Calling all B-Girls: check out Vanessa’s Tiny Room Workouts
© Eva Berten/Red Bull Content Pool
Find out what inspired Vanessa to create her Tiny Room Workout and how she's using it to motivate other B-Girls by doing her sessions as online classes.
As B-Boys and B-Girls look for alternative ways to learn and stay motivated, B-Girl Vanessa has been helping female breakers stay in shape and build their mental strength and determination. She's achieved this through her online sessions, Tiny Room Workouts.
Vanessa created the workouts to get in shape for the harder moves in breaking by implementing a high-intensity, breaking-specific workout that mixes breaking moves with strengthening and stamina exercises.
She got the idea to change up her training when she read the book My Fight, Your Fight by former UFC Women's Champion, Ronda Rousey.
"I read in Ronda Rousey's book about how she utilised strength and conditioning when training as a UFC fighter and so I started to create my own strength and conditioning plan for breaking."
But Vanessa was also working long hours in her job and didn't have the time to go to a gym. Because of this, she decided to train in her room before work.
Even though the workouts were solely for Vanessa to elevate her body strength and mental determination, she posted clips of her workouts online.
I wanted to inspire others through sharing the video clips and I also wanted to show that B-Girls practice just as hard as B-Boys
The workouts became her daily routine and she stayed consistent, gradually seeing improvement in her strength and breaking ability. Three years after starting her workouts Vanessa achieved one of the biggest wins in her breaking career when, in 2019, she won the first-ever Red Bull BC One B-Girl Cypher UK.
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Friends suggested that Vanessa should start doing workout classes for others and Vanessa's friend, B-Girl Madmax from Belgium, gave her the push she needed to start doing it.
Unsure what the response would be like, Vanessa took the leap, hoping to be able to inspire and motivate other breakers. What she discovered was that the scene had so many dancers who were hungry to learn and connect.
"Through the workouts I connected with B-Girls from Colombia, India, Europe, Chile and Brazil and I felt a commitment to these girls, whether it was three or 13 of them, as they put their trust in me to teach them."
I felt a commitment to these girls as they put their trust in me to teach them
Vanessa got responses to her class from B-Boys and B-Girls, but she decided to make them female only sessions, not feeling comfortable teaching B-Boys at first. She also wanted to zero in on giving B-Girls an extra push in their training, as she felt the ladies needed it more.
This extra push was just as much mental as it was physical, with Vanessa believing that the mind needs to be just as strong as the body.
"I focus a lot on helping the girls destroy any mental barriers when it comes to them believing that they can do – and finish – the whole workout. And I try to give a lot of self-motivation tools by always ending the session with a talk on the subject.
"I also always re-enforced to all the girls that by completing the workout they have accomplished something that day, and that is proof that if they put their mind to something they can accomplish it."
Vanessa's Tiny Room Workout groups filled her with a sense of empowerment and connection to her fellow B-Girls.
"Even though we're in competition together it was really empowering to discover that we're all striving for the same goal and that we can work together to achieve it."
Although she's contemplating taking Tiny Room Workouts into studios and doing live, in person, sessions with people, she's now realised the power of doing it online. The online space has given her the ability to connect with dancers far away who she can't workout with in person.
Vanessa also wants to eventually open the workouts to B-Boys, wanting people to know: "Tiny Room Workouts have nothing to do with gender – if you do it you'll get results, no matter if you're a woman or a man."
But however Vanessa does her classes, the important thing for her is the overall message that she wants to give:
"The main message of Tiny Room Workouts is that if you focus, with the right mind frame, put in hard work to pursue your goals and never quit or give up, you can push through all mental barriers and find a discipline and consistency within yourself that proves you can do whatever you put your mind to."
"It's not just about practicing for the battle, it's about the constant search for happiness and greatness within yourself and striving to be the best we can be."