How Moms Can Dance Away Stress

One chilly Thursday afternoon I found myself standing in a dark room. Within minutes, colored lights and a thumping beat filled the space and all around me dancing started. I didn’t know it then, but this would soon become one of the things I looked forward to the most each week.

I was recruited by a friend to attend dance workout classes with Rod Smith at Rock It Fitness in Madison. What is this popular program? Rod is happy to explain: “The Get Right Program is basically anything that I do that I teach for fitness. It can be cardio or it can be strength and toning. I never use any weights to workout, and neither do any of the participants in any class that I teach. I believe your best form of workout is done with your body alone. The Rod Smith Get Right Program is about pushing your body to its physical limits safely.”

You can see Rod’s love for good music in his classes. Women of all ages and fitness levels fill the studio space to dance, cheer one another and have an effective workout that is never dull or boring. The environment is infectious – everyone is having fun and sweating off the stresses of the day while having a great time.

Rock It Fitness


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What Actually Goes Down in Class?

Rod’s class is a combination of dance and true cardio. Most classes are an hour long unless otherwise noted. Once you show up to class you can stand wherever you want. There is no dress code however comfortable workout clothes with either running shoes or dancing shoes are recommended. Classes are not a professional dance course so you do not need to know how to professionally dance to join.

Rod says, “If you show up and just step from side to side that is fine with me – the goal of my class is to get you moving and working out to the best of your ability. The class can be either high impact or low. There are modifications to everything that we do and I will show both before and during the song. It is up to you to decide how far you want to push yourself.”

Why This Mom Loved It

From a fairly new member of the program, I can attest that the workout is amazing and highly addictive. The first class was mostly me flailing around, completely off-beat. A couple of months later I have learned several routines and have gained more confidence. There’s something about dancing that just allows all the stress from the day to be released. At the end of each class I am a sweaty mess – but a smiling sweaty mess.


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Parents, take note: Rod is a new parent with wife Thuy-Vy and infant daughter Leia Mai. Rod understands the need to balance family life with time for you. “To the new parents – especially to new mothers – I want to encourage you to join us or any other fitness program. As a parent of a newborn baby girl myself I understand that getting away and having that time to yourself is extremely important. My wife attends the class on a regular basis and she described it to me as her getaway.”

His advice to moms wanting to get fit and de-stress: “Look around for something that is of interest to you and make it work for you. If you were into fitness prior to having your baby remember to ease your body back into working out. Fitness is important for your health but you must remember that safety always come first!”

Can Kids Come Too?

While Rock-It fitness does have a play room for children, at this time there is no formal child care though the studio is looking to develop that in the near future. Rod is also looking about the possibility of including children in his classes. In the meantime, he has a few suggestions: “There are workouts for kids and parents. One in particular is Zumbatomic which is geared more for kids. There’s yoga for kids and other fun workouts. The problem is in the area we live in not a lot of places offer many workouts for children. It is something that I am looking to expand as a way of fighting childhood obesity.”


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Rock It Fitness Details

Locations: Main Location at 1618 Slaughter Rd. Suite F, Madison (map) | Studio A Dance Center, 401 14th St. Decatur (map)
Cost: $5 per class
www.rockit.fitness | Facebook Page

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emily evitt