Next in our SPOTLIGHT series is the gorgeous, talented, and infinitely generous Danielle!
I first met Danielle in ballet class at STEPS where her long legs were the envy of everyone in the class and her cheery hard working personality inspired all! Though she hadn’t chosen teaching as her profession at the time, she was already working as a teacher at the “School at Steps.” She asked me to be her teaching assistant for a class of three year olds. This task seemed incredibly daunting to me, but I was soo gobsmacked by how Danielle made ballet fun and appropriately challenging each of her students, from the one who would rather be coloring outside to the one who would be future prima ballerina. They were truly lucky students. (Her students today continue to be lucky students!)
She also has a super power that I can only dream of – she is a FABULOUS TAPPER! (I am quite possibly the world’s most horrendous tapper. I have virtually zero sense of rhythm, I’m a ballerina so my feet always want to point and be above my head instead of relaxed and tapping near the ground, and to make matters worse, I’m actually allergic to the metal the taps are made out! Now if that isn’t a sign!) At any rate, Ms. Danielle generously offered to help me learn to tap, and I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for the patience and humor she brought to each of our sessions. Knowing my unwavering love of THE LITTLE MERMAID, she would even bring in arrangements of UNDER THE SEA knowing that if any song was gonna get me tapping, that was it!
THE BEST NEWS OF ALL is that YOU TOO can take class with Ms. Danielle! She teaches both Zumba (at Steps Wed. at 8 p.m. and Ballet Hispanico Thursday at 7 p.m.) and Pilates (at Pilates on Fifth!)
The Zumba® program fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away. Our goal is simple: We want you to want to work out, to love working out, to get hooked. Zumba® Fanatics achieve long-term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in one exciting hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life!
***(M4M note – Zumba is a FABULOUS way to get into dance, even if you have never danced a day in your life! We will hopefully be doing a Zumba special in the future featuring Danielle!)
I NOW WITHOUT FURTHER ADO – I INTRODUCE YOU DANIELLE!
What is your pursued career? (Singer, dancer, actor, lawyer?)
I refer to myself as a “Movement Educator”. I primarily teach dance to kids, but I am also a licensed ZUMBA Instructor and Certified to teach Pilates (Mat and Machines)
What are favorite forms of exercise and why?
I love to move so I try to mix it up regularly! I did a lot of Pilates before I started teaching it but I am trying to rekindle my love for it. I am currently loving Yoga and Gyrotonic. Of course, there’s also dance class- ballet, tap, jazz, modern….Since I started teaching Zumba I have no interest in Cardio equipment except the rebounder.
What are your favorite classes (in any form of fitness) in the city and what do you love about them?
Classes at Sonic Yoga
, especially those taught by Johanna Aldrich (she is AMAZING- you will think about your life in ways you might not usually- while you have your shoulder tucked under your elbow and your other knee by your ear-it’s everything yoga shoud be- contemplative, yet hot and sweaty, and flowing and a kick tush workout!) They also do 6 week beginner workshops regularly for people who have no yoga experience at all.
Barre Sculpt and Cardiolates at Pilates on Fifth– These classes take pilates ideas and meld them with ballet barre work and weights and the rebounder, respectively, and they are fun ways to mix up your routine.
ZUMBA (is it too self serving if I say taught by ME) I teach at Steps on Broadway and Ballet Hispanico, but you can find amazing classes all over! http://38595.zumba.com/ It’s FUN and it is a non monotonous way of doing cardio!
What do you do at home or on the road to stay in shape when you can’t get to a class or the gym?
The flexband is your best friend. It’s tiny and portable and makes doing mat work or just toning and stretching exercises more interesting on the road. I also like www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com
. Its a free service if you want to use it on your laptop, or you can pay to download workout videos to your mobile device. Katherine and Kimberly Corp lead a whole slew of awesome Pilates workouts to suit every need and level.
How do you approach a dance/movement audition and what advice would you have for non-dancers in a dance audition?
I don’t (audition) anymore, because I’m an amazing teacher and a mediocre auditioner. However, I had the most success at auditions when I was wearing something that I felt good about my body in. (Leotards, goodbye. Hello, Lululemon
tank and Skort). I also found that I performed best when I was really relaxed and didn’t get over invested in any specific call. If you put forth all of your energy when you take dance class, treating an audition “like class” in your head really helps. If you take class regularly and give it your all and take risks in class (It’s great to fall on your but in class), you have a stronger arsenal of things to help you in auditions.