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.

 

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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Thoughts from the Barre (And Vineyard): Between

Thoughts from the Barre (And Vineyard): Between

Can you move forwards and backwards at the same time? This is where perfectly balanced movement and mind live, in between. Just like the grape vines, if they are not carefully placed and pruned for space, they will grow wild and unbalanced. Thus competing for the sun and not producing good fruit. Produce YOUR fruit in the space between!

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Umberto Boccioni (Italian, 1882–1916) Dynamism of a Soccer Player Dinamismo di un foot-baller (Dynamism of a soccer player)

Umberto Boccioni (Italian, 1882–1916)  Dynamism of a Soccer Player Dinamismo di un foot-baller (Dynamism of a soccer player)

Another Italian Futurist captures movement on canvas with a synergy of athleticism and art. Roughly 6′ by 6′, it is so worth a trip to MoMA to see in person if you have the opportunity. If not, here it is!

Related Thoughts From The Kinespirit Studio:
DYNAMIC STABILITY- ability to align pieces of the whole body, while maintaining and facilitating movement. Muscles that allow this are not the surface muscles, but the deep ones. The same thing can be said for the mind and soul…we tend to train from the outside in. But we could be so much more if our intentions and actions came from deep inside out!

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Thoughts from the Barre

Thoughts from the Barre

From ballet class at City Center this morning:
What is your definition of contained? Can you be CONTAINED without out being RESTRAINED (in movement or in life)?

Webster’s Dictionary says:
Contain, hold, accommodate mean to have or be capable of having within. Contain implies the actual presence of a specified substance or quantity within something. Hold implies the capacity of containing or the usual or permanent function of containing or keeping. Accommodate stresses holding without crowding or inconvenience.

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Power of the Human Form

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125 mph serves @ Arthur Ashe stadium. Watching a battle between finesse (Gasquet) and power (Ferrer). Which is more important? As a dancer, I used power when I was young and learned finesse when I was not so young…
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
Arthur Ashe