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.

 

Thoughts From The Barre: Pointes of Preparation

Thoughts From The Barre: Pointes of Preparation

Project back in the pointe shoes in full swing my friends – welcome to the workshop! This finicky foot wear is both a ballerinas best friend and worst enemy. You see, the right shoe can send you on stage as if you had angel’s wings and the wrong shoe makes every step drag through mud. So, as my New York Nutcracker D-Day is rapidly approaching, a frenzy of preparations have begun. For one never knows which pair will be the magic one. The one that fits your foot like a glove and feels just right when you stand on it. The one that lets you balance perfectly as you pirouette. And here we have my arsenal: 8 pairs of Freed of London pointe shoes in varying stages of readiness, otherwise known as $741 in cardboard and glue and 8 hours of sewing. Crazy right? Surely. But worth it in the end. Here’s to hoping there’s a diamond in this heap….

“All the dancer’s gestures are signs of things, and the dance called rational, because it aptly signifies and displays something over and above the pleasure of the senses.”
St. Augustine

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Dancing Skeletons: Modern Theater

Dancing Skeletons: Modern Theater

Arthur the Pilates skeleton is worn out from his amazing Halloween!

“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.”
George Bernard Shaw

I had the opportunity to attend a special Halloween performance of immersive theater experience “Sleep No More” last night in Chelsea. I have to admit I was originally skeptical, but this is the theater of the future! Three hours wandering through a warehouse turned into an abandoned hotel, no words, modern Macbeth told through mime, dance, body language. The audience is IN the action. Finally something that can really compete with technology for the younger generation’s attention. I highly recommend it to anyone 20s to 40s. AND much dancing afterwards…skeletons take note…

http://sleepnomorenyc.com

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Thoughts From The Barre: Grace

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Grey skies, a faint smell of coffee and sound of rain: project “back into the pointe shoes” is under way this morning…

“In life as in dance: grace glides on blistered feet.”
Alice Abrams

Intention must be there, but grace is effortless. It is waiting, why not let some in…

“New Beginnings”: Profound Images > Words

ART AT IT’S BEST:
“New York City Ballet presents NEW BEGINNINGS on September 12, 2013. Filmed at sunrise on the 57th floor of 4WTC in lower Manhattan, this short film captures an extraordinary and moving performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain. It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a tribute to the future of the city that New York City Ballet calls home.”

MUSIC
Spiegel Im Spiegel by Arvo Part
with kind permission of Universal Edition AG Vienna
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.

CHOREOGRAPHY
After the Rain by Christopher Wheeldon

DANCERS
Maria Kowroski
Ask la Cour

VIDEO
Directed by Davi Russo
Edited by Tim Zeigler
Produced by Radical Media
Executive Produced by Gregg Carlesimo
Executive Produced by Maya Brewster
Produced by Logan Luchsinger

Developed in collaboration with DDB New York
© 2013 New York City Ballet, Inc.

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Wolffer Estate Winery, Long Island

Wolffer Estate, Long Island

“If we sip the wine, we find dreams coming upon us out of the imminent night”
-D.H. Lawrence

“Wine is bottled poetry.”
-ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Visiting the expansive Wolffer Estate Winery yesterday on a mesmerizingly beautiful day, drinking blue sky and floating amidst the vines. One could nearly live on sunshine, but certainly with the addition of these daintily ripening grapes and salty cheeses. Clear stand outs: The 2010 Landius Pinto Noir (complex, mineral) and just about to be released Dry Rose Cider (“a reflection of soft summer sunsets…and the bohemian spirit that resides in everyone”). A destination to fortify the artistic soul and senses with friends…bottled poetry and heaven on earth!

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