VXN Workout, a dance-based cardio workout, is taking over the DMV.
“Picture yourself at your favorite concert with your favorite artist and dance like no one is looking.”
Whether you’re dreaming up your own world tour or simply looking to spice up your fitness routine, you may catch your “big break” with VXN Workout. Take it from instructor Alma Molina, whose words perfectly capture the essence of the hour-long cardio session.
A typical class flows through a series of dance routines set to pop, hip-hop and Latin hits, with some choreography breakdowns to facilitate movement. No formal dance background is required, just a willingness to step, pump and twerk your way through the calorie burn.
“It really is for anyone — you can be 22 years old, you can be 70 years old,” says instructor Rebecca Oren, who teaches classes on Thursday evenings at Joy of Motion Dance Center on H Street in D.C. “You modify to what you can do and just do your best,”
Molina and Oren are two of eight certified instructors bringing VXN to the local community, known as the #VXNArmyDMV. Through teaching classes and participating in community events, instructors are committed to creating an experience that is just as much about empowerment as it is a great workout.
“Our choreography is based on what you’re seeing in live performances like the VMA’s or latest music videos,” says master trainer Nicolle Lopez — aka Nikki Major. “We want you to feel like a performer.”
Creating the right ambiance is key to elevating the experience. This often involves setting the right mood lighting, a technique instructor Betty Zambrano uses at her Sunday morning classes at District Irish Dance Academy in Tenleytown.
“In my class I turn the lights off, so it’s just you. I’m a guide somewhere up in the corner. It’s a time to just connect with yourself.”
VXN Workout was founded nearly a decade ago in Miami by former Heat dancer Janet Jones. The brand focuses on improving women’s physical and mental wellness through dance, empowering them to live confidently and build community. The vision has since spread throughout the U.S. and abroad, with instructors teaching in Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and Europe as well.
“I’ve always described VXN as a community first and a workout second,” Major says. “We come here for camaraderie; we come here for a safe space to move our bodies.”
Major was one of the founding VXN instructors in Miami. After moving to the D.C. area five years ago, she found herself in need of community following an unexpected layoff from her job. She took the time to start teaching again, and from there, things took off. In addition to certifying new instructors and building the brand across the country, Major teaches Wednesday classes at Cerdafied Studios in Alexandria.
One of Major’s previous students from Miami also teaches locally. Alina Velasquez — aka Ali Beatz —reconnected with Major after relocating to the area. She teaches Monday night classes at Legacy Dance Institute in Vienna. Echoing the community-first belief, Beatz detailed her own experience forming close friendships with her fellow instructors and class attendees.
“I always tell people we are an actual army, watch out!” she says. “If you need help with anything, we support each other in the studio and outside the studio.”
Those interested in taking classes can do so in person with any of the four instructors currently teaching in D.C. and Northern Virginia. By following the #VXNArmyDMV hashtag on social media, you can also connect with other instructors teaching virtually or hosting pop-ups around the area.
Once you’re ready for your close-up, put on your favorite workout gear for a dash of confidence and simply follow Oren’s lead in letting loose:
“My first rule is that it’s a judgment-free zone. When you walk into that room, we’re here to just express ourselves and have a good time.”
Want first access to select activities and events around D.C.? Join the District Fray community, where you’ll access free and discounted tickets. Become a member and support local journalism today.