all day. They were happier people.”

    Classes are typically private sessions, with larger groups upon request. All sessions are held in Bader’s Midtown studio and are by appointment only. For bookings and further inquiries, contact victoria@victoriabader.com. Interested parties should always check with a doctor before starting any post-natal fitness programs.

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