Port Lincoln dancer Nellie completed her Aleenta Training in Barre in 2019. Here's her story...
1. Tell us about yourself!
My name is Nellie, I’ve recently relocated to Melbourne from small-town, regional SA to pursue studies in contemporary dance. Originally from Port Lincoln, SA… it was a big deal to see a yoga & barre studio open up in my hometown, I was mostly excited about the barre classes and fell in love from the first class. Having a background in dance growing up, I really enjoyed the balletic elements and thought it would accompany my training well. My teacher, seeing I particularly enjoyed the classes, as I regularly started attending, suggested I should look into doing my Barre Instructor Training in Adelaide with Aleenta.
2. Why did you decide to do your Instructor Training?
I had a strong passion for dancing and ballet from a young age and had developed a passion for fitness as I started to take dancing a little more seriously and realised it is what I wanted to pursue my studies in. I loved the idea of barre for the way it was inclusive and allowed not just dancers but everyone to join in and it was a fun environment that barely even felt like exercising, but still gave the deep burn and muscle soreness the next day to wake you up and feel like you’ve worked hard. It was exciting for me to realise that I could actually work in the fitness industry, as I was only 16 at the time, and this would then become my first job. I adored hosting classes a few times a week at Solfit Yoga & Barre Port Lincoln as it was such a beautiful environment to be in growing up and provided me with skills I still use today.
3. How do you use your certification now?
My certificate with Aleenta definitely kickstarted a craving and a passion for teaching fitness and allowed me to expand my knowledge. I then went on to study a cert IV in Matwork & Reformer Pilates with Breathe Education which has been life changing dipping into the pilates world. The certificate with Aleenta has kept my passion for movement ignited and I am now studying Dance teaching and management, as well as Contemporary Elite Performance with Transit Dance in Melbourne in 2022. Although I am not currently teaching with a studio here in Melbourne I am definitely exploring options. One of my fave studios so far being Aleenta's recently reopened reformer studio in the CBD!
4. What was the number 1 thing you learnt during the course that you still use to this day?
A massive takeaway from the course was developing my confidence, as I was so young… this training definitely contributed to social skills and networking with new people that influenced and shaped me into the person I am today. And a lot of inspiring people I have met along my journey that I still look up to.
Little things like delivering class cues that took so much courage to do in early classes after my training that now roll out so naturally is an example of something that carried into my everyday life.
5. What did you think you would struggle with most after the course, and do you still struggle with this?
I thought I would struggle with remembering class plans and all the information that needed to be delivered in class… which admittedly I did struggle with at first. I remember always having my safety notebook by my side with every little detail and cue written down just in case I forgot something or came unstuck! But once again, it now comes so naturally with repetition and the more you learn about the body from even just watching clients move, the more natural it becomes to deliver the class and provide as much detail to make your clients time worthwhile. I now often find myself on passionate tangents about the body while everyone's waiting for me to count down those darn pulses!
6. How has your perspective changed now that you’ve completed training
My knowledge I’ve gained now has definitely allowed my perspective to change, as I have a deeper understanding of the mechanics of the body and what the target area of barre is! I now have a lot more bodily awareness in everyday life and know exactly what my body needs just by listening in. Barre also transitions into my dance training and has been the most incredible tool alongside full-time training to lengthen and strengthen my body in preparation.
7. How have you navigated the COVID-19 pandemic as an Instructor? Did the course give you any tools you were able to use teaching during a pandemic?
I was lucky enough to not be too affected by the pandemic right in the height of it being tucked away in regional SA with a lack of lockdowns. But, the repercussions of COVID are definitely presenting themselves now, 2 years down the track.
Working with Solfit Yoga & Barre
, plus LAPLAYA Pilates
, both of which are small businesses… it has definitely taken a toll with limited class density and less people attending classes. Which is exactly why we need to support small businesses, as the pandemic has caused pressure, and as we come out of restrictions, why not try something to feel good & new! :)
More positively, I think COVID-19 was a great opportunity for most businesses to orientate establishing themselves online using platforms such as zoom, etc… just about every business has adapted to modern times and tried something digital and new, which proves just how resilient we are.
8. Any advice for new instructors taking or thinking of taking our course?
Have the best time ever during your study, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get every single little detail right! Soaking up information at your pace and allowing yourself to have fun and make mistakes Is something I’ve recently taken to and I find myself gaining so much more knowledge in the meantime! I also suggest having fun with being creative and really going through trial and error to see your potential with your classes, trying new stuff on the fly and asking your clients what they’re up for/feeling and receiving feedback on what they enjoy/don’t to help you grow! Nothing is holding you back, there are endless possibilities within your movement :)