100 BLOCK21 Classes In: Meet Jooeun

Quickly approaching 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!

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!

 

1. Shake it at BLOCK21 Fitness

Custom parties at B21 are the best. Help choose the playlist before you break it down on the dance floor and sweat out every last toxin in your body. Classes are designed for newbies, so just let go and have fun booty-poppin’ with the girls. Prices start at $25/person.

Check it out here.

 

2. Belt it out at Voicebox

I am a terrible singer and the thought of voluntarily singing in front of anyone makes me cringe. But even as the #1 skeptic, I’ve been to Voicebox three times and absolutely love it. The intimacy of the rooms helps any self-consciencousness fly out the window, and there’s something oddly empowering about having a microphone in your hand. Conveniently located, Voicebox has a ton of bars nearby for the after party. Private rooms start at $60/hour.

Check it out here.

 

3. Hop on a Pedal Hopper Bike Bar Crawl

This modified bike trolley that seats 8-16 allows you to pedal your way between bars and breweries. Seriously, it is so much fun. Make a pit stop to quench your thirst before hopping back in the saddle and heading to the next spot. Throw on the bride’s favorite jams and get the party started. Book a bike for $320.

Check it out here.

 

4. Channel your inner lumberjack at Bad Axe Throwing

Axe throwing has been sweeping the country, and, we have to say, it’s strangely satisfying to hurl an axe at a wooden target. Their coaches will help guide you, and you’ll leave as a team of professionals. People can’t seem to get enough! Prices start at $40/person.

Check it out here.

 

5. Get Ready with Blow-outs at Fluff Bar

We love Fluff Bar. It is very conveniently located near Union Station (#8), but you’ll feel transported from the city in the charming villa-style salon complete with a sunny brick patio. The team will having you feeling like a million bucks as your primp for the evening’s festivities.

Check it out here.

 

6. Get crafty at Circus Upstairs

They have a ton of DIY projects to tackle like custom jewelry, pop-up art, and leather wallets. Grab a glass of wine to sip while you’re creating, and you’ll end up with the perfect keepsake from the weekend. Prices start at $38/person.

Check it out here.

 

7. Sip The City With Delicious Denver

New to Denver? Team up with Delicious Denver for a cocktail (or food!) tour of downtown. You’ll get behind-the-scenes access to the best bars and restaurants, and your guide will teach you a thing or two about the city as well. It’s the perfect way to pack it all in one afternoon. Prices start at $59/person.

Check it out here.

 

8. Crack the code at Escape Works

You’ll have an hour to work together to find clues that will help you escape from a series of rooms. The story lines are creative, and it is a fun way to get your wheels turning. This is a perfect team-building activity to kick off the weekend. Typical prices are $27/person.

Check it out here.

 

9. Make a Toast at Terminal Bar

Terminal Bar is inside Union Station, the updated train station that exudes charm and character. With an open format, you can grab a drink, order food from several different restaurants, or play shuffleboard in the center of it all. Cheers to an amazing weekend!

Check it out here.

 

10. Grab a show at Comedy Works

Comedy Works is in the heart of Larimer Square, which makes it a very convenient stop to get the night started. They host all sorts of comedians, so find something that suits your style and get ready to laugh your ass off. Tickets range from $12-$30/person.

Check it out here.

 

Want to learn more about A custom Cardio Dance Class?

Inside B21: A Video from the Founder

Want to learn more about how we came to be? BLOCK21’s founder shares her story and why she thinks your life will be better with a little booty shaking.

Check it out below.

Video by Exalted Productions

Now that you know a bit more about how BLOCK21 came to be, it’s time for us to get to know you!

The 10 Coolest Hip-hop Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow Right Now

Instagram has become the best place for dancers to showcase their goods. Some classes now bring in videographers to record the choreography at the end of class, which gives us an insider view into classes around the globe. Once you’ve dipped your toe in the waters, we know you’ll want to binge on some of the hottest dancers in the biz. We’ve got you covered. Here’s 10 of the best people and places to keep you scrolling.

1. Ysabelle Capitulé (@ysabellecaps)

She has blown up in the past year or so and is simply one of the best hip-hop dancers out there. You may recognize her from Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s “Finesse (Remix)” video that came out earlier this year.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

🦅

A post shared by Ysabelle Capitulé (@ysabellecaps) on

2. Royal Family Dance Crew (@officialroyalfamilydancecrew)

This crew is based out of New Zealand and competes on the world stage. Their intricate and synchronized moves are enough to blow your mind. The founder of the crew, Parris Goebel, was also responsible for Justin Bieber’s famous Sorry video, which is the 7th most popular video in YouTube history.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#TBT Almost a year with dat DRIP 💧 Who ready for moreeeee 😏👀👀👀👀👀👀 #RFDanceCrew #RFC #crownsup 👑👑👑

A post shared by The Official Royal Family 👑 (@officialroyalfamilydancecrew) on

3. Millennium Dance Complex (@mdcdance)

You may recognize the red walls of this dance studio in L.A. It is the home studio of many of the most talented dancers in the game. In addition to hip-hop, they hold a variety of classes in styles like contemporary, heels, and jazz funk. With dancers as young as 4, this studio always has something 🔥🔥 for you to watch.

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4. Sienna Lalau (@sienna.lalau)

This girl is 17 and knows how to go off! She has so much control over her movements and can tackle any style thrown at her.

A post shared by Sienna Lalau 🌺 (@sienna.lalau) on

5. Delaney Glazer (@deeglazer)

She slays.

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6. Kida Burns (@kidathegreat)

Kida is only 16 and spends a lot of time dancing in his kitchen. He was crowned the winner of So You Think You Can Dance and was featured in Chris Brown’s latest music video. He’s creative, and his musicality will make you smile.

A post shared by KidaTheGreat™🚀 (@kidathegreat) on

7. Jade Chenoyweth (@jadebug98)

Would this list be complete without Jade?! Once you know to look out for her, you’ll see her pop up everywhere. Most recently, she played Odalie Allen in the TV show Step Up: Highwater.

A post shared by Jade Chynoweth (@jadebug98) on

8. Kenny Wormald (@kennywormald)

Kenny isn’t new to the scene. We first fell in love with him on the MTV show Dance Life, which premiered in 2007 and remained on air for a whopping 8 episodes. Since then, he has been in a few dance movies and also starred in the remake of Footloose. Recently, he opened a new dance studio in L.A. called The Playground LA, which leads us to #9…

A post shared by Kenny Wormald (@kennywormald) on

9. The Playground L.A. (@theplaygroundla)

Just like Millennium Dance Complex, this studio posts class videos from the best of the best. It is a good way to weed out the selfies and get down to the good stuff.

A post shared by P L A Y G R O U N D LA (@theplaygroundla) on

10. KK Harris (@kaelynnharris)

KK is pint-sized and full of energy. She’s performed at the VMAs, BET Awards, and was a dancer on the set of Glee. Get it girl!

A post shared by Kaelynn”KK”Gobert-Harris (@kaelynnharris) on

Want more like this?

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?!

 

 

1. WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO?!

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.

 

 

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…

 

 

3. 30 seconds until class starts

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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! 🙋🏻‍♀️

 

 

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.

The longer you have for your body to digest, the more complex foods you can incorporate (fiber, fat, etc.) Aim for a mix of carbs and protein to boost your performance and maximize muscle growth.

If you have 1-2 hours before your workout:

  1. Avocado toast

  2. Ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, and raisins)

  3. Baked sweet potato

  4. Carrots and hummus

  5. Hard-boiled egg

If you have 30-60 minutes before your workout:

  1. Banana-Pinapple-Spinach Green smoothie (blend with 6oz. of water and ice)

  2. Peanut butter and apple slices

  3. Salt & pepper stove-top popcorn

  4. Plain greek yogurt

  5. Trail mix w/ nuts and dried fruit

On the way to class and feeling hungry?

With 5-minutes to class just grab a piece of fruit and go! The fructose will break down into simple sugars that your body can easily and quickly use during class.

 

5 Post-Workout Tips to Ditch the Shower and Refresh Your Body in No Time

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’re on your way to work, meeting a friend for happy hour, or heading out to dinner. Skip the time-consuming shower routine after class and freshen up with these 5 tried-and-true post-workout tips.

1. Choose your hair tie wisely.

Avoid the dreaded workout crease! Fabric or novelty hair ties can give you the freedom to choose your post-sweat sesh hairstyle rather than being stuck with the high pony you rocked in class. Plus, they are less abrasive on your hair and will help keep your hair healthy and breakage-free. Our favorite? Invisibobble 100%!

 

2. Spray happy.

This one is a no brainer. You can probably get away with applying dry shampoo to slightly damp hair, but don’t even think about spraying it onto your soaking wet post-workout mop (yup, we’re talking B21 status). However, using dry shampoo before your workout can help to speed up the process of refreshing your hair after class. Remember that sweaty hair ≠ dirty hair, so think of it as a free beach salt spray.

 

3. Fake it till you make it with body wipes.

They’re basically like a shower without the shower, right? Throw these in your bag to wipe down your face, neck, chest, and arm pits after class. They will keep your skin from feeling sticky for the rest of the day. Face wipes, baby wipes and deoderizing wipes also do the trick.

 

4. Reduce the redness.

Did you bring an ice-cold water bottle to class? To reduce the redness in your face, hold a cold water bottle or wet towel to the side of your neck where your carotid artery is. This will calm the skin in the face and reduce inflammation.

 

5. Crystals are more than just hippie sh*t.

Bear with me here. Crystal deodorant is comprised of a clear salt rock that has been mainstream for over 30 years. It can take some getting used to, but this paraben-free, bacteria-fighting stone can keep you smelling fresh for 24 hours. Don’t knock it till you try it!

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.

1. 30 Going on 13!?

According to this 2017 study from Colorado State University, dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain by increasing the size of the hippocampus, a region of the brain that tends to shrink as we age. The hippocampus is associated with memory and, when damaged, with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Dr. Rehfeld notes, “Dancing is a powerful tool to set new challenges for body and mind.” Focus and memory are two skills that are critical to picking up new choreography and moving your body in a new way.

TRY THIS: Pick a simple dance move and repeat it several times. This can be as basic as walking across the room. Now, reverse it. I’m not just asking you to walk the other way. Move as if someone hit the rewind button. This can be a lot harder than it may initially seem and gets your body moving in a new way.

2. Hip-hop and Ya Don’t Stop

Dancing can also boost your mood. A 2007 study showed that students who started taking a hip-hop class reported a boost in their “well-being”. And this was not just due to being physically active. Scores were significantly higher than other fitness activities like ice-skating and body conditioning. Furthermore, the students had reduced feelings of anxiety and depression after hitting the dance floor.

TRY THIS: Turn on the song that can always get you moving (Michael Jackson? Beyoncé? Missy Elliott?) Now, using only your body, tell the story of your day. What happened? How did you feel? What surprised you? Dancing is a powerful tool to convey a story, and you may find yourself loosening up and getting silly as you recreate the elevator ride up to your office.

3. It Takes Two to Tango

Dancing with others builds a strong connection and social bond. When we synchronize our movement with another person, which can be as simple as walking in time, our neural networks reduce the distinction between our “self” and our partner. This means we can feel closer with someone without even saying a word.

TRY THIS: Next time you are walking down the street with someone, match your strides so that you are both stepping with the same leg at the same time. And just like that, you are “self-other merging”!

4. Feel the Music in Your Veins

Vigorously moving your body to music can actually increase your pain threshold and flood your body with endorphins. MRI and PET scans have shown that music activates the “pleasure and reward” areas of the brain. Even the beat of the music can affect us in different ways. A strong, upbeat, techno song will release more endorphins that a soothing piano track.

TRY THIS: Just pop in your headphones and let the music do the trick.

5. Hello! Dancer’s Bod?

It would be hard not to mention the physical benefits of dance. While it can improve memory, boost mood, aid social bonding, and produce endorphins, dancing will also increase your flexibility, strength, coordination, and cardio fitness. For people that have a hard time slogging it out on the treadmill, dance is a great balance between working out and having fun.

TRY THIS: Find a local dance studio or try a BLOCK21 Fitness class. If you’re slightly nervous to try it alone, bring a friend along. You never know until you try!

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.

1. Film on the Rocks

Film on the Rocks is an 8-part movie series held at Red Rocks Amphitheater every summer. Watching a movie in the presence of 9,000 people makes the jokes even funnier and the thrilling movie climax even more momentous. FOTR is a great way to rewatch the classics or catch a movie you may have missed the first time around. Prior to the movie, enjoy comedians and live music, At only $15/ticket, this event is a steal. Check out their website here.

 

2. Progressive Dinner Date

What is a progressive dinner you might ask? It is a 5-course meal where you walk or bike from restaurant to restaurant between each course. Start at a bar for a drink, head someone new for appetizers, split a main dish at a restaurant, try the local ice cream spot…you get the idea. Biking allows you to cover more terrain and work off some of your last course before indulging again. Extra points for a tandem bike!

Sample Itinerary in the Highlands:

  1. Grab a frozen congelado at Señor Bear

  2. Order an app at one of Avanti’s “food trucks”

  3. Split a main dish at Marcella’s

  4. Try a taco at Lola

  5. Top it off with Ice Cream from Little Man (Salted Oreo. It’s a no brainer)

 

3. Rockies Games

Denver is lucky to have a baseball stadium in the heart of LoDo, which makes for easy transportation and pre and post-game activities. The games are fun for everyone, even if it is just an excuse to eat a hot dog and drink a Bud Light. Plus, you can score Rock Pile tickets for just $6-$8. View the schedule here.

 

4. City Park Jazz

This is a 10-week free concert series held in City Park on Sunday evenings. People from all over come with park blankets, lawn games, and picnic baskets to spend the evening enjoying good music with friends and family. The coolest park about this tradition? It has been going on for over 130 years! This year, the concerts are held from June 3 to August 5.

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5. Hiking in Golden

There are so many accessible hikes within 30 minutes of Denver. South Table Mountain, Chimney Gulch, Matthew Winters Park, and Mt. Galbraith are just a few of the options. Evening hikes are a great way to avoid the heat and the crowds and, if you’re lucky, catch a stunning sunset on the way down.

 

6. Concert at the Botanic Gardens

This is one of the best kept secrets of Denver’s music scene. The Denver Botanic Gardens makes for a unique concert venue, and the fact that you can bring a blanket, bottle of wine, and all the snacks your heart desires makes it even better, so post up on the lawn and enjoy the music. Check out the line-up here.

 

7. Tubing Clear Creek

The water stays icy cold all summer long, so grab a tube and head to 1201 10th Street in Golden. The stretch of the creek is relatively short can be lapped all day long. Be sure to bring a croaky for your sunglasses and strap-on sandals in case you take a dunk.

 

8. Picnic at Cheeseman

Cheeseman Park is the best. You’ll find groups of people playing frisbee, having BBQs, going for a stroll, or just hanging out. There are a few designated picnic tables, but we recommend bringing a picnic blanket and heading to the east side of the park for stunning views of the city.

 

9. BLOCK21 Pop-up Classes

We’re hosting our signature hip-hop fitness workout all over town. Yep, the park series is happening. We’ll keep you posted with more deets on when and where. Peep the schedule here.

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