7 Steps of Teaching a Kick Ass Fitness Class

According to me, fitness is a cure-all to life. No other place requires you put yourself first in order to succeed. Add music and the tension of life disappears. Incorporate the bonus of dancing and you have officially entered haven! This literally was my way of life while living in Miami & when I got to Vegas, I couldn’t deal with the idea of living without. But when I got the opportunity to teach, I was freakin out on the inside, and that ain’t cool.Life is full of lessons and here are the ones I learned to master my classes.e, fitness is a cure-all to life. No other place requires you put yourself first in order to succeed. Add music and the tension of life disappears. Incorporate the bonus of dancing and you have officially entered haven! This literally was my way of life while living in Miami & when I got to Vegas, I couldn’t deal with the idea of living without. But when I got the opportunity to teach, I was freakin out on the inside, and that ain’t cool.Life is full of lessons and here are the ones I learned to master my classes.

1) Breathe fitness blog 2

So your teaching your 1st class. You’ve practiced your routine 20 times a day, you know your moves and your pumped! Your clients enter the studio, line up & they’re staring at you.Meanwhile,you’re frozen thinking, what did I get myself into? Breathe. Deep breath in through your nose, out through your mouth. I promise you’ll instantly calm you. Say kind things to yourself and remember you are serving a huge purpose. You got this!

2) Know Ur Ish Fitness blog 3

To know is to understand. Most of what I teach, I learned through countless YouTube videos. The videos I saw didn’t explain the movement, they just moved. I remembered what it took for me to understand that move and explain it that way to my clients. Rule of thumb: If it was a light bulb moment for you, it will be that for others too.

3) Music fitness blog 8

So your at the club and the DJ is playin ALLL of your faves then he plays that one joint and instantly your feet hurt, you need a drink or you wanna leave.No, you didn’t instantly get tired, thirsty or partied out. Music has power! All dope things in life have a soundtrack. Here’s the process I use when I create mine.

 a. find a song that makes me feel something.

I need to feel the song at least emotionally & physically. Every once in a while, it touches my spirit. Listen to the beat, hear the lyrics and respond to the message. Booties jump like basketballs in my classes when we do the “Flawless” routine by Beyonce. Glutes have a mind of their own when Wale’s “MFS” is blaring & baayybeee, we gets it in when Soulja Boy’s “Donk” is played. It’s the perfect atmosphere to embrace & release your alter-ego and go INNN!

b. Play it in the car

If I hear the song in the car and I fall deeper in love with the track, oh it’s a keeper Pal! The acoustics in the car are like no other, in my modest opinion. If u liked it out, loved it in the car then your students will love it in class. Promise.

c. Make a routine to it

Most times, I do b & c at the same time. I admit to bein the crazy lookin woman driving in the car, smiling from ear to ear, singing her lil heart out and dancing like no one is watching. You may ask why, but I’m asking why not? That’s why the artist created the song so make it do what it does!

4) Organized Playlist fitness blog 4

Having the songs arranged in a playlist the way you want it to flow in class is a BIG DEAL! This keeps everyone in the groove, keeps the momentum and heart rate up and creates a flow. Now, I’m guilty of breaking my own rules. My playlist is massive so each class is taught according to my mood. I tested this theory out in 1 of my classes and I got the best response, both verbally and physically, from my clients. Everyone likes to be in the flow.

5) Move Around fitness blog 5

Instructing fitness classes doesn’t have to feel like your teaching an academic class. Standing in front is ideal to introduce movements, but when it’s time to get into it, move around! Stand next to different people. Hang out in the back. This encourages people to pay attention to themselves as opposed to comparing themselves to you. It also creates an unspoken understanding that we are all on the same journey & keeps things fun and light.

6) Be Yourself fitness blog 6

Fitness has the reputation of being super serious and redundant. I focus on revealing the fun side & I’d suggest this to anyone asking. I’m silly. I LOVE what I do and I appreciate my clients for giving me their time. I joke. I’m silly. I make up my own words & phrases. I have my serious PSAs but I smile while I’m giving them b/c I love my clients. Let your clients meet you and enjoy your company. You just may be the only 1 that smiled with them all day.

7) Be Encouraging & Express Gratitude fitness blog 7

Twerk Fitness can be an intimidating format both to teach and to learn. I remind my clients I didn’t create these moves! This opens their minds to learn & not feel intimidated. Say what you wish someone would’ve said to you. Teach the way you learn. Inspire them by constantly advocating for the simplicity of your specific technique. Gratitude is contagious, so don’t only encourage it with others but require it of yourself. I used to bully myself mentally & now in times of distress, I talk to myself like a 2 yr old w/love, compassion and encouragement. Thank your clients for their time before and after class and congratulate them on their progress as often as you see fit.

Follow these tips to instruct a killer fitness class on all levels and let me know how it went. Don’t skim on the details people. Until next time.

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Angela Marie… Who is She!?!

iHeart Vegas, Summer 2014

So hi! I’m Angela Marie and I’m the co-hostess of Needle On The Record (a blog talk radio show) and the Creator and Instructor of Twerk Out Work Out and Twerk N Tone Inc. (Twerk fitness classes in Vegas). I’m also a mommy of 5 beautiful children and long time girlfriend to my Luvah-Man. I’m a Native Chicagoan, but now live in Vegas. I lived in Miami for a few years as well.

My mother, Angela Thomas is the creator of Needle on the Record, which is a radio show focused on all things music, music events, pop culture and reality TV. My mom has worked in the music business for 20+ years & although I can’t sing a lick, I do have a deep appreciation for music and an opinion. My mom has always flirted with the idea of starting a show and when I moved back to Vegas, I encouraged her to move forth with the idea and volunteered to work with her to make that happen. My blog is my truthful place, so I won’t lie and say that it always easy, fun or rewarding to work with your mom, but it has allowed me to be closer with her. Our personalities are SOOO similar so we have had some EPIC fights but, we’ve also made some epic achievements (like covering iHeart this Summer, Soul Train Awards 3 yrs in a row, Steve Harvey Awards 4 yrs in a row, Tamar Love and War Tour, Marsha Ambrosius Friends and Lovers Tour, to name a few)! The best part is being an active part of watching my mom’s dreams come true!

Now, I went over the reason for the season of why I created Twerk Out Work Out (TOWO) in the blog called “Why Twerking”. I would have to say I created TOWO because I felt like I was introduced to another part of myself when I learned the twerk dances in Miami. I was going through A LOT (I honestly, don’t know if I’ll ever be able to share the details of that part of my life) and twerking/fitness literally saved me from myself. I teach it to others for a number of reasons. 1) So people can learn 2) To lead people to better, healthier lives  3)To help myself 4) Keep in shape 5) To stay in tune with the part of me that ONLY comes out when I dance. I have helped hundreds of people in the Las Vegas area, and a few people in other parts of the country via my classes or my videos. A number of my clients have told me that working with me has gotten them off meds, as they had Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, obesity and that is worth all the treasure in the world to me. THAT is why I do it!

I’m a certified Paralegal and I have a degree in Psychology. I got certified in Paralegal studies (with special training in Tort and Contract Law) in an effort to please my family and search for a lucrative career. I’d just had my daughter (about a year prior) and I felt like I was under-accomplished. I found 1 job as an independent contractor doing property research, which had NOTHING to do with my training. It was a fun job though, lol. Fast forward about 4 yrs, while living in Miami, I decided to go back to school. I majored in Psychology because I’ve ALWAYS been in awe of people. The crazy part is, this was my major 10 yrs prior when I started college. In spite of me changing my major over 1/2 dozen times (due to my own confusion and my attempt to please everyone else) I ended up finishing in what I genuinely love.

I have Endometriosis, which is a female condition where your reproductive system basically attacks itself by producing a mass of built up scar tissue over the reproductive organs (in a nut shell). I’ve had it since I was 12, always told I’d never have a child and at 23, I birthed my baby girl and 26 I birthed my son. They are 6 days apart, Virgos and the left and right side of my heart. I have a boyfriend who has 3 children of his own and together, we’ve created a blended family.

I’m a hard working, loving, silly, playful, passionate, serious, relaxed uptight Gemini, Chicagoan Woman. My words often contradicts themselves, but my reasoning explains it all. I’ve been known to be quite the optimist, which I’m quite proud of. I have kept a journal from 3rd grade through High School and sporadically in life post school. My blog will be an open journal, if you will. Journaling has allowed me to know myself and love myself better than anyone else could. For the 1st time in my life, I’m ready to share my private thoughts in exchange for nothing more than your individual insight.

Word Press has confused the heck outta me for quite some time and now I feel like I’m ready to learn. Fell free to give me tips and tricks. I need all that can be spared. I broke my G2 in August, which I think was God’s aggressive way of getting me to pay attention to the here and now. I’ve since broke 2 more phones, so I’m on cell phone time-out currently. Blogs about these experiences coming soon.

Ok, welp, that’s a broad stroke view of lil ol me. I can’t wait to meet the people my stories reach and I’m oh so excited about you all meeting me!

Signing Off,

The tall, slim thick, black woman who’s simply complicated

BKA Angela Marie