I got into the world of fitness 16 yrs ago after attending and falling in love with an aerobics class at my local gym, and was encouraged to take my Level 2 OCR Exercise To Music course by a friend. During my training, my tutors frequently commented on my fun, relaxed personality and style of teaching – and after passing the course I was flattered and honoured to be asked back 2 years in a row to demonstrate a class to new students who were beginning the practical stage of the same course!
I was then invited by the gym owner to take part in an Intensive Level 2 Matwork Pilates training course that they were hosting. I loved and began teaching Pilates immediately after qualifying, and progressed to Level 3 a couple of years later. I now teach Pilates for a local Government Charity Organisation.
I discovered Zumba classes 10yrs ago, and was asked to book onto the training by a good friend who wanted company during the certification day- I just HAD to say yes. Since then, we have been co-teaching Zumba twice a week whilst we both also hold our own solo Zumba and Zumba Gold classes.
Because of my past experience in teaching seniors Aerobics and Pilates, I was very keen to train to become a Zumba Gold instructor, which is a lower impact and less intense style of Zumba. It was originally designed for the older adult, but is ideal for those who are new to exercise, injured, pregnant or post-natal. In fact I have had quite a few babies in carriers jigging about in class with their mums!
My style of teaching is FUN! I am known as ‘Smily Jo’ by my participants and other local instructors – exercise does not necessarily need to be serious and hard core, and that is certainly not my style! Apart from delivering relaxed classes, I am a lover of dress-up, fun themes, charity classes, cheesy tunes and props (whipping scarves around, shaking maracas etc..) – it’s all about the vitality and buzz of a class, providing exercise in disguise.
And THAT’S why I love teaching. Bringing joy and fun, whilst getting people moving, is key – and if it involves a wig, a carefully chosen themed playlist, a feather boa, maracas, and charity fundraising – then I am even happier!