Advice on Transitioning from Dancer to Trainer: Spotlight on Katie Dettling

Thank you Rachel Neville for the amazing blog feature! Rachel shot us for our new website and does exceptional work. Read here for thoughts on dancer to trainer to marketing…plus what to look for in a great trainer or photographer!

Rachel Neville Photography

We recently had the pleasure of working with Katie and Grant Dettling, co-founders of Fit-Arts, a Pilates and wellness studio on the Upper West Side.  In addition to being a successful entrepreneur in the health and fitness field, Katie and her husband Grant, are former dancers.

Katie spoke with us about navigating the dancer to trainer transition and the resources she used to cultivate a successful career after dance.  She also told us about the lessons she brings from dance into the world of fitness and entrepreneurship, and what it was like working with Rachel Neville Photography to create fitness marketing images for her company and its new website: fit-arts.com.

1. What lessons from your dance career did you use to transition to a successful fitness training career?

A long career in dance instills qualities like discipline, work ethic, adaptability, strong multi-tasking capabilities and more that we have used to transition. But beyond…

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No More Mediocre: 5 steps to Heretics & Movements

 

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Greetings WordPress after a long absence! Apologies again but with good reason. My last post referenced a new job/experiment in Arts Management. Let’s just say, what a wonderful experience but blogging wasn’t the only thing I lost while on the job. Sleep, healthy eating, exercise, relationships, inspiration and a few other things went by the wayside. And for what? Not for anyone’s pay and not for anyone’s glory, that’s for sure. This is how our world runs, too much for too little, and it is NO WAY TO LIVE. Are you with me? Read to the bottom…

Non-profit management is no joke. Not glamorous, thankful nor fulfilling. It feels like a lost battle. As much as I LOVE the arts, I can’t do it. I just can’t. Not like that. Without inspiring leaders, relevant product, healthy upward mobility for artists, where is it going? So god bless the developers and managers out there. We desperately need you. I will keep supporting the arts in new ways. But it is TOO hard to make the changes necessary within the old systems. Time for new ones. Anyone else? 

Maybe I’m a Leader after all, as opposed to just a Manager. “Leadership is about creating change you believe in,” Seth Gordon says in his book Tribes, “Heretics are the new leaders, the ones who challenge the status quo, the ones who create movements.” I believe in movement, I believe in health, I believe in helping people be the best they can be. Every time we do that, we’re improving the world. That’s what I felt I was doing when I was on stage as a dancer. And I feel I can do that through moving others.

So, after producing three full length productions alongside my husband for the dance company, we decided enough is enough. Studying in college, pilates, barre and still performing alongside the management job, something had to give. It wasn’t going to be my health, marriage or passion. Certainly not my independence. So what then? The job and the stage had to go. Risky… yes. Smart…I hope so.

Turning attention full time to fitness instructor training, I was able to pass full certification as a Stott Pilates and Total Barre instructor (amongst other things) in the top 96%. I geeked out and gained other specialties (like Women’s Health) plus my husband became a Barre Specialist (he’s in even better shape than while dancing). Et Voila: We’re in love. With changing lives.

I mean if you have the choice for a healthier and happier life, take the leap. And if you don’t agree with the way things are done, do them differently. In a leap of faith, we have started our own business: Fit-Arts. And how are we doing it differently? We’re starting in our apartment. We’re supportive and flexible. We inspire. In a beautiful dedicated space on the Upper West Side, we’re giving individualized exercise based on an artistic aesthetic. Bringing the arts viscerally into people’s lives by giving them the joy of movement and breath.

So here’s to creating movements. “Life’s too short to be mediocre. Defending mediocrity is exhausting. Destroy the status quo and thrive,” Seth Gordon from Tribes again. (I highly recommend this book for anyone who rejects mediocre on principle and knows there is more to life.)

Do you get enough sleep? Do you feel good about yourself, moving your body? Do you have the quality time with family and friends that makes life worth living? Are you inspired by the presence of anything more than ordinary in your life? My guess is no. Because most of my clients say no. Well there is more. Let’s change that. 

SO WHO IS WITH ME?? I want you to do 5 simple things. Right now. 

  1. Hit snooze and take Friday off.
  2. No refined sugar for 30 days (we’re on Day 1, so come for the ride on Instagram)
  3. Work out more than you thought you could (feel free to comment here for tips).
  4. See a live performance or artsy movie you would never normally seek out (comment for recommendations).
  5. Follow and share us on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and our WEBSITE.  We’re not sure exactly where this movement is going, so we want to HEAR YOUR progress, fitness, wellness, life changing ideas. Tag @fitartslife and #wermore in comments.

In any of these ways we will say no to mediocre and live the Fit-Arts Life…Test the limits of your capacity and you will be surprised at just what you can do. Why not now? What are you waiting for? And you won’t believe how productive you become. Seriously.

 

New Job: Worthy WordPress Arts Project

Greetings Friends,

Happy Spring! First, I must apologize for disappearing from the blogging world these past few months. The reason however, is exciting!! My husband and I have accepted jobs as co-company managers of a small NYC based ballet company, Dances Patrelle (Reinventing Dramatic Dance at http://www.dancespatrelle.org). As we are looking to transition into arts management, this is a perfect opportunity for experience. However, as the only 2 full time employees of the company (besides the artistic director), this job is also no joke. A crash course in every subject you can possibly imagine (development, fundraising, book keeping, event planning, contract negotiations, rehearsal scheduling, and let’s not forget PEACE KEEPING), it is equally rewarding and frustrating. Ah the yin and yang. Fortunately, a career in dance pretty well prepares a person for juggling 10 hats, but we’ll see how this turns out.

On that note, I’ve designed this video for :

Our Upcoming 25th Anniversary Revival of Romeo & Juliet! Talk about inspiration… set to the unparalleled Prokofiev score, this production joins elite artists and gifted students on a unique journey in the spirit of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday (the great master of words himself). This footage is from a dP performance in 1993.

To see more about the production, and fun perks for supporters, click the link below! dP is a wonderful company with an amazing director/choreographer who actually cares about his artists. But we need support! EVERY CLICK, SHARE, and $25 DONATION HELPS OUR CAUSE, BLOGGERS UNITE AND SHARE OUR SITE TO SUPPORT THIS ARTS PROJECT!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dances-patrelle-s-romeo-juliet-a-dazzling-25th-anniversary-presentation/x/6620082

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Olympic Fit: Transcendent Activity

Olympic Fit: Transcendent Activity

42 Hours Into My Teacher Training: Stott Essential series down and now we’re into the fun stuff!! Functional, dynamic stability through a synthesis of challenge, coordination, length, and movement with breath. Killer work out without even realizing it. Sounds nice right? YES! And more than that:
“Contrology [Pilates] is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.”
-Joseph Pilates

As any master of dance, sport or fitness knows: physical activity can be a gateway to transcendence. Often called the “zone” or attributed to endorphins, this is another miracle of being human. Believe it and get out there and move your soul!!

Check out how Olympic skier Julia Mancuso uses pilates to train:
http://online.wsj.com/news/article_email/SB10001424052702303519404579353183148488164-lMyQjAxMTA0MDAwNzEwNDcyWj

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The Fantastic Fight

What is the toughest part of being a dancer? I was struck by this answer from Evgenia Obraztsova of the Bolshoi Ballet:

“Denying yourself things and trying to achieve your goals no matter what. Ballet is not just hard work, it’s unusually hard work, and a lot of talented ballerinas fail because they can’t face the hardship that comes their way. Sometimes everything goes against you, and you still have to keep fighting.”

Isn’t that true of life? And what do you have to keep fighting for? That’s one of the many gifts of the arts…
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here is Evgenia in a pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet. There are hundreds of versions of this ballet, and somehow I never get tired of watching them. Prokofiev’s music says it all.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
Mother Teresa

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Energy: Lightly Visualized

Happy New Year!! Check out this sensational video by the Japanese group “Enra”:

“Being imprisoned within us, this sweetness and harmony struggle to get out and can only issue forth as beautiful patterns of movement…”
Domenico da Piacenza, one of the most influential Renaissance dancing masters, wrote this exquisite phrase in his treatise “On the Art of Dancing and Conducting Dances” in 1490. I am not generally a fan of multi-media dance projects, as they are often overly complicated, ill-timed, and leave the viewer asking, where was the dance? However, this one is a stunning visualization of Domenico’s words. It is the first time I have seen a visual representation of what a dancer feels when they are dancing: the center and flood of energy that a dancer manipulates through movement, subsequently sharing with other performers and the audience….what a beautiful thing to behold.
Enjoy!

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The Three Magi: Follow The Star Within

The Three Magi: Follow The Star Within

Inspired by the magic of softly fallen snowflakes today, I would like to wish a peaceful, joyous, and reflective holiday to all! Whatever that means to you, the goal is who you are, not where you go: Follow the star within this Chistmas…

From one of my favorite old school Christmas albums:
The New Troubadours
Festival of Light (Words by David Spangler; Music by Milenko Matanovic)

“This is the festival, the festival of Light,
Sing for the candles burning brightly in our hearts.
Sing for the light of love that guides our destiny.
Sing for the light of life that builds community.

Sing for the wise ones, men and women who
Light up our way with visions that are true.
Sing for the children who are candles of the dawn,
Giving us the promise that our light will carry on.

This is the festival, the festival of Light.
Sing for the love that shall make this world ignite,
Aflame with a beauty that awaits in every heart.
Sing for the will that can make that fire start!

Follow the Light that leads within us to the birth
Of love and harmony and peace for all upon the earth.

We are the festival, we are the Light,
We are the candles burning brightly in the night.”

I can’t lie, also to be enthusiastically celebrated via wine, turkey, potatoes, and Grandma’s cookies for sure:)

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