Hate the Gym? Hit the Dance Floor
Fashion Designer Reem Acra
Decided to Try Dancing
May 15, 2008
The Fashion Designer本人覺得這個文章還蠻有趣的，esp小狗也不喜歡運動那段
Six years ago Reem Acra bought a dog -- a small Maltese named Lou Lou -- hoping that it would force her to walk more. But it turned out that Lou Lou didn't like exercise either. "I'd start walking her and she wouldn't want to move, so now I have to carry her everywhere," says Ms. Acra, a Lebanese-American fashion designer. She decided to hire a personal trainer at a nearby gym, but quickly realized she hated going to the gym.
Earlier this year, while flipping through magazines, she came across an ad for a dance studio. After one class Ms. Acra knew she found a workout that was right for her.
Ms. Acra moved to New York City in 1995 and two years later launched a bridal line. She has since branched out into evening and ready-to-wear collections. Her designs have been worn by celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez and Katherine Heigl. Ms. Acra is single and lives in the Chelsea neighborhood. She is constantly moving between her flagship (一流)boutique on 60th Street, her showroom on 5th Avenue and her 7th Avenue atelier.
Ms. Acra used to dread (這個字和wary一樣，很簡單，我也看過很多次，就是沒把他記下來)exercise, but now she eagerly anticipates dance lessons at You Should Be Dancing, a studio near her atelier.(工作室，已經厭煩studio這個字了嗎?還是想要講話更有水準一點，atelier不錯的講法，但別人會聽不懂哦><)
"It is a completely different energy than the gym," she says. The studio offers classes in all styles, from Argentine tango to swing and belly dancing. Ms. Acra takes three to four classes a week. On Sunday afternoons she takes an hour-long Global Pop class with about 20 other people. The class features music and dance movements from various parts of the world, including Africa and India.
"It's really interesting because it teaches you how to move your body in so many different ways," says Ms. Acra. "It actually helps me with my other dancing classes." Ms. Acra says that Global Pop incorporates a lot of stretching and the movements in class make use of nearly every muscle in the body.
On Tuesdays, Saturdays and occasionally Sunday evenings Ms. Acra attends private, one-on-one (一對一不是one by one而是one on one)dance classes where she learns styles like the cha cha, the hustle and salsa. Ms. Acra loves the energy of the group classes, but decided she could improve her technique if she had more personalized attention. One-on-one classes are usually two hours long, but sometimes Ms. Acra loses track of time. On a recent night, "the studio actually left us the keys so we could close up," she says.
Ms. Acra says she was surprised how sore her body was after her first one-on-one Latin dance class. "It's such a good workout," she says. "Your body is in nonstop motion for at least an hour."
In addition to dancing, Mr. Acra tries to walk as much as possible throughout the day. She is constantly walking between her flagship boutique, atelier and showroom. She travels frequently and when visiting cities on business she incorporates walking into her day by exploring shopping malls and new neighborhoods on foot. Her trips tend to be short, so she can keep to her NYC routine. "I've done Singapore in a day and even Dubai in two days," she says.
When she is in New York she spends time on the weekends walking around the flea markets and vintage shops near her Chelsea apartment, usually carrying Lou Lou on her shoulder.
Ms. Acra indulges, but in moderation. She begins her morning with coffee while she is having her hair done at her apartment. For breakfast she makes scrambled eggs or even sometimes a salad. She eats a light lunch -- usually a healthy sandwich or a salad with a few slices of cheese -- at her desk, though she prefers to eat with a friend or colleague.
She usually eats dinner out every night of the week. She skips the cocktail portion of events, thus avoiding hors d'oeuvres. At dinner, she allows herself a glass of wine three to four nights a week, and bread and dessert twice a week.
When dining out Ms. Acra pays attention to hidden calories and fat in things like salad dressings and tends to eat more vegetable-based dishes than meat entrees. She's also careful never to finish everything on her plate and finds talking throughout the meal prevents mindless picking and nibbling.
Private, one-on-one dance classes cost $85 a session and group classes cost $20 each. Ms. Acra dances in high heels and wears short-fitted black sweatpants, a fitted top and a black sweater tied around her waist and is contemplating designing a line of dance clothes.
Ms. Acra finds committing to exercise easier when she actually enjoys the activity. In the past she might have skipped a personal training session because of a dinner but now she changes her dinner reservations so she can fit in her dance class.
Ms. Acra says she advises friends to really keep searching for the exercise that's right for them. "I found out that I can't be on a treadmill. I told my trainer I hated it. Finding dance was the best thing for me."
Ms. Acra says that with the fast pace of life and work in New York she feels obligated to stay energized. "The minute you skip exercising or using your body you go downhill," she says. "The best way to keep up your energy and stay young is exercise. I am in my early 40s and getting younger by the day as long as I can dance."
Recently Ms. Acra says friends have been asking her, "What's going on? What are you doing differently? … I tell them it's my dance class. It makes me laugh and feel younger. I'm having so much fun."