Dana Perri is a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. She’s also the founder and owner of SHIFT by Dana Perri, a unique boutique gym in Sherman Oaks, CA.
Dana also has severe scoliosis and kyphosis.
Scoliosis is a sideways curvature in the spine and kyphosis is a forward curving of the spine. Scoliosis affects about 2% of the population. For Dana, the curvature of her spine requires daily monitoring and treatment in a variety of ways. She has all the aches, pains and spasms associated with the conditions.
“Scoliosis changes, it gets worse over time,” Dana said. “Your back is crooked and the muscles in the back are uneven. I get back spasms and sometimes it hurts to stand or walk.”
Dana is 43 years old, teaches 13 fitness classes a week and has a full load of personal training clients. She owns and manages a fitness facility with more than 500 members. She cross trains and maintains her own advanced level of fitness.
Dana said she would be in more physical pain if she weren’t working on the SHIFT spring floor. SHIFT is the only fitness studio in the world with this unique, Olympic-rated spring floor. The floor itself contains more than 400 individual springs. Dana said the floor is a hybrid between a gymnastics floor and a martial arts floor.
“The floor reduces the impact and bounces up and down. It lessens the impact of high intensity exercise and reduces the stress on the joints,” Dana said. It also gives you a higher calorie burn.
Dana said the floor was built to strengthen and enhance a person’s core. The core is the front, back and side muscles surrounding the organs. It’s more than just the abdominal and lower back muscles. The core stabilizes the body. “The spring floor causes instability so the smaller muscles work to stabilize. The larger muscles work because of the spring. The floor engages the entire core,” Dana said.
Dana is working on the spring floor at SHIFT for literally hours. She said her core has become so much stronger because of the classes she teaches on the floor. She’s able to maintain balance and stability. Her back sometimes hurts on other workout floors but not at SHIFT. “I can tell the difference in performance from being on other floors,” Dana said.
Dana works fitness and healing into her daily schedule. She said proper training and diet help her work through scoliosis. She also does acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage to mitigate the effects of the scoliosis. Her fitness discipline and lifestyle to manage her conditions are intense but she has a background that supports it.
Dana started dancing at the age of 11 and attended a performing arts school until she was 16. Dana was diagnosed with the spine conditions in the 7th grade.
She danced through college and started her professional dance career as a touring performer.
She worked with Cirque du Soleil as a dancer and acrobat and performed around the world. She also performed in commercials and live television work in Los Angeles. She stopped performing as a dancer 2012 and started her full-time career in fitness.
“Because of my athletic and performing background, I’ve developed a level of discipline for myself that I can manage my scoliosis and kyphosis,” Dana said. “People think you shouldn’t move if you have injuries or conditions. Because of the flooring and exercises at SHIFT people can work through injuries.”
The acronym SHIFT stands for “Shaping How I Feel Today.” Dana Perri is living and breathing proof SHIFT happens!