About Us

Active Living with Passion & Purpose

Vitality In Motion specializes in adaptive dance and adaptive yoga classes specifically designed for seniors. Our unique “artistic exercise” classes are adapted for older adults to do from a chair, wheelchair or standing. We customize our classes to best serve seniors in independent living, assisted living, memory care and adult day centers.

Our classes engage seniors in approachable, inclusive programming supported by research to help improve balance, gait, mobility, strength, posture and coordination. We’re passionate about meaningful movement to help inspire living each day with vitality.

Vanessa Woods

Vanessa is the owner and founder of Vitality In Motion and a former professional dancer with 24 years of classical training. Originally from New Jersey, Vanessa started dancing as a young child and trained at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase, Princeton Ballet, Miami City Ballet School and STEPS on Broadway in New York City. She has performed with ballet companies around the country including Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and Colorado Ballet. Vanessa moved to St. Louis in 2010 to dance with the Saint Louis Ballet performing soloist and principal roles for eight seasons. Vanessa was also on faculty with the Saint Louis Ballet School teaching ages 5 to 18, and has taught at numerous ballet schools across the country.

Vanessa started Vitality In Motion (originally Vitality Ballet) in 2012 with the collaboration of her mom (an Occupational Therapist and ballet fan). While in her performing career, Vanessa wanted to find a way to encourage adults of all ages to study dance as a way to improve overall health and wellness through more beautiful and intentional movement than traditional exercise. Starting with just a handful of participating facilities, today the program reaches thousands of adults every month and has received media attention and inquiries from around the country.

Vanessa is also an alumna of Washington University in St. Louis, a board member of the Missouri Dance Organization (MDO) and an ACE certified group fitness instructor who loves attending arts events throughout St. Louis while pursuing her new passion for salsa and bachata dancing.


Marie Wood

Marie Wood is Program Coordinator with Vitality in Motion. She started with Vitality as an intern and instructor and transitioned into her administrative role in 2022. She graduated from Lindenwood University with a BFA in Dance, and then received her MBA from William Woods University. Marie is a professional dancer in Branson, Missouri where she has performed in many productions including: Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Silver Dollar City, and Reza “Edge of Illusion. She also performed at the New Tap Choreography Showcase hosted by the American Tap Dance Foundation in New York City. In addition to her love for dance, Marie enjoys teaching dance to students of all ages. In her free time, Marie enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, Nick, and their families.

Meet Some Of Our Instructors