Dancing to her own beat Kylie Reed has left quite the impression on Geelong women with her choreographed workouts, upbeat dance tracks and striking disco lights.
Infusing dance with gym workouts, The Jungle Body Geelong brings an electric environment for movement and strength-building for people of all fitness levels.
A casual adult class aimed at those 16-65, the classes are designed to suit everyone, including those that are unfit or fear they have two left feet. The lights are turned off and the music is turned up to create a “party like atmosphere”, you forget you are even working out. “It is a choreographed group fitness class that has been inspired by dance, boxing, and martial arts, with simplicity being a main focus. By offering different levels of intensity in one class it means everyone can workout in a way that is most comfortable for their body and have fun doing it!”
Each hour-long class includes around twelve tracks including a warm up and a cool down. “The class is broken up with toning tracks so you get some rest from the dance element. They contain a couple of dance tracks, a couple of boxing tracks, some cardio and plyometrics all tied in with those toning tracks. They focus on arms, upper body, core, glutes, legs, etc.” The workouts are met with a playlist of tunes sure to get you on your feet. Pop, hip hop and remixes are in the mix, alongside old school favourites, “we try to throw in some old school tunes and some crowd pleasers!” Kylie reinforces to her class or ‘’tribe’’, that the workout is completely theirs and encourages them to make any amendments if necessary, “if you can’t do the burpees, do some squats instead.”
Dancing was Kylie’s “first love” and she felt she was “destined to go back to it in some form” after having her children. Dancers form a strong emotional connection with their art, it can produce addictive feelings of happiness and empowerment. Kylie’s passion grew as she moved through her teen years “It helped me through many emotional times as a teenager. Dance helped me feel happy and was always there for me to escape reality.”
The Jungle Body Geelong gives you a mental workout just as much as a physical one. A big reason why people love going to the gym, or why dancers love dancing.
“I realised as we become adults and we have more responsibilities and pressures, we need dance more than ever!”
At her classes Kylie reminds her participants to
“leave life at the door and commit to an hour of letting go. You will leave feeling lighter and happier.”
Before bringing The Jungle Body program to Geelong, Kylie cared full time for her three children under five. “I was more than happy to be at home caring for the kids, The Jungle Body gives me something that is just for me though. Which I think is important as a parent. Remember when you had hobbies? Yeah do one of those again.’’ Since then her classes have proven to be a success week after week and is sometimes joined by her eldest boy Olly, who is a dancer himself. “I’m a mum to three boys and I wish I could say I was that super organised person who just set aside some hours to start my own business but I’m really not. I’m a fly by the seat of pants kinda gal, so I just did a little research and made a list of what I needed. Then just sorted it all out. If you really want to do something, it will get done.”
The best thing about her job is having the flexibility to do something she loves while still putting her children first, “I work my own hours and I don’t work for anyone. So if I slack off its only myself I’m letting down, not a team of people or someone else.” Using her own love of dance to inspire others, Kylie noticed a pattern appear after speaking to mothers of teenage girls about their teens mental health.
“It seems to be a huge problem for young women. I think it’s important to teach them from a young age that they are enough and how to love themselves. So collaborating with any women who are passionate about mental health would be a dream of mine. I had the opportunity to attend two ‘Girls Who Glow” workshops with Liv Phyland and Teigan Nash last year and their work is so inspiring.” So inspiring that Kylie hopes to join their vision and contribute to helping teens navigate their mental health through not just dance, but learning to love themselves for who they are, “I think we all need to keep it more real on our social media and remind each other perfection is impossible. Who you are and what you do is enough.”