The PL3Y Philosophy
We believe that through movement you can do more than just help people get fit – that you can foster community, positive mindsets and vibrant health. Our goal is to help people discover, practice and maintain a positive and playful mindset towards physical activity and lifelong active living.
motivated mindsets + confident actions + physically competent movers
The DANCEPL3Y Journey
DANCEPL3Y was created by Melanie Levenberg, M.Ed., a Physical Education teacher who was intimidated by the thought of having to teach dance to her students. Having grown up as an athlete, team-based sports were her comfort zone. Tutus on the other hand, were not. Though she had always loved bustin-a-move on the dance floor in social settings, the notion of having to teach dance to students brought on anxiety, fears and insecurities.
After searching resources on 'how to teach dance', it became apparent that the traditional approach to teaching dance was too static for her physically active PE classes. Inspired by experiences from both the education and fitness sectors, she created a high-energy dance class that focused on keeping her students ACTIVE as they learned simple moves from cultures around the world.
But, this story is about more than just a fitness class. In the midst of creating DANCEPL3Y, Melanie was going through a tough time in her life. A few years earlier, she had left her corporate consulting job to start a business with a friend. This journey led to a falling out between the two where her former business partner instigated a series of cyberbullying attacks. It was one of the darkest times in her life, but thanks to the support of her friends, family and business coaches, she was able to harness the pain of her experiences and re-focus her energy and attention on what she cared about the most - building a business that put her unique talents into action while making a positive impact on the lives of people in this world.
"I consider myself an undercover ninja. I know that my purpose on this planet is to empower physical literacy leaders who work with children, teens and adults in their communities. I adore designing movement-based programs that energize the body, mind and spirit, and I love teaching these leaders how to create moments where everyday people have the opportunity to move, breathe, claim and feel their unique awesomeness. I say that I'm an undercover ninja because, on the surface, we are simply delivering a fun dance workout class. But, what we are really doing is using movement to inspire individuals to become healthier, happier and more positive people."
- Melanie Levenberg, DANCEPL3Y Creator
Fuelled by these personal experiences with bullying, anxiety and depression, Melanie's passion for promoting positive mental health grew stronger. And that's where the 3 Rules of PL3Y came to life! "Be Positive. Be Fun. Be Yourself." These were the words that she had learned to use to refocus negative thoughts during life's most challenging times. The 3 Rules of PL3Y are one of the ways that DANCEPL3Y stands apart of other fitness programs. They enhance an otherwise 'typical' dance workout by bringing a new level of meaningfulness and mindfulness to every class.
Melanie has since earned her reputation as a disruptor of "traditional" fitness and dance programming. She achieved this by focusing first on the AVCs (Attitude, Movement Vocabulary, Confidence) rather than choreography or technique. Removing the 'rules' of dance and fitness (ex. everyone standing in lines, copying the instructor) and allowing the class to move through the space in an interACTIVE way allowed her to design classes that fostered the social, cognitive and physical elements of physical literacy.
"The big idea is that through positive and playful experiences with music-based movement, everyday people can discover the physical, social and mental benefits of physical activity."
Today, Melanie's success continues to grow as she is joined by a team of world-class Master Trainers who share their passion for physical activity, instructor trainings and community leadership. As a result of their work, Certified DANCEPL3Y Instructors deliver high-quality physical literacy programs to hundreds of thousands of kids, teens and adults in community centres, schools, fitness clubs and dance studios across the globe.
We're proud to be the world's leader in developing physical literacy through dance.
Think what we've done so far is impressive? We've only just begun! Our goal is that in the year 2020, 1 million people will get to stand proud and claim their “Bubble of Awesome” through a DANCEPL3Y class. We’ll achieve this goal by growing our network of recreation leaders, instructors and teachers who want to develop physical literacy by teaching DANCEPL3Y programs to kids, teens and adults in their communities.
So the question is...are you ready to play?
Our first rule (we can all use a bit of practice on this one, right?): Instead of saying "I can't" say "I'll try"
Our second rule is that we want you to BE fun! We want you to share the best and most fun version of yourself!
Each person is different – our third rule celebrates each person's unique physical literacy journey.