Vanessa Acero and Mila Tina are the creators of RitmoFit XP, an exercise that combines fitness and global rhythm. Vanessa, an athlete and fitness instructor, mashed up with Mila, an audio-visual producer and performance artist. Together, they awaken legendary female energy both internally and externally, to create an experience through empowered movement.
Your backgrounds are very unique. How do you work off each other’s energy?
Vanessa: We are both high-energy, positive, creative, encouraging entrepreneurs, flexible, and open-minded. We take turns compromising. There’s also a good balance of perfectionism and acceptance as well as preparation and improvisation between us in different areas. Wellness is such a big part of our lives. I am amazed by Mila’s talents, diverse expertise, leadership skills, and mostly her wisdom when handling difficult situations. We make a strong team!
Mila: I agree, we are both passionate and purpose-driven in everything we do, and I believe our differences are our most dear strengths. The fact that we both have unique backgrounds, different skills, and sometimes different ideas and opinions, leads us to create fitness and wellness journeys that are not only original but also very accessible and inclusive. We try to actively listen to each other’s ideas and perspectives, by constantly making sure we are in a good mental and emotional state when making decisions. I personally admire Vanessa’s strong work ethic and integrity, and her commitment to her daily self-care practices.
RitmoFit XP class at Southampton Arts Center. Photo by Kefi Creative
Describe a typical class.
VA: A typical class begins with a welcome message to get all participants mentally ready and excited about the journey they are about to go on. This workout feels more like an adventure where you connect with a variety of emotions through rhythm and movement. We begin with a 10-minute warm-up to awaken your vital energy force and then take you through an eclectic voyage where you sync up your body to enchanting beats from all over the world — Spain, Africa, India, and Brazil, to name a few. The journey has several phases, each one with three to four exercises ranging in speed and intensity. You also get a small break in between exercises where you lower your heart rate and express yourself through dancing lightly. We end the experience with a gentle and relaxing cool down and stretch session with breath-work and mindfulness.
MT: For each of them we choose a theme the whole experience is designed around. Our most recent event was called “Ancient Divas,” inspired by the feminine energy of the ancient world and mythology. We invited attendees to partake in the white dress color theme and offered them fresh fruit like different types of grapes; reminiscent of the ancient Greek times.
There are so many elements to the workout. It’s more like a transformation, in motion.
VA: The diverse elements that are part of this workout, in combination with the unique music exclusively created for it, is what makes it truly special. A lot of women nowadays want to feel not only beautiful and captivating but also brave and confident. We designed the workout in a way that burns calories and strengthens your muscles but also feels invigorating, fun, and sophisticated while you do it. This journey is a transformation in motion, as you get to connect with the feeling that each of these modalities causes in your body and come out of it feeling proud, renewed, and inspired.
MT: We strategically combined all of these elements to create a fitness and wellness journey where women could explore their whole spectrum of emotions, find their own rhythm and freely express it through movement, dance, and power poses. We sometimes incorporate diverse healing modalities at the beginning and end of the journey, to go within and connect to our vital energy or life force, most commonly known as qi, prana, and élan vital, etc.
Mila Tina performing at Southampton Arts Center. Photo by Kefi Creative
How do you hope to inspire others through movement?
VA: We want to show and remind women what they are capable of. In the same way they go through this one-hour journey, they can get through any challenge and obstacle that they face in their lives! And they can do it with a heart filled with gratitude and appreciation, because even though many times (in life and in a workout) we will be confronted with uncomfortable situations and emotions, with the right tools and mindsets, we can work through the pain, learn powerful lessons, and come out stronger.
MT: RitmoFit’s purpose is to inspire, empower, and create a community for women to find support and celebrate their beauty and power through fitness, wellness, auditory art, live music, and artistic and creative self-expression in an inclusive, safe, and fun environment.
What does the phrase “empowered movement” mean to you?
VA: “Empowered movement” means an action that brings forth a feeling of self-love, honor, and respect towards oneself. I have learned that constantly challenging myself through fitness is key and essential to my inner wellness and happiness, that’s why I would love everyone around me to experience it and fall in love with empowered movement too.
MT: It is about the reminder of who we truly are, especially as women. Power is not something that is given to us. It’s something that we already have within us. We are the source of our own power. We can determine our emotional state and self-care is a pathway to power. We have the sacred responsibility to celebrate our exquisite existence. A multi-dimensional being that has survived and thrived over two millennia of oppression and also has the power to create life. We can now buy ourselves flowers!
NICOLE TEITLER IS AN AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST FROM LONG ISLAND, BETTER KNOWN PROFESSIONALLY AS NIKKI ON THE DAILY™. SHE HAS REPORTED FOR NUMEROUS PUBLICATIONS BUT IS MOSTLY REMEMBERED BY HER WORK FOR HAMPTONS BASED PUBLICATION, THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER. IN ADDITION TO HER LOVE OF WRITING, NICOLE IS AN ANIMAL RESCUE AND WILDLIFE ADVOCATE. IN HER SPARE TIME, SHE CAN BE FOUND GUZZLING COFFEE, HIKING, OR TRYING NEW RESTAURANTS. FOLLOW @NIKKIONTHEDAILY / WWW.NIKKIONTHEDAILY.COM