by Sydney Dale
Ever look back to see how you got where you are now? I spent 15 years as a dancer - I took classes in Los Angeles and competed on a national level. I loved it, and as I left that world and entered college, I knew I wanted movement to continue to be a part of my life… but I had no idea what that would look like. I had spent all those years in a dance studio, but I quickly realized that I didn’t know much about ‘working out’ in a proper gym setting. I decided group exercise classes were a great place to start for the variety, camaraderie, and relatively low intimidation factor. Within months, I had fallen in love with all things fitness, changed my major to exercise science, and decided to become a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer.
It was such a natural path – from dance to fitness.
The first group fitness format I became certified to teach was Mat Pilates. I was surprised to find that Dance and Pilates share many of the same movements and principles. On my college campus I interacted with plenty of folks who were spending a ton of time at the computer, diligently exercising their brain power. They often highly stressed and not really moving much else. I used my experience with Pilates to help clients, both students and faculty/staff, see that movement is not always about lifting super heavy weights or running on the treadmill.
I became passionate about helping people find efficient and effective movement where mind & body work together, creating the foundations for all other exercise and assisting with everyday activities.
I’ve since graduated with my Masters in Exercise Physiology from Virginia Commonwealth University, where I was a graduate assistant at the Recreation Center. Now as a full-time professional, I teach college students the skills and tools necessary to become successful personal trainers and group exercise instructors. I love seeing my students feel the same way I did when I first started to teach classes and clients: empowered through health & fitness coaching and education.
I’ve been with Niche for almost 10 months, and I’ve enjoyed being able to further my skills with an incredible team that shares my fitness passions. I’ve recently started teaching our newest format on the schedule, Sculpt + Core, which combines classical Pilates exercises with more dynamic and fun full-body movement. The class is fast paced, and perfect for any level.
I love teaching Sculpt + Core because it’s so different from other workouts. Many current fitness classes are driven by more is better, faster equals stronger, and unless you're feeling completely exhausted after a workout then no real work has been done. Sculpt + Core is super intentional and focuses on finding strength in control and proper form. I have found that when structuring my own workouts like a Sculpt + Core class, my other favorite exercise modalities improve and benefit from it. I can run at a higher intensity for a longer period of time, my core is more supported when I'm lifting heavy weights, and even my yoga practice feels stronger.
I can't wait to see you in a future class, Niche fam! Happy moving, breathing, and being!