By Gwendolyn Purdom | April 25, 2017 | People
North Shore fitness pro Haley Stone takes her dance fitness phenomenon Werq to the next level.
Dance dance revolution: Once an EPA specialist, local fitness guru and WERQ founder Haley Stone now heads a cardio dance movement all over Chicago— plus hundreds of other cities across 36 states.
Teaching fitness classes had long been a “side hustle” for Haley Stone. But when cardio dance videos that the Glencoe resident uploaded to YouTube garnered more than a million views, Stone—then still working full-time at the Environmental Protection Agency—knew she was onto something bigger, and WERQ was born. Five years later, the mother of two’s pop-and-hip-hop-centric program has become a fitness sensation, with classes taught in 36 states by more than 1,000 instructor—and growing.
What makes it WERQ: Mixing charting hits with repetitive choreography lets newbies feel comfortable and free to let loose. “[We] really just focus on the fun of it, because when it’s fun, the calories follow,” says Stone.
All in the family: Impromptu pre-dinner dance parties are a regular occurrence for Stone, her physical therapist husband, and their two young daughters.
Go-to gymwear: A devoted “fitness chic” fan, Stone can’t live without her muscle tees, Lululemon leggings, or Victoria’s Secret sports bras.
Mark your calendar: Stone’s #GetLifted Fitness Festival returns to Chicago for its second annual gathering in September.
Current jam: Any routine set to a Bruno Mars song is guaranteed to get classes moving, but “Perm” holds the favorite title for now.
Dream pupils: “If Rihanna and Drake were to show up, I would have a meltdown.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BETSY STRUXNESS (WORKOUTS); ETHAN TALLEY (PORTRAIT)