If you ever wished you could go to Coachella in your yoga pants, there's a new festival for you.
“The funny thing is people love to use that phrase, 'Coachella meets fitness festival,'” says Mai Lyn Ngo, founder and CEO of the Dallas Fitness Ambassadors. “And I wish I could use that. I wouldn’t say we’re at that caliber yet, but we do have local bands that we’re bringing in, live DJs we’re bringing in and a few musicians, just to start.”
Ngo’s company has been bringing the Dallas fitness community together for almost four years, hosting fun fitness events around the city. But she’s about to attempt her biggest project yet, a fitness festival.
FAME Festival stands for Fitness, Art, Music and Experience. Partnering with the Omni Dallas Hotel, Ngo is putting on a two-day fitness celebration unlike anything Dallas has seen before, on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 27-28. There will be fitness classes of many kinds, as well as a big party at the end.
“We’re shutting down the driveway in front of the restaurants of Lamar and turning it into a big block party,” says Ngo. “So if you were to walk into the space, one, you’re in the heart of downtown. It’s beautiful, you’ll see bikes all set up Friday night, you’ll see a stage, you’ll see a vendor market … we’ll have restaurants open as well, as to serve everyone that comes.”
Studios involved include Class Studios, Beyond Pilates, Trufusion and ZYN22.
“When we heard from Mai about FAME, we knew we had to be part of the weekend,” says Rumer Richardson, of Beyond Pilates. “The fitness scene in Dallas is one of the largest, most varied in the country. FAME will shine the light on some of the brightest talents and studios and show the innovative minds and community.”
Though Ngo is bringing in many studios and fitness resources, the festival will be much more than just classes. “There’s going to be a lot to do, the energy’s going to be electric,” Ngo says. She adds that the event is for everyone who wants to attend, whether they're beginners or experts.
“You are able to build your schedule however you want to," she says. "If you only want to take one class and then hang out in the VIP lounge all day, do you. If you want to take six classes and try out everything because you can, do that too. Or if you just want to come to the free block party and you’re not into fitness and want to see what it’s all about and you’re curious, come out. There is no judgment.”
The Dallas fitness community is buzzing about this event and all the different aspects of it.
“LunchboxWax will be creating the REFRESH lounge — an outdoor space where our community can come relax after a workout, freshen up, get glitter eyebrows, play games and enjoy the best view of FAME Fest. We'll be right atop the Omni's Pegasus Lawn with views of it all,” says Joshua Collins of LunchboxWax. “Mai Lyn has done such an incredible job of bringing community together in Dallas, and we were blown away by the FAME Fest concept in its initial planning stage.”
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Other participants of this event are the Sweet Tooth Hotel, Smoothie King, BodyArmor and the Dallas Mavericks. But probably the coolest part is the fusion between music, art and movement. Every fitness class has an aspect relating to the arts in some way.
“I think it’s cool to see a live drummer playing at the same time as you’re doing one of those PoundFit classes,” says Ngo. “How cool is it to take a yoga class while a violinist is just rippin' through and freestyling, and seeing her get really inspired by the class. How would you feel if you’re taking a class and someone is doing charcoal sketches of the beautiful movements that are happening and being able to walk away and take maybe one of those as a token of what you just did?”
Local artists, musicians and performers are coming to participate in this fitness celebration. Besides all the classes, there will be live music performances meant only to be watched while participants rest during the hotter parts of the day — as well as that big block party at night.
“It’s definitely a challenge to integrate all of it, but I think there’s something special here and I hope people can appreciate the beauty of the moment because it’s live, it’s happening,” says Ngo. “I couldn’t be more proud of what we created, and I really hope it is well received here in Dallas.”