From Dancer to Fitness Instructor

Hello, welcome to the first instalment of our weekly blog for East Street Fitness. I’m Allix the Head Trainer here at ESF so I thought I’d dedicate our first post to introducing myself. 

Hi, I’m Allix. I’m 21 and I grew up in Lincoln. Being active has always been a large part of my childhood, some of my earliest memories being of my dad going out cycling and running a lot and my parents taking me dancing multiple times a week. I started dancing at age 4, my mum hoping it would be a way for me to burn off energy as a child and I found it an incredible creative outlet. At that age dance was never about ‘a perfect body’ for me (as it never should be), it was about having fun, being sociable and making new friends. This mindset is a beautiful representation of a child’s attitude towards tasks and something I attempt to maintain throughout adulthood and bring into my classes. 

Enjoy this little nugget of me age 5 in my clashy orange and purple show costume!

With the looming pressures of growing up and deciding a career path I planned my A-Levels 50/50 between dance and musical theatre and two sciences (my second career option had always been to become a vet). Very much to my chemistry teachers frustration, my creative topics always took priority which served me well in the end as I landed an unconditional offer to study Contemporary Dance at De Montfort University in Leicester, and I never looked back. 

The start of my degree also happened to become the start of my fitness journey, working out was a must while studying dance in order to keep up with the immense physical demands of dancing every day. I found myself attending the gym for the first time with my flatmate and fellow dancer, Abi. 

It was definitely a nerve wracking first session in the gym, I had always been very nervous of the atmosphere and was overwhelmed by the fact that I had no idea what I was doing. Abi took me through a lot of the basics and trained me up for a few months. The results I was getting were incredible and I found myself falling in love with the gym as a way to de-stress from my degree. These sessions provided me with incredible strength and fitness benefits and supported my progress in my dance training. 

February 2018 – Attending the gym with a friend in First Year of University. The very start of my traditional weightlifting education.

Second year of university I really found my stride with weightlifting, I felt confident in my knowledge of the gym and even introduced a few other friends to the method of training I used. I found introducing new friends to the gym very rewarding and even had a few people mention to me that I taught very well. At the time this wasn’t even on my radar but was something that swayed my decision to become a fitness instructor when considering it later on down the line. In that moment I just enjoyed passing on the knowledge, having an accountability partner and someone to bounce off while we trained. 

As my degree became harder, and I busier, fitness classes became a huge saviour for me. Committing 45 minutes of my time to a qualified professional with a class plan allowed me to switch off my mind while still achieving the benefits of a workout. I found solace in yoga classes, and experienced a reduction in anxiety level but also loved the physical and mental challenge of some of the harder poses. It was while taking these classes that I thought about how I liked the idea of teaching fitness classes. 

I’d successfully completed my degree in 2020 and found myself in lockdown with no options to pursue a career in dance for the foreseeable. Theatres were closed, studios were a no go and dancing in my tiny kitchen definitely didn’t appeal to me. Once again yoga classes (online of course) allowed me to control my anxieties around the situation and became a massive passion of mine. At the time I had a retail job and once I was able to return to work I shared my thoughts with a colleague of mine that I always loved the idea of leading fitness classes. I’d considered it a pipe dream and shared how fun I thought it would be as a way to entertain myself through a particularly long shift. My work friend challenged me and simply said ‘well why not?’ I wanted to fight back with excuses as to why I shouldn’t, I think from a place of fear of making a large life change but as the weeks went on I thought about it more and more and decided to seek out a qualification. 

October 2020 I started my personal training course with Origym, squeezing in learning around my full time retail job, taking workshops in Birmingham on weekends, cramming in vital information in every spare second I had and practicing my skills on my friends. It was here I finally felt an incredible enthusiasm, the same enthusiasm I had always identified and admired in my own teachers growing up. I FLIPPING LOVED IT! Leading someone through tasks I knew we’re going to be of benefit to their lives fulfilled me more than I could have anticipated. 

Here’s a shot of a dance performance I did in Second Year of University – Modified, 2019 (I am pictured on the right).

I successfully passed all my exams first time and got in touch with Billy, the owner of East Street Fitness. He had just built the fitness studio and was looking for trainers to teach a couple of classes. I trialed a couple of classes to my friends and had a blast, before I knew it I’d landed myself a full time job here as Head Trainer teaching multiple classes a day. I found my trial classes incredibly rewarding, knowing I was having a positive effect on the lives of the people attending my classes. I found the buzz of leading classes identical the buzz I used to feel when performing in dance, and how incredible it is to be paid to have that much fun. 

A common theme I’ve identified throughout all aspects of dance and fitness has been enthusiasm. I grew up with enthusiastic dance teachers who always ensured I left the classes having had fun, Abi who’s passion allowed me to also experience the joys of weightlifting, and lecturers in University who always had crazy ways to deliver new and innovative classes. These were the ones who make you laugh, who inspire you with their depth of knowledge and their amazing ability to make each mundane task seem like the most exciting thing in the world. You cant help but find yourself naturally drawn to these people and this is something I am very keen to capture and bring to my own fitness classes. I want this studio to be a place for people to attend and feel confident that they will leave having enjoyed themselves, met like minded people and been pushed to be the best version of themselves that day. 

My goal is for enjoyment to be the main take away, and as a result of attending these classes the fitness will come! This kept me coming back to dance classes as a child and as we get older why should that stop? Hobbies are something that get abandoned as we progress into adulthood but why should they? Short term enjoyment with the long term addition of becoming fitter, healthier and growing within a group of likeminded people, its a win win situation!!! 

I hope this provided you with an insight into how I ended up with a job within the fitness industry, and a bit more of a background about me. Tune in next week for more content from me, where I will detail: the company ethos, things I aim to bring to ESF, an insight into how everything we do here is directly tailored to the customer experience and to make you feel cared for and looked after while under our roof. 

Thank you for your time whilst reading my first blog post and I hope to see your beautiful faces in our gym soon! 

Allix 🙂