Updated: Jul 30, 2020
What happens when Dallas Dance Fitness is your jam?
Every DDF member and instructor has a unique story and reason why they love DDF, but here’s two reasons that Amy Berry will tell you: at DDF, she became a dancer. Then she became a dance teacher. Dallas Dance Fitness’ co-founder Alana picked Amy out of a class and asked her to consider teacher training.
“Although I danced in high school and loved it, I didn’t feel like I have a true dance background,” Amy says. Unlike Alana and Michelle, DDF co-founders, she says she didn’t dance in college and like some of her DDF classmates, she didn’t perform on a team or as an adult.
“Everyone at Dallas Dance Fitness was so welcoming the minute I walked in the door. At first I thought, ‘I can’t do that, I’m not a dancer.’ But I stayed with it,” Amy says. “One day Alana said to me, ‘I see something in you. Would you be willing to train to become an instructor?’ And I thought, ‘REALLY?’ I love the stage and the limelight. I never considered myself a dancer before, but I do now and I love every minute of it.”
“When I agreed to become a teacher, Alana made me practice HEY MAMA for three months,” she remembers. “In hindsight, I realized it was a way to catch up my dance skills to the other instructors.” [See Amy teaching with Alana and Haley in this Dallas Dance Fitness PUMP IT UP Dance Party class.]
Amy didn’t know it at the time, but Alana was in a way “paying it forward.” It was another lifelong dancer named Hope who nudged her to become a dance fitness teacher before launching DDF.
Hope Hochster grew up in Dallas and took tap and ballet at a studio in Preston Forest. She’s a fan of cardio dance styles from step aerobics to Jazzercise and Zumba. “I took dance class in college. I’m a great follower but I have no memory,” she says. That’s why back in 2012 she liked standing behind Alana and Michelle in a popular dance fitness class at Cooper Fitness Center. When their favorite cardio dance teacher moved to Las Vegas, Hope was the voice of encouragement: “I told her ‘Alana, you can do this.”
As Dallas Dance Fitness grew, Hope joined the teachers and other students on the weekends to make videos of their routines. You can see her smiling face in some of DDF’s most popular videos including “Believer” and "I'm Still Standing." “I’m on YouTube at my age. Isn’t that unbelievable?” she laughs.
Still dancing and keeping a busy schedule as a wardrobe consultant, Hope schedules her workday and her week around the 10 a.m. DDF livestream dance classes. “I have to say I’m addicted to DDF,” she says.
When businesses closed in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, Dallas Dance Fitness teachers taught classes from their homes via livestream six days a week. Hope didn’t miss a beat. “My family knows not to bother me from 10-11 A.M. My DDF class is my happy place,” she says. If she misses the livestream, she will schedule an on-demand class into her day.
DDF members like Hope and teachers like Amy agree on one thing: Dallas Dance Fitness is more than class, it’s a community.
“Dallas Dance Fitness will welcome you in. You feel it,” Amy says. “DDF is a good workout with fun choreography, but the whole experience is available to you.”
“Being together in the dance studio is special,” Hope says. “I can share things with my DDF friends and everyone has your back, sharing in your emotion whatever the circumstance.” The livestream chat brings that community to the virtual dance class experience. “DDF is more than a dance class,” she says. “It gives us friendships of all ages.”