Previously, in Chapter Two…
I auditioned for the traveling cast of, STOMP. Thought I was perfect for it. Made it to the last 50 peeps out of 623. I wasn’t part of the 30 people chosen. It didn’t end up being my “big break” and cried for a week. So, the result of not making it? Read on. (If you missed Chapter 1, read it HERE, and Chapter 2 is HERE).
Here is Chapter Three…
After a week of crying, I decided I had enough of my pity party and peeled myself out of bed. I needed to shift my focus. I thought about shifting from dancing to teaching dance. I wasn’t keen on teaching because I thought teachers were 2nd rate dancers or dancers who never made it. I mean, I wanted to be the one on stage, and NOT the one teaching others who want to be on stage. Gosh, can you believe I thought being a teacher of dance was less-than? Considering this is what I do now (funny, huh).
So, I decided to focus on teaching fitness for a while. Look, I was already teaching fitness and I knew I could make money, so it was a no brainer. Besides, being a dancer was an asset that set me apart from the other fitness instructors who weren’t dancers. So, I went all in. I got the 411 on every single fitness facility in Manhattan and went on every teaching audition.
As time went by, I ended up teaching for many facilities, had quite a few classes, and was making strides in the industry. I began to attract a small but very enthusiastic fan base teaching 2-3 classes per day. Things were getting seriously BUSY and my body felt it. I mean, these classes weren’t yo’ mama’s fitness classes. These classes were kick-ass, high-impact, and high intensity. I loved my work and things felt sparkly and exciting!
My classes weren’t full like other instructors.
What the heck?! I was confused.
I thought, “Am I not a good teacher? Do I piss people off? Do they hate my music?”
Déjà Vu happened and I finally came to realize that…
I didn’t fit the part, yet again!
At that time, I did feel a shift happening in the NYC fitness scene. Gyms wanted “superstar” instructors. Let me rephrase that, gyms wanted instructors who looked like “superstars”.
See, in late 90’s, the fitness scene was not like how it is now for the fitness pro. Back then it was about being a celebrity – a fitness celebrity. Women wanted to take classes from beautiful men and women. And if the instructor was a tall, beautiful, gay man – bonus! I mean look at me. I wasn’t beautiful, tall or flamboyant enough.
I simply wasn’t a superstar.
Until… Gold’s Gym.