dance, fitness and lifestyle
Katarzyna Morton (Kate)
Sport, Dance and Fitness Background
Kate obtained a Fitness, Sport and Personal Trainer Instructor Certification from the Ministry of Sport of the Republic of Poland in 2005. Since then she has worked at different gyms in various countries such as Poland, and England and for over 10 years in Belgium. Before inventing her own concepts based on gained knowledge, experience and feedback, she has been leading group classes of body work-outs, aerobics, step, aqua gym, Pilates and various dance work-outs. In 2010, she additionally tapped into the dance and choreographing industry, discovering movement from an emotional point of view.
Between 2012 and 2016 she coached other instructors at the Life Style Fitness and Body and Vision studios, teaching anatomy, workouts, class leadership and mental health aspects as requested by both studio owners where she at that time worked at.
In the meantime, she developed the foundations for Partyrobics® and the Body Expressive Methods that started to spread throughout Belgium. She started to deliver instructor trainings to various studios and gyms that were willing to hold her concepts (including three universities). She built a Master Instructors team that is popularizing the technique and the approach, and helps to support everyone that is willing to incorporate partially or fully the mental health focus in fitness and dance.
In 2019 she opened her own studio in Leuven, but she has focused mainly on Instructor Trainings certifications and being an educational support to other locations, studio owners and trainers. She has built online trainings in two languages that are now being booked by instructors from around the world.
In her second career, she worked in the human rights field, publishing media and delivering speeches around the world on societal changes in different regions. This gave her a unique and diverse insight into the state of the world from different perspectives which affected her view on mental health and the well-being industry.
"We believe in the wholeness of human beings and our aim is to mindfully create fitness and dance experiences that proactively take into account all aspects of well-being."
The way it is
It is noticeable to everyone who pays a bit of attention that social awareness as well as access to knowledge in regard to mental health is evolving. What we thought of as “healthy” and “functional” in all areas of life - from the workplace to the educational system to the private areas – is suddenly a big question mark.
The 8 hours day shift is doubtful to keep people rightly focused; recovery and free time start to be seen as a tool for a creativity boost; prolonged sitting during the school lectures or office sessions is harmful and leads to massive visits to physiotherapists; the acknowledged neurodiversity of humans makes us understand that different people learn or express differently, and more flexible thinking is required to serve this versatile world. The examples are endless. We are at a moment in history where we understand that the many things we thought we did right, we actually did wrong.
For example, the specialization of sciences when there was little interaction between the sectors, as if psyche, physique and emotionality were three things that only meet sometimes. We know that stress will affect our immunological system and that doing exercises will raise our endorphins level, but there is a lot more to discover on how deep and multidimensional it actually is.
We have known forever that sport, dance or any type of activity is good for people's well-being, but the necessary nuance and depth to the approach of it seems to be key.
The necessity to be “fit” is often broadcasted with not enough compassionate language and context, an “old-fashioned” manner of an image that pushed many to the edge of depression, trapping them into mechanisms where constant validation is needed for a moment of peace when one finally feels “good enough”.
In the world's approach during the passing decades, we have not been attentive enough to catch nuances that might easily block the full potential of what fitness and dance sessions can bring to people, only because we were too unaware to look beyond what the current trend dictated us. The world has only looked at the surface. A better body was making people act more confident, but at the same time, since mental health wasn't addressed except for as a fancy key-word mention, it did not make people be confident. Confidence, or rather inner peace when one is in agreement with him- or herself (happy, calm and in balance) was often faked out of a need of keeping up an image. The industry told people to be confident but didn’t do any emotional work on it, so we were all hoping to just be it. And as we boosted our cells with endorphins, which dropped at some point, we did not open people up to their sources of energy, did not unlock or reduce their emotional tensions, and did not purify their traumas that have been coded in their body cells for years. We just covered it up.
And not to exaggerate, that is not always the case, and creating healthy habits and encouraging people to be active is always a positive thing. But at times, adding just a few elements and digging a bit deeper can transform the core of everything. There is no doubt that the physical and mental part has to have an equal say in the creation of each space that claims to take care of humans' well-being. And we all have to do the work of adapting our thinking, our language, our visuals, and our methods to meet this golden balance of just right and healthy.
How it could be
The Body Expressive Method is an approach to training, a perspective of thinking and a method applicable to all types of fitness and dance sessions. It is not only about the content, but also about how to speak about the content and from what source to take the healthiest motivation to not fall into the evil mechanism of self-judgment and suppression.
Since it is about Body Expression, it is not about the look in the first place. This thinking does not undermine the idea of “body goals” and the beautiful desire to shape yourself as you wish and if you wish. Expression of the body means only that you do it from joy, fun, pleasure, connection with your life inside of you, and connection with your emotions. As a result, you also achieve a more toned physique, but that is not your goal in the first place.
Imagine, if you do your squats with your full heart in it, totally connected to the beats of music, loving each move with a passion, then not only is it healthy, but your work-out is more effective. Since you do it mindfully, and deeply, you use your energy to the fullest.
The “mind work” in the workouts or dance and the emotional space that is resulting in more positive engagement in motion, training and bringing a feeling of satisfaction and release is irreplaceable. By the basics of science, if we are open, happy and attentive we learn better in comparison to if our motivation was taken from any self-pressure or if we deprived beautiful emotions of free flows of passion. Evil is in details, they say.
Partyrobics® is built on the principle of the equal importance of each element that leads up to the most optimal training that is a) healthy emotionally and b) healthy physically. Only if these two factors are achieved at the same time, the synergy of two sides of one coin is in order.
Partyrobics® first recognises that imagination and visual stimulation play a role in how the mind works for the body during the sessions. Dark atmosphere, colours, other effects, … take you to another dimension, exactly like when you go to the concert of your favourite band, where visuals and music stimulate you. And because you know the songs, you sing your heart out and connect to a surrounding that will leave you with memories for a lifetime. We would like this atmosphere to be there each week for our students at the gym, fitness or sports room.
Music has the power to heal and push the energy out of our body. Who does not have a favourite song that saved them from heartbreak, let them vent their anger or bring back joyful memories of holidays? That is what we all do, experience our emotions with music - and now imagine you experience these all physically. One will say: music is always in the classroom, we listen to it when we jog … yes, sure. But there is more - each sound has a frequency of energy (tense, light, dark, loose, thick). Each body can create this frequency within. And whenever you can align your body tension with music tension and emotionality and a movement and blend it into one (surrounded by a beautiful setting) - the experience is so much deeper. The way we construct the sessions (even the ones with workouts) is in order to be the closest possible to this alignment. That means understanding the music beyond the rhythm.