I began dancing when I was three. I don’t know why I was completely compelled to do so – perhaps I saw a tutu or some blush-pink ballet shoes in a shop and decided that I needed to wear them; perhaps it was something deeper. Who knows the mind of a child? Thankfully my mother indulged me, and I began taking classes immediately the next day.
Dance became my life. I lived it, breathed it, and was totally immersed in it to the point that I was dance. I remember so vividly how it made me feel – joyful and free and intensely alive. Every day after school when other kids would have play dates or parties, I was at ballet. Or tap. Or jazz. I had to be; it was who I am. When I got my first pair of pointe shoes at age 13, I was so excited that I slept with them! I still remember the feel of that bright pink satin, so smooth and shiny and perfect. Sewing on the ribbons was a religious act, and putting the shoes on my feet transported me to heaven.
While many kids grow out of activities, my dedication to dance only grew stronger as I aged. My high school friends longed after Johnny Depp, but my locker was plastered with photographs of Mikhail Baryshnikov.
At age eighteen, I auditioned for the Australian company of Cats on a whim and landed the part of the White Cat. From that point on, I became a musical theater girl, and spent years with various shows touring in Germany, Asia, Great Britain and Australa. I finally wound up in New York, dancing on Broadway. I spent countless hours learning, rehearsing, performing and then doing it all again the next day. I was in heaven. I was doing what I loved and loving what I did.
During my career I stayed consistently healthy despite the grueling schedule, while so many of my fellow dancers were sidelined with injuries. It was not luck, and I wasn’t shrouded in some sort of injury-repellent force field. Rather it was my pre- and post- performance routines and rituals that kept injury at bay. Early in my career I had started to practice Pilates and yoga and had studied human anatomy. Using what I learned, I created unique movements and exercises based in these practices that I’d do without fail before and after my rehearsals and shows. This routine kept me injury free, flexing and strengthening my muscles and joints in healing ways, while simultaneously developing a core of steel. As a happy side-effect, this routine also gave me a terrific physique: I was lean, strong and solid, and was in peak cardio condition.
Once I retired from performing, I began personal training and used the routines I had devised while I was a performer as the basis for my technique. My method, which uses mostly bodyweight and a little resistance in the form of bands and small weights, worked as fantastically for my clients as it had for me. They soon developed lean, lithe bodies, and were beyond excited to reach their physique goals.
But physical transformations aside, I also noticed many of my clients standing up straighter, looking at themselves in the eye in the mirror, and connecting to their person in the here and now. This was something I had not been expecting, but time and again, I saw women switch from averting their eyes from their reflection to engaging with themselves and watching their bodies closely, carefully, and thoughtfully as they moved and danced. These women were learning to love themselves and their bodies while they were getting in shape, which sent me over the moon with happiness. I absolutely love that what started for me as an injury-prevention plan has since turned into the ultimate girl-power program, something with which women can change their bodies and their attitudes all at once for the better.
The Body By Simone technique is not a quick-fix; it is a lifestyle. This might sound like a cliché, but it’s true. I would never tell you to work out six times a week for two hours a day to get results, or insist that with my program you can lose ten pounds in a week. That is crazy talk! And it is not sustainable. With BBS, you will learn how to make working out and eating healthy a way of life instead of drudgery. I’ll give you all the tools you’ll need to transform your body and your attitude, and you’ll come out the other side healthier, happier and more whole.
The fundamental elements of the BBS exercise program are based in dance, but this does not mean you have to be a dancer to do them. Anyone of any age and ability can do them, I promise! Dancing is a whole-body activity, and with that in mind I created workouts that use all your muscles from head to toe each time you exercise. Each workout is broken down into its most basic components, and our trainers will take you through them, literally step-by-step, so that even those with two left feet will succeed! And for those who have danced before, I hope to reconnect you to that joy and freedom you remember from your days in-studio. It is still there inside of you, waiting to come out. Release it and remember!