Can you be a Pilates AND Dance Fitness instructor at the same time? I don’t think that these skill sets are not mutually exclusive. You CAN! You have permission (you always had permission). My years of professional dancing led me to Zumba in 2011. Dance fitness led me back to Pilates. Full circle. Is there space to envision how the narrative can be shifted for being “just” a Pilates instructor? Isn’t being a Pilates instructor enough?
We know that Pilates is deeply rooted in understanding the intricacies of the body, so by definition, you are already a rockstar. Are there movement practices you LOVE in addition to Pilates that you can add to your skillset? If you are putting limitations on re-imagining yourself as a mover, whose opinion are you basing that on?
Don’t count yourself out of ANYTHING! I know that everyone doesn’t come from a dance background. Still, dance was my entry point to my career as a movement professional. Dance and movement help me connect to my creativity. By doing more than one thing, you may increase the reach of people you can help. Are you considering breaking out of one modality? Here’s my story.
Alright, so going back to my journey as a dance fitness teacher. I started to dance when I came out of the womb five decades ago. I stepped into a local gym and stumbled upon a mediocre dance fitness class. It was that day I said to myself, “I’m going to become an instructor.” My way into the business of moving bodies was Zumba fitness. I was lovingly called “The Zumba Lady” around town, and I felt boxed in the dance category. I never felt bad about being the dance lady at local studios; however, I was dared to step outside the dance box by my gym job. My gym family lovingly taunted me that I couldn’t do anything “hardcore” (excuse me, dance is HARD! I digress). The gauntlet was thrown DOWN!
I started collecting fitness certifications and specialties like crazy. I became a personal trainer and put that certification knowledge into practice. All of a sudden, I was not just a dancer. Fast forward to earning my comprehensive Pilates training and incorporating all of the things in my movement toolbelt; dance, fitness specialties (Group Fitness, Corrective Exercise, Senior Fitness), and Yoga.
I am a huge fan of self-care, cross-training, and exploration. Self-care doesn’t have to look like a spa day with a cucumber mint drink; self-care can look like a thumping cardio dance class. Your “new thing” may turn into a hobby or a specialization. I also love lifting weights and mixed martial arts (MMA) as cross-training options to complement Pilates. Cross-training for me is important because staying in one mode can result in overtraining. Training differently gives you an experience of strength, stability, mobility, and recovery. There are also many opportunities to earn continuing education credits that can help you get or hone skills. Let’s say you want to learn more about suspension trainers. Take a certification course.
Explore how you can incorporate these new ideas to break you out of the box. The possibilities are endless to put an “AND” on your Pilates resume! I’m looking forward to moving in ALL ways because “The Zumba Lady” just danced AND taught reformer classes at MomentumFest 2021.