Could your fitness routine and overall approach to wellness use some holistic choreography? Let’s dance.

As athletes, we know that the lifestyle choices we make directly affect our bodies. Our physical capabilities are determined largely by structure and build, plus diet and conditioning but those aren’t the only things that we actively monitor in order to achieve peak performance.

In fact, proper monitoring and maintenance might even include a more holistic approach, working with a teacher or coach, practicing meditation, stretching, and practicing yoga, all to better connect mind and body.

But, after decades of repetitive motion and physical and psychological stress imposed upon the body, do we remain truly balanced? Have we lost the joy of movement?

These are just a few of the questions I’m left with after meeting Keith and Lisa Banks, owners of Movement 4 Life: Dance, Fitness & Wellness.

Using dance fitness as a tool to relax the body and mind, they coach students to focus on breathing, alignment, strength training, and flexibility. This unique approach works on a holistic level to reduce stress and minor discomfort, increase range of motion, ease body mobility, and improve overall performance and well-being.

What sets the Banks even further apart is that they come to you ­— to your home, community, or school — to teach an array of innovative classes, such as Basics 4 Health, The Dancer’s Body, Movement for Women, Mind/Body Awareness, Guided Imagery, Connection 4 Partners, and even Care 4 Caregivers. While these programs are delivered in group settings, participants always receive individualized attention according to their current needs — including any necessary modifications, stretching, or kinesiology/energy work — to help them reach their maximum potential.

A lifelong dancer and documentarian, Lisa explains that there is innate wisdom and creativity in the body that’s released during dance. “This is our life’s choreography,” she says, “freeing energy for fitness and daily living.” Indeed, the ultimate goal is releasing the physical, psychological, and even emotional blocks that keep us from peak performance as athletes and dancers on the stage of life. Did I also mention it’s fun?

With over 25 years of experience as a fitness trainer and dance coach, as well as degrees in Dance and Pre-Physical Therapy, Keith explains it another way: “Our bodies and brains are stimulated by dance and music. When combined with experienced coaching, dance helps us to redefine limits, address patterns, and release limiting beliefs, delving into a deeper strength and higher level of wellness.”

Just as Keith and Lisa’s approaches complement one another, dance can complement our cross-training efforts by creating a more balanced, agile body and mind, which can lead to a more well-rounded life.
A holistic approach is even more crucial as we age and strive to identify activities that are both enjoyable yet won’t do further harm to bodies that may have already logged countless hours at the gym, on the court, or on the pavement.

According to the Banks, life itself is an improvisational dance to which one is constantly making adjustments. Whether you’re a conditioned athlete or not, Movement 4 Life’s work in the studio can help you learn to embrace what is and what can be, as well as the dance of life itself.

This April, Movement 4 Life is forging an alliance with CampFit & LeanBox of North Fort Myers for a full spectrum approach to health, wellness, movement, and nutrition. For more information, please call (239) 841-4044 or visit Movement 4 Life’s Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/BeCageFree.

Keith holds degrees in Dance and Pre-Physical Therapy from Kansas State University and has coached dancers for movies, Broadway, and TV, including the Season 1 winner of So You Think You Can Dance, Nick Lazzarini. He founded Studio 10 Dance in San Jose, California, which he has been operating for 25 years.

Lisa joined the studio as Co-Owner 10 years later and is a dancer, events planner, and producer of TV shows, web series (such as Caribe Road), films, and commercials. In 1993, she represented the U.S. in the Spain World Expo and brings dance education to special needs and underserved populations. In 2014, the couple relocated to Southwest Florida and launched Movement 4 Life.

Published by Mary Ann Green

Mary Ann is an imaginative storyteller who helps people share their stories, passions and visions. In addition to writing and blogging, she owns and operates magink LLC, a boutique PR firm, is a devoted yogi, a health nut and self-proclaimed "tree hugger."