Drop ’n’ Dance

Words by Emily Cannon

 

“I thought dance was just an after-school activity for kids.” 

 

In today’s world people are trying to find different ways to work out without just lifting weights and going on a run. I myself have tried a variety of classes trying to find something I enjoyed as much as when I played sports growing up. I’ve noticed that when some people stop playing high school or college, sports, they do not really know how to work out 

 

Growing up as a dancer, I never really thought about it being a workout, as it was a fun activity after school. But when I got to college I never knew what to do at the gym. I tried every class my college offered, and the only one I truly liked was Zumba. I went to as many classes as possible because it was something I understood and felt good about. This is when one of my friends told me about a local dance studio that was offering adult dance classes! I thought this is perfect: I can go enjoy something I grew up loving but also get a great workout in. I did some research and found that this was a big thing in the jacksonville area and they had their own community that I wanted to be a part of. I was able to fall back in love with the sport of my childhood but did not feel the pressure to be perfect all of the time. I learned it was OK to make a mistake, which is something I had never heard growing up in the world of perfection that is ballet. 

 

After a few months of taking classes every Wednesday night I decided that I really wanted to dance for a team again and why not try for something crazy like the NFL. This is what led me to meeting Jessica Martin (aka JT) a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars dance team The Roar and owner of JT’s Studio. I went with some friends to an NFL prep class, and boy, was I nervous. I started to slip back into the “type A” perfectionist ways of my past before class started worrying about what these amazing dancers would think of this new girl. Fortunately, I was totally wrong. The community of dancers was so welcoming, and I was able to feel confident in myself. 

 

Martin started her own studio after trying to find dance classes for adults when she was trying out for The Roar. “ I did not grow up in the dance world and trying to find somewhere to learn everything needed to cheer in the NFL was difficult due to limited classes in the area,” she said. After she made the team, however, she knew she was going to open her own studio and vowed to give back to the community the way they helped her.

 

The styles of dance that are offered at JT’s Studio are heels, pom, stretching and conditioning, and dance fitness. “With having an adult dance studio, you have to remember that not everyone has the same backgrounds and years of experience,” JT stated. 

 

The community is full of warmth and acceptance when you walk through the doors of the studio and whether you have trained professionally for your entire life or this is your first class, you should completely feel the same. 

 

Adult dance classes have become all the rage recently and are becoming a fun way for people to exercise in a new way. This also allows for everyone to just enjoy what they are doing which is hard to find when working out. I think this is why they are becoming so popular in the world today. Allowing people to do something they loved growing up as an adult without the fear of perfection at every second is what makes it so fun for everyone because sometimes you just have to dance it out!

 

For more information on adult dance classes at JT’s Studio, check them out on Instagram at @Jtsstudio_.

About Emily Cannon

I am a current Multimedia Journalism Major at the University of North Florida with the goal of becoming a sports anchor. I coach all star cheerleading in Ponte Vedra and in my free time I love working out, dancing and doing anything outdoors. A fun fact about me is that I love to line dance!