100 BLOCK21 Classes In: Meet Jooeun

Having just attended her 100th BLOCK21 Fitness class (!!), I sat down with Jooeun to hear about more about her experience both in and out of class. As a touring pianist and one of the friendliest people I’ve met, she has a lot to share. Check her story out below and be sure to say ‘hi’ in class!


Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Seoul, Korea. Since I moved to the States, I have moved around to many places including Washington, California, Indiana, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and finally Colorado! I came to Denver three years ago for a new position at Metropolitan State University of Denver as an Assistant Professor of Piano. I travel frequently for concerts, masterclasses, end-of-academic year treat for myself, etc.

What are you most proud about yourself?

I am proud of the phase of my life when I had to fight against my fear and depression every day. Several major events of my life made me define concrete reasons to live everyday fully with appreciation. Through the journey, I experienced various shades of emotions and tried to genuinely express what is important to me, as an individual, woman, and musician. Ups and Downs came and left, and I have discovered vulnerable but strong side of me. As someone who will always strive to pursue a life as an artist,  I am proud that I came to be fully comfortable with who I am, while knowing the value of being empathetic to lives that I never lived. 

Why did you first come to BLOCK21? What do you remember from your first BLOCK21 class?

In summer of 2017,  I was on a quest to find something I never tried before! I was actually looking for tango class, but hip-hop cardio sounded interesting too.  I remember having so much fun during the first class. I was immediately impressed by how energetic and cool Sally was!  As a teacher myself, I could not help noticing how Sally was observant of and sensitively responsive to the overall class level. She was prepared to lead us with full energy in each class and would considerately make adjustments so that we have fun while getting a full-geared workout done. 

What is your favorite song?

All of them!

Is there a moment or class that particularly stands out to you?

When I feel like I will faint but push myself to go further! I look around and know others are using their limits too- the moment is incredibly empowering!

What would you share with someone who has never taken a class before?

JUST TRY IT. You will love people you will see in class. You will love what you see in yourself during the class. You will love how fun and easy work-out can be. 

Anything else you'd like to add? 

Every BLOCK21 class is exciting, healing, refreshing and empowering!

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4 Tips from a Backstreet Boys Dancer: How to 'Fake it Til You Make It' on the Dance Floor

At BLOCK21, our cardio dance classes are designed for people with NO DANCE EXPERIENCE. That being said, sometimes you need a few tips from the pros to break through to the next level. We sat down with Valentino Vladimirov, a professional dancer on the Backstreet Boys’ Las Vegas Tour who has worked with Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, and Ellen DeGeneres. He knows how to work the spotlight and gave us a few tips to “fake it til you make it” on the dance floor.

1. Learn how you learn. 

Chances are you are not going to look like the instructor right away if you just started dancing. It takes years of training and of practice. Be patience with yourself. Allow yourself to learn the choreography even if it takes you twice as long to learn it. Stay away from self judgment. Everyone has to start somewhere.

2. Learn how to listen to music.

This is the key. There are so many different parts in a song. If you learn the beats, the tempo, the lyrics, the meaning- what is the song about - what kind of emotion is it trying to convey. What will help you while you are developing your ear are the counts. Whatever counts the choreographer gives you - know them. Ask questions and take responsibility for them.

3. Do what you need to do to be successful in class.

This is simple. Ask questions. Make sure you can see. If you can’t see - move somewhere in the room where you can. Use the space. If you see that there isn’t enough room where you are dancing and trying to learn - move. Go somewhere where there is space. Stay present. Stay in the moment. Don’t sit down. 

4. Take different classes.

Push yourself. Don’t settle. Don’t judge yourself and don’t compare yourself. It’s okay. You will get there. Stay focused and committed.

Want to see Valentino in action?

Check out the video below. You can catch us channeling our inner-Valentino in class. SLAY!

Photo by Vince Trupsin.

Ready to ‘Fake it Til You Make It' on the Dance Floor?

How to Plan the Best Denver Bachelorette Party Ever

Were you selected by your sister/bff/college roommate/cousin for her bachelorette party planning committee? First off, you should feel honored that you are the "fun friend" appointed to plan the ultimate weekend for someone you care about deeply. That being said, we know that coordinating all the little details and finding unique bachelorette ideas in Denver can be challenging. We're here for you, sister. Keep reading to plan the best Denver Bachelorette Party ever!

An Emoji Story: The Complete Breakdown of a B21 Class


If a picture is worth 1,000 words, an emoji has to be worth at least 500. We're giving you a complete visual breakdown of class to show you all the stages of B21. #6 tho, AMIRITE?!

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Maybe you have this one friend that won’t stop talking about BLOCK21. You’re not sure exactly what a hip-hop cardio class entails. You’ve already tried the “I’m not a dancer” excuse, and she’s not letting up.

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2. Why not, I’m Adventurous!

You’ve finally pulled the trigger. $20 for 3 classes was too good to pass up. At the very least it means you don’t have to go for that 3-mile run you’ve been putting off. And maybe your friend will stop nagging you…

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3. 30 seconds until class starts

!!?$#@?!! Here we go! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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4. 10 minutes into class

You’re starting to get the hang of the flow of the class and how the moves repeat. You’re following along with the instructor and actually feeling like you can do this.

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5. This workout ain’t no joke

You reach the interval section half way through class. Your heart rate is up and you have 30 seconds to push yourself as hard as you can. You really didn’t anticipate sweating like it’s a hot yoga class.


6. I’m A Bad B*TCH

The hip-hop section comes on, and you’re feeling yourself. You never knew you could shake it like that. Plus, is it these lights or does your butt already look tighter? Ready to audition for Beyoncé's 👑🐝 tour over here! 🙋🏻‍♀️

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7. Endorphins are the sh*T

You’ve made it through class and have a smile on your face knowing that you just got a full body workout and actually had fun while doing it! Also, your friend’s wedding is in two weeks and you’ve got some new moves to debut on the dance floor.


Ready to see if we nailed it?

Our Top Picks on What to Eat to Fuel Your Body Before Class

There's a sweet spot between heading to class on an empty stomach and feeling sluggish because you just took down an entire Chipotle burrito. Fueling your body is just as important as the workout. We've compiled a list of our top picks on easy pre-workout snacks to grab before class.

5 Reasons Dancing is the Best Thing for Your Body (And How You Reap the Benefits!)

We all find ourselves on a dance floor at some point: weddings, holiday parties, friends’ living rooms. Maybe you’ve heard that dancing is good for you, but do you know how it can positively impact your health and your life? We’re breaking down the science for you and giving you 5 easy ways to capitalize on the benefits of dancing.

The Best Denver Activities to Make Your Summer Even Better

Wondering what to do in Denver this summer? We've got a list full of the must see activities you don't want to miss. There's a reason we live in one of the most beautiful places, so get out and enjoy! Keep reading for 9 summer activities in Denver that you'll want to get on the schedule ASAP.

The 5 Best Stretching Exercises for Your Hips

As a dancer growing up, flexibility was something that I completely took for granted. I could bend forward and place my palms flat on the floor without thinking twice. As every year passes in my adult life, I realize how important flexibility is to my daily life (and how it no longer comes naturally!) When my body feels tight and my muscles are wound into knots, I feel as though one wrong move could tweak my back or strain my hamstring. To put it simply, life just feels easier when you're flexible.

Get the Insider Scoop: Meet Aaliah

The best way to learn about the class is to hear from others, so we called in Aaliah Hartley, a BLOCK21 VIP and total badass. She is an amazing person and knows how to pop it on the dance floor!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Aaliah. I was born in Cape Town and raised in Miami, but have lived in Colorado for 18 years now. Crazy! As a future filmmaker, my passion lies in creating meaningful work that's both artistic and impactful. I currently go to MSU Denver, where I created a degree in Film Production Studies, and work at Rocky Mountain PBS.


What do you remember from your first BLOCK21 class?

I remember how out of breath I was! I also remember how fun it was and thinking that this is my kind of workout. The fact that it incorporates dancing makes it so much more fun!


Do you have any dance experience?

Not really. My older sister was a professional breakdancer, so dance has always been something I really loved. But dancing usually consisted of me getting down at a party or letting loose in my room :) 


What is your favorite part of class?

My favorite part of class is dancing and sweating while doing it! It's pretty much the whole experience of dancing with your own style and getting in a great workout at the same time.


Favorite B21 song?

There's a bunch that I like, but if I had to narrow it down to a couple, I'm going to go with "Reverse" by Sage the Gemini and one of my newer favorites "GDFR" by Flo Rida. They're those get hyphy songs!


What have you gained from taking BLOCK21 classes?

I think I've gained endurance and stamina for one! I also think it's a great confidence booster! When you're in the studio, you feel like a badass getting down to your favorite songs and knowing that you're keeping in shape all the while.


Have you ever showcased your B21 moves on a dance floor?

Yes! I'm pretty sure whenever me and my best friend Shawn (who introduced me to BLOCK21) are ever at a friends house, a work party, or out at a bar, we always use it as an opportunity to showcase our skills or to teach someone else the moves! It's so fun and slightly hilarious.


What would you share with someone who has never taken a class before?

Try it! You may be nervous at first, but as soon as you're in the middle of it working it out, you'll see what an awesome, intense and fun workout it is!! It's a super fun thing to do with your friends, so bring them too :) 


Anything else you'd like to add?

I'm so glad I tried BLOCK21 last year with my friend. It's now a part of my weekly routine. I love looking forward to such a fun workout with my friends. You can't help but feel amazing after this class!

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