Hear from our adult ballet, jazz, and
contemporary students directly
"Jules has created a dance/exercise program that does not seem to otherwise exist in the marketplace. Since the first time I met Jules and had my first class, I said to myself "this is it. This is where I belong." Not only had it been over 15 years since I had danced regularly, I also had a stroke 10 years ago in my late 20s. Jules listened to me and was completely supportive. She said "just do what you can do." I've described The Dancer's Workout® as "a safe place" for me to feel like a dancer again, and not just say "oh I used to dance" when I still consider it a big part of my identity. It is apparent that the whole thesis of the class comes from a personal place for Jules and it's one that any former or current dancer can relate to. The classes are full of former and current dancers ranging from their 20's through their 60's in a full range of body types.
Jules consistently reminds us during class to listen to our bodies, to not push limits that could cause injury. She also says "I don't care if you mess up. Just keep dancing."
"I have loved dance all my life. From the ages of 3-20, I trained in Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary dance. Adult life was busy until one day in late 2017 I was completing Physical Therapy exercises, bored and involuntarily adding dance into them, and I realized I had not danced in 18 years. I had sciatica and bulging discs in my lower back. The back injections I required spread out in frequency from 3 months to 6 months to 1 year over the next 2 years until I have not had to have one since.
The Dancer’s Workout® was my critical pathway from a sedentary life and debilitating back issues to retraining my body to dance. Besides being my physical therapy and my self care, dancing with TDW means I have a community of friends who get how important dance is and how it feeds our spirits like nothing else. I have kinship and I am so happy to be a part of the TDW MAVENS!"
"Jules provides an accepting and supportive environment for adult dancers to return to dancing after many years, even decades, of not dancing. Her love of dancing and her commitment to supporting adult former dancers in their journey to dancing again exists throughout her many weekly classes.
The Dancer's Workout attracts dancers with various body types, and Jules is always welcoming and affirming of each dancer's desire to dance again and meets them exactly where they are physically. Jules also provides inspiration through the fact that she is so graceful, talented and flexible as a woman in her early 60s. I am certainly inspired by Jules!
Jules and The Dancer's Workout® provide me with the opportunity to dance, learn fun choreography, and dance in a supportive environment with like-minded, "like-spirited" women. Being in my late forties puts me in a place of needing to modify moves and go easy on myself in specific ways - and I feel completely comfortable tailoring specific stretches to meet my body's needs in this supportive environment where I do not feel judged."
"With The Dancer’s Workout®, Jules has had a unique impact on the local dance community because she provides something that isn’t available any where else: A “safe zone” for adults with a dance background to start dancing again, no matter their current fitness level. She uses thoughtful pedagogy in the dance routines she creates, including warm-up and stretching, cardiovascular exercise, cool-down, toning and fitness exercises, and final stretching. The most important aspect of The Dancer’s Workout® to me is the sense of community that she cultivates among the dancers. She truly cares about every one of us.
In more recent years Jules has been expanding The Dancer’s Workout® to other cities, which will surely increase her impact on the wider dance community.
In her classes Jules never focuses on the appearance of our bodies. Rather, she emphasizes getting fitter and stronger, feeling more energetic, and generally being comfortable in our own skins. She encourages us to be playful and silly on the dance floor, something that most of us don’t get to do in our lives outside the dance studio. She is very mindful of dancers’ health and safety, and will often text her students outside of class to make sure they’re doing OK."
"I grew up in Gastonia, NC and spent my whole childhood in my hometown ballet studio. At 18 I moved to Charleston, SC for college where I took on other hobbies instead. I found dance again when I took flamenco lessons in Spain, where I lived for the past 2 years! Now I’m back in NC, just started a Master’s of Occupational Therapy degree at UNC Chapel Hill, and am thrilled to have the chance to dance again and find this community 😊.
Dance has always been my favorite form of creative expression, my favorite form of exercise, and a huge source of joy in my life. However, as fun and amazing as growing up in dance was, the stress and pressure of constant corrections, pain, and dedication took its toll; and I needed a break. But, I missed it! I SO wanted a way to get back to dancing in a way that wouldn’t be my whole life again, but that I could truly enjoy the art form which I love so much. TDW has given me just that! When Jules welcomes dancers who have come back to dance after years, she says, “Welcome home…” and I’m so happy to be home!"
"Jules created an adult dance fitness class to meet an unmet need of a low impact dance class for adults to safely get back into dance. She has built and fosters a safe and encouraging environment for dancers of all levels to dance. The Dancer’s Workout (TDW) is not just a class, but a community of dancers who support each other, develop friendships, encourage each other to continue doing what makes us happy, dance! Jules also ensures all dancers in her class know that it is not a competition and each dancer can complete class to the best of their ability and fitness/skill level without judgement. Not only is Jules teaching a dance fitness class which helps her students with their physical health, but it is also a stress relieving outlet for her adult students who need the mental break from work, kids, and life’s responsibilities. Jules is committed to providing this environment to all adult dancers who want to take her class.
During class Jules demonstrates different levels of her choreography to ensure students of all levels can safely complete the class. She always reminds her students to do what feels right for their body, especially during warmups, stretching, and cool downs to prevent injuries. For example, I had surgery and upon my return to class Jules reminded me to ease back into class by doing what felt right to me, marking the choreography if I needed to slow down, and stepping out for breaks anytime I needed it. With Jules’ help and support before, during, and after class I was able to safely return to class after surgery. This safe return not only aided in my physical recover but also my mental/emotional recovery by being with the TDW community and being back to enjoying music and dancing!"
"From the first class I attended, it's been clear that Jules has created an inclusive dance community. In her classes, dancers are encouraged to do what is best for their body, as it is not a competition. Her teaching style ensures everyone can keep up, with her going over the choreography and calling moves throughout class. It is clear she is passionate about what she does and wants to empower former dancers to rediscover their love of dance!
At my first class, Jules was full of energy and very encouraging despite my gap in dancing. She immediately put me at ease and included me, introducing me to other dancers. Throughout the class, she called moved and reminded us to do what we could. I didn't keep up all the time, but her demeanor and the community she'd built made it such that I still felt so much joy in returning to the studio."
"Working in healthcare and specifically as a first responder, can be extremely tolling and exhausting both mentally and physically at times. The Dancers Workout® has allowed me to have a safe space to get away and reset from everything with what I have always loved most being dance! Jules and Sara, along with all the other amazing individuals with The Dancers Workout, always provide such a friendly, fun, and respectful space to just have fun and dance without any worries! There is no pressure to be “perfect” with The Dancers Workout, although I can’t seem to let the perfectionism in me go sometimes, but nevertheless, I am constantly reminded that there is no competition, and everyone is there to just dance and have fun. The Dancers Workout to me means a group of inspiring people who think alike and are all there to better our health, mentally and physically, by doing what we love, which is dancing!"
"TDW is a home away from home. It is a welcoming and safe place for former dancers to reignite their passion for dance while motivating them to attain or maintain their fitness goals in a supportive environment. It consistently attracts and retains accomplished and intelligent adult women of all ages who share a love for dance and fitness. It is an ideal group to surround yourself with if you want positivity and a place to establish meaningful friendships. Following college, I struggled to find adult dance classes. Years went by, and finally I decided to do another search for adult dance classes, which led me to TDW. Despite my long absence from the studio, I felt comfortable during my first class and was amazed at how it all came back to me. I find the group to be welcoming, friendly, and supportive."
"Dance has been a major part of my life ever since I was 6 years old. Since then, I have switched several times between ballet and modern as my discipline of choice. I love that dance gives me an outlet to exercise my right brain, since I am always thinking with my left brain as an accountant in my professional life.
I am so excited to have the opportunity to join a community of wonderful women with a passion for dance, and to have a consistent opportunity to dance again since graduating college. I hope this group continues to inspire folks across the country to keep moving and always have fun!"
"Jules has been a pioneer in the adult dance industry. She is relentlessly building an empire for adult dancers to find their passion in dancing again.
I've always felt welcomed back into the community when I've spent time away after life gets crazy. Jules is so passionate about dance and her community and it shows in everything aspect of her life.
"Jules embodies the criteria for the DT award. She has created a fun and safe space for veteran dancers who are looking to get back into movement in a way that is appropriate for aging bodies. Jules fosters a community within her dance classes and is always spreading positivity! She is encouraging, kind, energetic, and passionate about The Dancer's Workout. Jules provided me with the opportunity to fall in love with dance again, and for that I will always be grateful.
I started taking Jules' classss about 2 months ago. I hadn't danced for five years before taking her class! At my first session, she introduced me to all the regular students, walked me through choreography, praised my skills and willingness to try, and shared her story of getting back into dance after years of "retirement." She was inspiring to me on that first day. I didn't feel I was in competition with the other girls or too far behind. She created a welcoming environment, shared her passion with me, and made me feel wanted. It was a day I'll never forget!"
"Jules makes us feel included/welcomed in each class and focuses on learning about the the little things that make her students unique both as dancers and as people. Her goal is to keep us healthy and active, to strive to be our best selves in class, and to do it safely. She has the ability to help us go above and beyond while being encouraging and understanding of our needs both mentally and physically.
Throughout class Jules always tells us to listen to our bodies. This means a lot to me because I sometimes over push myself and need to be reminded that my body will get to the level of fit I want it to be with time and safe exercise. I love this friendly reminder Jules gives us as it's a motivator for me to keep pushing but to do it safely!"
"When I saw an ad on Facebook for TDW, I got curious and researched it like crazy and immediately signed up for the next class I could attend. I was so excited and my first class did not disappoint especially since I was a little nervous my dance skills had been lost. The culture that Jules creates in the studio is truly something special that you feel a part of the second you walk in the door. Everyone is welcoming, friendly and there is no judgment for your level of dance experience. A few years ago I became pregnant with my first child and I was able to modify where needed and still continue dancing until 38 weeks pregnant! Dancing is truly the best kind of workout that releases my stress and tension. I come to class overwhelmed by joy and my spirit filled while having fun learning choreography. I am grateful for Jules, Sara and all the other dancers around me as I grow dancing with The Mavens this season."
"Jules has created a workout specifically for former dancers that fills a niche that is not otherwise available for adult students with formal dance training. She empowers us to re-envision our love for dance and encourages us to have fun while doing so. She fosters a positive, welcoming environment which immediately drew me into sticking with taking her class and becoming a member of the TDW family since 2017. She welcomed me with open arms and encourages each one of us to not feel ashamed of where we are, or are not, in our dance journey but rather to enjoy the experience together. She has truly built a community of strong, caring women that I am fortunate to know and be a part of.
Jules constantly strives to bring out the best in her students as dancers and people. When she creates new routines, she shares her personal experience and creative process with us in a vulnerable way that helps us feel comfortable in expressing ourselves through dance as well. Since leaving the dance world professionally, I’ve struggled to find a workout that requires technique but does not make you feel like a shell of your former dance self. Her program is fun, high energy, and also pushes us to reconnect with our technique. I’ve never found anything like it in my adult life and am very thankful to have met Jules and the TDW community."
"When I moved to Raleigh a few years ago, I desperately wanted to find an experience similar to what I had found in Rhode Island. When I came across The Dancer's Workout®, I knew immediately it was what I was looking for. I signed up for the next available class and was welcomed with open arms by Jules, Sara and each one of the dancers attending the class. Although it was something new, with people I had never met, it was comforting in a way that dance has always been to me. It felt like home.
Dance has always been such a huge part of my life. Having spent the last few years without it, felt like a piece of me was missing. The Dancer's Workout® has allowed me to feel whole again while also giving me the opportunity to meet people who share the same love of dance. I am excited for this new journey with The MAVENS!"
"For me, TDW is a place where I can get away from the pressures of working and family! Dancing at TDW allows my body and brain the chance to exist in a space where there are no expectations for perfection, only the expectation to have fun! I have the added benefit of seeing some of my choreography in two of the TDW masterclasses. Based on our previous dance connection, Jules reached out to me about coming up with some original choreography for two TDW masterclasses. Jules sent me the music and some ideas, and I sent her back strings of choreography. She took that choreography, worked her magic, and used it in Velvet Heartstrings and Resilience. What an honor to have some of my work make it into the TDW canon! I am thrilled to be a part of the inaugural MAVENS, and so thankful that Jules created this program for adult dancers. I’m not 27 or even 37. I’m a 47-year-old mom and wife with a full-time job in a career that I love. But part of me will always be a dancer and choreographer, and TDW allows me to keep doing what I need to do to feel like my whole self. I’m so glad that I found TDW!!"
"She makes everyone feel welcome and comfortable, she knows her stuff, she's professional, inclusive, and high energy!
I am a person with a bigger body and I have always felt safe, accepted, and welcome in her classes and more!"
"Jules has always gone above and beyond to make me feel included with TDW. She really cares about me as a dancer and a person and truly wants me to be my very best! It has been such a pleasure dancing with her for the last 6 years!
As a teacher, Jules strives to get the best out of her dancers. But she's also intuitive and can sense when someone might need a modification, or might need a couple extra steps shouted out during a song. She encourages us to be ourselves and to lay it out out there. "You don't have to memorize anything and you don't have to be perfect. I'll still love you!" - Jules says something like that before every class she teaches!"
"Jules is not just a dance teacher. She's created a true community for her students that is unlike anything I've ever experienced before. Her passion and calling in life is to offer former dancers from all walks of life, whatever their age or situation, a place that feels safe and familiar and nurturing. Her classes really are like coming home.
Jules considers her dance students her community. She is always checking in; always making sure we're doing okay if we haven't made it to class in a while. She truly cares. When I was going through my divorce, Jules was always inviting me back to the studio to channel out my emotions through dancing. She understood that that's where I needed to be to fully connect with myself again. Jules has never been anything but loving and encouraging to all those who, for whatever reason, come looking for something in her classes. She is a true advocate of all women."
"Jules is an exceptional dance teacher who has created an outstanding community of adult dancers in the Raleigh area. She weaves powerful music and high-energy choreography together and her classes have revived my childhood love of dance. She's always encouraging her students to feel the music, push themselves a little out of their comfort zone, but never wants them to get down on themselves if they can't get something right away. The joy always comes after doing a class for several weeks and fine tuning it, then seeing your progress. It's great to realize growth and improvement can come at any age.
Jules is always choreographing new classes, working in different styles (contemporary, jazz, modern, ballet) and music - always challenging herself to stay current. "
"Jules has creativity and passion for dance and commitment to bring back dancers for the pure joy and love of it."
"I love these classes"
"Jules's dance classes through The Dancer's Workout are life changing! I have never encountered such a wonderful set of classes for adult dancers. Her classes are appropriately challenging choreographically and an excellent workout. She knows what adult dancers and former dancers need! Her classes keep me moving and my mental and physical health up. Most importantly for me, I can do them from home. Her videos are great quality and she moved so quickly during the pandemic to make the videos available so we all could keep dancing which was HUGE for me. I am so grateful! From the movements themselves to the online option, Jules makes sure the classes are accessible to all! And she makes us all feel so welcome and included. Thanks to Jules I, and many others, are still dancing when we might not have otherwise been and that is so beautiful!
Jules does a great job giving suggestions for modifications of exercises in case something doesn't feel good to some dancers. And, she always emphasizes that we don't have to be perfect which is so nice and keeps the stress off!"
"Jules is an outstanding dancer and teacher. Her program the Dancer's Workout is such a fun approach to fitness and dance for former dancers of all ages. The program emphasizes getting back to dance for those of us who have let "life" take us away from movement and music. Jules is a great role model and motivates her students with her incredible technique and attitude towards dancing and life.
As a middle aged mom I assumed my dancing days were over, but since meeting Jules I am dancing my heart out every week and getting fit while having fun. I am very thankful to her to have brought dance back to my life.
"Jules’ classes have given me the opportunity to reconnect with dance as an adult in a way that I didn’t think was p possible. She absolutely brings out the best in her students by focusing on truly ENJOYING the art of dance while also getting a great workout. Her approach to teaching The Dancer’s Workout is all about giving adult dancers the opportunity to use their artistic talent as dancers and maintain our physical fitness without holding up unhealthy expectations or perfectionism. She encourages us to have fun, and we do! I’m incredibly grateful to Jules for providing this space and this community.
I really appreciate how Jules always offers modifications for her choreography wo that dancers who might have trouble with certain moves, whether it’s from limited mobility or recovering from an injury (or due to being pregnant!) can still participate. She always shares affirmations like “Be firm and gentle at the same time,” and “Listen to your body,” which helps me focus on improving my own abilities and personal fitness without comparing myself to others. Jules also literally reminds us to “Have fun!” and always says “It’s okay if you mess up” which is so reassuring! When I first started attend TDW classes I was very ervous to return to a formal dance environment again, but Jules was extremely welcoming and made me feel like I was right where I needed to e. She encouraged me by sharing from her own personal experience of what it was like to return to dance as an adult. Since then she’s continued to encourage by pointing out how my skills and fitness have improved."
"I grew up here in Raleigh, NC and started dancing at age 3. While my sister was the graceful one and quickly took to ballet, I was the obnoxiously over-energetic one who struggled to stay graceful during ballet but loved tap and jazz!! As I grew up and continued dancing, my weekly dance schedule became more ballet-heavy, and I found myself in multiple ballet classes each week and fewer tap and jazz classes. It took years, but I slowly fell in love with ballet, and that love deepened when I began to dance on pointe, too! Later when I went off to college, I was lucky enough to find a wonderful dance group to join. However, it didn’t really allow me to practice my ballet technique, and I felt myself missing ballet so much! After I graduated, grad school and my first years of teaching kept me too busy to dance, and finding adult dance classes was hard! I am so thankful that my friend and co-worker brought me to TDW, where I have found a home in dance once again.
I’m a high school teacher, and I am so glad I found TDW because it has kept me mentally sane and physically healthy throughout my first few years of teaching. I grew up dancing, and continued dancing in college but I couldn’t find a solid, stable adult ballet class, and I missed ballet! Finding TDW has helped me rediscover my inner ballerina and the pure joy that dance brings, and I am so excited to represent TDW as a MAVEN!"
"Jules is phenomenal. Wonderful choreography, amazing attitude and energy, and staunchly supportive of the adult dancer!
When I was injured and couldn't do as many of the exercises, she showed me how to modify them, then gave me some wonderful core strengthening exercises that is helping get me back to shape."
"Growing up, my curious and creative nature led me to pursue numerous artistic outlets. From gymnastics to Irish dancing to ballet, I enjoyed any opportunity that allowed me to express myself through movement. Throughout high school, I split my time competing as a varsity gymnast while simultaneously dancing in a performing company. During college, however, I focused my energy solely on dance and performed with my college's dance team all four years. My passion for dance was reinvigorated during this time, and my first summer after college was spent participating in the American Dance Festival's summer intensive in Durham, NC. While I took eight years off from dance to pursue a master's degree and establish my professional career, I knew dance was a passion I could no longer put on the backburner and felt compelled to seek out opportunities that allowed dance to return to my life.
In the years since my formal dance training, I have sorely missed the creative outlet and sense of community that dance provides. It was difficult to find dance classes as an adult that aligned with my background and busy schedule, and I felt discouraged that I would never find the right fit. After discovering The Dancer's Workout® and attending my first class, I knew it was exactly what I'd been missing and what I needed in this stage of life. I could not ask for a better physical and creative outlet, and am so honored to continue my dance journey as a MAVEN!"
"Women power and sisterhood are her natural strengths. She pushes her Dancers hard in a positive way and at the same time shows different versions of a move to allow everyone to feel successful and comfortable at their own pace. Personally for me, she has brought out the best in me physically and mentally.
I can't imagine not having her as a teacher <3
"Jules is an amazing teacher! She always has a smile on her face, a cheerful and friendly welcome when one walks through the door and she makes sure everyone is having a great time just dancing! She demonstrates clear and concise dance moves and strives to help everyone learn to their abilities! She always stresses to have fun and to keep moving!" She has done a wonderful job at creating a safe and fun space for previous dancers to get back into dancing! Jules helped put dancing back into my life and made an impact in all of our lives!"
"Jules is an amazing teacher. She's patient and kind and will go over choreography multiple times if needed. Jules keeps everyone coming back to The Dancer's Workout because of the positive vibes of the class and her choreography.
The first time I went to The Dancer's Workout Jules made me feel welcomed and comfortable. I told her how nervous I was to return to dance after a 10- year break. She went out of her way to ensure that I was comfortable and everyone in the class was in the same boat as I am. She makes every dancer in that classroom feel beautiful in their own way and is very supportive of each and everyone of us."
"Jules has uniquely impacted me and the other adult dancers in the community she’s developed. As a dance entrepreneur, mentor, and instructor, Jules is a person who sets an example of how to approach life with a positive attitude and respect for one’s passions. She strives to bring out the best in us as people. Her class does not shame people who don’t have perfect knowledge of dance or technique. Rather, Jules emphasizes fun, exercise, and the spirit of dance. Still, I have learned and believe I’ve improved enormously since meeting Jules. I understand dance so much more now because Jules is patient about explaining technique and modifications to fit our abilities. I came to her class with limited understanding of dance and had previously felt excluded from dance because of a bad experience as a child. Finding Jules has helped me experience the joy of dance with a supportive and accepting community. Jules always says “it’s not a competition!” With Jules, it’s about community."
"Jules has gone above and beyond to reach a niche and often forgotten group of dancers - those that "were". Her program rekindles the past love and makes us dancers "forever and always".
Jules makes a point to show modifications for everyone's needs and has gone out of her way in classes to let us know of her injuries and strains as a reminder we are all human and we need to take care of our bodies within the limits that benefit us most."
"My dance journey started at the age of 2 at a dance studio in Massachusetts where I grew up. After a few years of taking classes recreationally, I was asked to join the studio’s competition team. I went from taking 1-2 classes a week to 5-6 and dance competitions became my life! I loved being a part of the team and traveling for several years dancing my way through childhood. My family moved to North Carolina in 2007 and I stopped doing competitions after that because I wanted to focus more on my dance training. I spent several years with Cary Ballet Conservatory where I eventually ended up becoming a teacher! I studied at UNC-Greensboro and obtained my Bachelor’s of Arts in Dance in 3 years and moved back to the Triangle to continue to teach. After some years passed, I decided to pivot my career and left the dance world. It was only a matter of time before dance called to me again and I found my way back to it with TDW!
I met Jules a long time ago and she was always so kind, inviting me to take classes with TDW, but it never seemed to work out with my schedule! I kick myself now that I didn’t join sooner!! I am thankful to be a part of the group now! Everyone is so kind and when I talked to Jules before my first class she described it as “it’s like coming home.” And she is absolutely right! That is exactly what taking a TDW class is like, coming home! Our TDW community is amazing and was not only more than what I was looking for, it was what my body, mind, and spirit needed!"
"Jules has created a unique program for adult dancers. It's a very welcoming and inclusive space to dance. She understands that it's hard for adults to come back to dance after it's been a long time not taking classes and she works with you to help you feel the joy in dance again.
By creating the Mavens dance team, she has found a group of girls with various backgrounds, skill level, age, and body types to represent the program to show that anyone who loved dance at one point in their lives can still do it."
"The arts have always been a big aspect of my family and of my life. Growing up I played different instruments, sang in the church choir, and went to dance lessons. Almost every dancer I know has had to overcome some sort of challenge in their dance journey. Mine was the ongoing struggle of finding a new dance studio every time my family had to move due to my dad being in the military. Even so, I continued taking dance classes from ballet to modern as we moved around the country. In high school, I ended up stopping dance lessons however I was able to continue performing and putting dance to music by joining the school’s color guard. I learned how to express myself not only through my body but through my equipment. From the flowing moments to flag to the challenging tosses on rifle, color guard continued to be a major aspect of my life throughout college. After college, I was a bit disconnected since both of my avenues of expressing myself were out of reach. Thankfully when I moved to Raleigh, I found The Dancer’s Workout.
TDW has been a way for me to reconnect with the dancer in me. Enjoying the feeling of being back in the studio dancing without the pressures that normal dance classes put on students. As well as being able to receive a good workout and fit it into my busy schedule. TDW has also given me a way to meet new friends which is amazing, especially when I was brand new to the area."