March 26, 2023

Lawyer, dancer and mother of five, Andrea McKay, is opening a yoga, dance and fitness center in Simsbury on Sept. 17. (Douglas Hook)
Andrea McKay began her career as a professional dancer, became an attorney and now she’s got a new gig as the owner of a dance and exercise studio in Simsbury.
The mother of five from East Granby is opening the Yoga, Dance & Fitness Center, or YDF Center, in Simsbury on Sept. 17.
”The reason I wanted to open a studio was to have my own space,” said McKay, who has been teaching at other locations. “I missed being around other women. I missed that camaraderie.”
The bright, spacious studio with what McKay describes as a “calming” feel will mostly hold adult classes.
There will be lots of styles of dance and exercise offered, but two of her specialties are belly dancing and hula hooping. They will also offer yoga, Pilates, barre and Zumba classes. She is also looking to hire additional instructors.
The studio is a space for women to “be together” and “let go,” McKay said.
For her, it’s a break from her analytical desk job as an attorney in the cyber insurance field, she said.
”It brings a lot of joy,” McKay said. “It’s good for your body and mind.”
Andrea McKay, a professional dancer-turned-attorney and mother of five, is opening a dance/exercise studio in Simsbury next month. She is pictured here belly dancing, which will be among the offerings at her studio. (Courtesy of Andrea McKay)
McKay said she grew up in Oregon dancing ballet, tap and jazz.
After high school, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue professional dance and joined a troupe that specialized in belly dancing at restaurants and events.
It was there she met her husband, now a marriage and family counselor. After four years, they decided to move to Connecticut where he was from so she could go to college and they could start a family.
She graduated from UConn with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and from UConn law school in 2016.
The couple has five kids, ages 5-14. She notes that while it will be a “balance” (she’ll keep the day job), four of the kids are 10 years old and up. McKay said she also has the help of her mother-in-law, she works from home and the studio isn’t far from the house.
After becoming a lawyer McKay got back to teaching belly dancing and hula hooping at other locations.
Andrea McKay worked for a studio in Los Angeles in her 20s where she draws her inspiration. She said there doesn’t seem to be anything like this in northern Connecticut, so it’s about time a studio for hula hooping and belly dancing, among other things, opened for people who are interested. (Douglas Hook / Hartford Courant) (Douglas Hook)
Anna Rzecinski of Suffield took both styles from McKay and will join the new studio for hula hooping — her favorite.
”As a teacher, she’s great,” Rzecinski said of McKay, noting she knows lots of hula hoop tricks. “She’s very friendly, and she’s funny too.”
McKay, a certified hula-hooping instructor, said it’s a low-impact fitness routine that’s not hard on joints. She said most people think of hula hooping as being at the waist but there are at least 150 moves in addition to that and varieties within those.
”You can hoop on any part of your body,” McKay said.
Student Sara Kleinman said she and her best friend signed up for a belly dancing class with McKay so they could meet up and move their bodies.
”We both really enjoyed it. We met our goals and had a blast,” she said. “Andrea is a fun, knowledgeable, patient and such a creative teacher.”
Copyright © 2022, Hartford Courant
Copyright © 2022, Hartford Courant


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