This Is What Happens When a Ballerina & Football Player Collaborate

By Christina Najjar | July 15, 2019 | Lifestyle

What do you get when a former ballerina and football player merge their talents? The new it-workout of course. Punch Pedal House is a new sweat driven fitness concept in DUMBO that prides itself on being a dynamic fitness program that is results.

The founders are athletes by blood. Joey Foley is a former D1 Football player and Nada Vasa is a classically trained ballerina and fashion model. The two met through their love of cycling and created an amazing new concept together. PPH combines a HIIT spin class plus a boxing boot camp all under one roof.

The classes are a combination of HIIT indoor cycling classes and Boxing Boot Camp classes specially created with the ‘fitness junkie’ in mind. Punch Pedal House’s goal is to give their customer an uplifting and athletic approach to group fitness.

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You both have such interesting backgrounds, what brought you together to collaborate?
NADA VASA: Joey had just opened the studio to test out his business model and I wanted to learn the business to become an instructor and potentially open by own studio in Europe. A mutual friend had linked us together when I was in Paris for Fashion Week, two days back in NYC we met and never left each other’s side.

JOEY FOLEY: We are inseparable. A thirty-minute meeting ended up being nearly two years and now we have our first child on the way and will be celebrating our marriage in Paris with family and friend in the Spring of 2020.

Our backgrounds complement each other like no other. Nada has a design background and is very meticulous in business and technical form and I have experience in finance and real estate, which is great for the business side and a strong sports background, from training at Pitt in Track and Football to Rugby at Columbia, that serves as the foundation of the entire methodology behind Punch Pedal House. The company's principles and foundation are built on pure love and devotion.

How did your differing sport backgrounds help guide the birth of Punch Pedal House?
JF: I have been an athlete since I was able to crawl. From the Junior Olympics to USA team qualifying meets and Nada was the same with dance and ballet. Our business dynamic came together because of Nada, she pushed me to diversify classes since I was teaching 30 or more spin classes a week at one point.

NV: We built a really strong community and they continue to want to be challenged. Our focus is on body mechanics and technique, which comes from both our backgrounds. Joey was trained at Soulcycle, which is Rhythmic based riding. He took the idea and redid it completely.

JF: It is an athletic approach versus a dancing approach. It is a harder and more exciting class.

NV: I think the most significant aspect is we believe in our workout. Not many owner or instructors can say that they only do their group fitness classes and are happy with their results. Many cross train with other workouts. We don't need too. Joey swims to train for triathlons, but that is just before a race. Other than that aspect, we do nothing else unless we are invited to review a class or new studio.

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What's the most exciting part about starting a business?
NV: We loved the end result of the build-out of our design and construction we did. Joey built and designed the studio myself with a small team and I handled the design element of brand identity, using both our backgrounds again. There is so much, to be frank.

JF: Actually the most exciting is the simple fact we know we developed and built a fitness studio that comes second to none. There are so many options in NYC; they keep popping up everywhere and every day with some gimmick; however, we have people coming to Dumbo from the city. We just found out several people commute from Harlem and NJ to take our classes three to four times a week just to go back to work in midtown. It has become a common theme that people are opting to come to us to take classes and head back to the city. We are beyond grateful for the dedication of people. It is jaw-dropping.

Wait... actually the more we say this, we think the most exciting thing is we did it together and on our own with no backing. We are a true mom and pop shop that is 100 percent family owned and operated with no debt and competing with brands back by billion dollar companies like Related, Hollywood and millionaire investors and we continue to take market share from each one of them each day.

What are some of your favorite healthy NYC spots to fuel up after a workout?
NV: We lean on a gluten-free and vegetarian diet with Joey having animal protein a couple of nights a week, but we are slowly trying to go entirely vegetarian.

JF: When we do eat out, we go all out; there is no health restriction. We hit up Rubirosa, Shake Shake or Cecconi's.

What are you excited for the rest of the summer?
JF: We have our baby on the way. She is due the first week of August. It is the absolutely only thing that matters.



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