Janet Jones, a Miami native, and former Heat dancer is the founder of the Vixen Workout. The fast-paced 60-minute cardio session is done completely in heels to the latest hip-hop bangers.
By JESSICA MILITARE | JUNE 20, 2013
The room is steamy and dark. Magenta and blue spotlights contour sweaty, gyrating bodies as grimy hip-hop booms through bass-y speakers. This isn’t a seedy sausage fest at a club on South Beach.
“Imagine LIV on Sunday without the drinks and without the men and enough room where you can dance your ass off. That’s what the Vixen Workout is,” says Janet Jones, a Miami native, former Heat dancer, and founder of the fitness sensation that is taking over the Magic City.
Vixen Workout ain’t no Prancercise romp. You can take these moves to the floor. Slip on a pair of your favorite pumps and twerk.
We’re not talking about those cumbersome, spread-eagle-against-a-wall booty pulsations. Women unleash their inner video vixen (move over, Superhead) during this swift, 60-minute cardio session done completely in heels to the latest hip-hop bangers. Moves like the “Dade County” and “The Milkshake” should leave much to your imagination.
“You’re doing squats and abs and arms and doing it to your favorite songs that you love to dance to in the club, so you don’t realize what you’re doing,” Jones says.
The Vixen Workout was born out of Jones’ desire to feel alive again.
After trading an unbounded dance career for a slot in the cushy corporate world, the longtime dancer felt invisible amid multiple roles. She had to be fantastic in the workplace while simultaneously fulfilling domestic duties as a new mom and wife at home.
Jones was laid off and returned to her first passion: dance. She opened a new studio, Street Jamz, but it wasn’t until one ratchet night at the club that her true calling surfaced.
“One weekend, I went out with my friends,” Jones recalls. “They’re all VP of companies or lawyers, and we’re moms. So we went to a nightclub, and they put on some Rick Ross and they put on some Future, and all of [my friends] were itching to dance.”
Like video vixens.
Jones thought, if these 9-to-5 strait-laced mothers are thirsty to twerk, all women must be. She wants to provide females of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds with the confidence to let loose, so when “they go home, they don’t need their husbands to compliment them, they don’t need to be praised at work, because they feel like they just praised themselves for an hour. Through twerking.”
It wasn’t an easy road for Jones to build her Vixen Army. Two people attended the instructor’s first class — her cousin and her best friend. But after a month, eight girls showed up. Eight grew to 16, which grew to 24, and now, in the class’s eighth month, there are close to 100 vixens at every session.
Clappin’ that derriere like Buffie the Body boasts some serious health benefits too. Students can burn 500 to 1,000 calories per class; Jones says one of her regulars shed 60 pounds. A woman on anxiety medication for ten years now gets her natural release from p-poppin till she percolates (a class staple).
“You don’t get to be ratchet anywhere else without being judged,” says Cristina Comendeiro, a weekly attendee.
Jones (AKA the General) will continue to grow her Society of Twerk on Saturday when she hosts “90 Minutes of Twerk Fitness Madness” at LIV. But before then, we caught up with her to get the lowdown on the seven steps to total twerk fitness. Check the cut for the list.
7. Hunger Pose
Tap into your inner rawboned runway model with the Hunger Pose.
“Your feet are in a wide V, you’re grabbing your rib cage, and you look starving. You pretend you’re hungry,” Jones exclaims.
Hungry to twerk.
6. The Bugatti
You should have no problem waking up in a new Bugatti after unleashing this gem. Performed to the eponymous Ace Hood, Rick Ross, and Future banger, the combination is as gloriously berserk as the song’s choppy-synthed hook.
“The Bugatti is ‘hammer, hammer, hammer, hammer, pop, pop, slow wind,'” Jones demonstrates. “So once they know that phrase, I’ll be like, ‘OK this routine is four Bugattis into five Twerkalators into four Dade Counties. We have our own language.”
The upright position after the hip-grinding “Dade County.”
5. The Dade County
We all know Miami is a melting pot of thick, juicy booties. Jones says the city “is known for that ‘uhh!’ So the Dade County is kind of like a tribute to our county.”
A combination of a squat and a slow grind into a neutral position, vixens release a ferocious “uhh!” mid move. Before you know it, that ass will be first place in 2 Chainz’s “Bad Bitch Contest.”
After you’ve Twerked (pumping your hips and your arms, while butterflying in a squat position) and graduated to the Twerk Team (down on heels, while hitting your legs in the same in-and-out leg and up-and-down hip motion), you’re ready for the Twerkalator.
“The Twerkulator is pop it and roll, and pop it and roll,” explains Jones.
Make a “T” with your arms in the heel squat position, pump, pump, pump, get it, get it, and roll those arms ’round ya head. I promise 2 Live Crew will resurrect.
Step-by-step of “P-poppin’ till you percolate.” Make sure to add some poppin’.
3. P-poppin’ till you percolate
It’s time for the percolator. Pop to the right, pop to the front, pop to the left and repeat.
“Imagine that these are women of all ages, all sizes, all backgrounds,” Jones says. “Imagine a doctor mean muggin’ and going all in.”
Strike the “Kitten Pose” (left) to look fierce. Then do the “Kitten Stretch” to warm up the muscles for twerkin’.
2. Kitten Pose and Kitten Stretch
These two pussycats go hand in hand. The Kitten Pose’s accentuated C-curve, as Jones affirms, “makes a woman’s body look as fierce as possible.”
The Kitten Stretch also warms up the muscles and engages the abs and booty in a fluid, seductive motion. Meow!
1. The Milkshake
Gyrate quickly with your hands on your hips and you’ve blended a sweet, creamy frappe.
The Milkshake is great for your waistline, abs, and obliques. It’s what Jones calls a “hidden workout.”
“We add squats to it, and we call that ‘my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,'” Jones says.
The Vixen Workout is available at several locations in Miami. Visit vixenworkout.com to find a class near you.
Vixen Workout. With Janet Jones. Saturday, June 22. LIV, 4441 Collins Ave.