Check out behind-the-scenes video of the PHOENIX magazine photoshoot with Billie Jo Herberger, plus an extended Q&A and clips of the water aerobics trailblazer.
Why is supporting the arts important to you?
It’s been important to me since I was a little girl. I was born in Pasadena, and we had the Norton Simon Museum and the Pasadena Theater – and my mother would take me to the ballet in Los Angeles. I was exposed to art and the arts and I always had a huge appreciation for it. I love music. I love color. I love sculpture. I love it all and I’m not an artist, yet I am, because all of it resonates inside of me. I can’t live without any of it. I’m just a nut about art.
How did you get interested in Tai Chi?
I had a company in Japan for 12 years called Water Exercise Japan and while I was there – I didn’t live there, but I went there a lot – I was really inspired by the Asian culture. Even though Tai Chi is Chinese, I still saw people in Japan doing it in the parks, so I had a woman teach me her version of Tai Chi and then I created Billie Jo Tai Chi. I had a half-hour program that I did at Maine Chance with my clients. It was all fun.
Why did you start a traveling spa during the summer?
I started the “Spa Goes On” while Maine Chance was closed for four months, in the summer. I went to places like East Hampton, South Hampton, Indianapolis, all these places across the country where I had clients who fell in love with me (at Maine Chance) and they had huge mansions that could accommodate me, my masseuse, my facial girl and manicurist. I would hire a caterer or if they had a chef, I’d work with their chef and there would be eight women – the woman who had the house and seven women who were invited. It was a big coup to get invited. It was for one week and they would come every morning – and every day they’d have a massage, facial, water exercises and spa lunch. I’d be their teacher for all the exercises and they’d get this Billie Jo energy. I just had this gift that people wanted. I could book spas all summer long.
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