I Should Have Been a DJ (At Least, I Believed I Should Have) Part 2

By Krystal Bryce

Do you have playlist distress? What you need to first realize is that there is no such thing as a perfect playlist. At least not for every single student you have at one single class. Therefore it’s a good idea to stop trying to make that perfect playlist. Secondly, it’s not all about you. That one was really hard for me to swallow, and sometimes I still wrestle with it.

I mean seriously. It’s not all about me? Are you sure?

Yes. I am sure.

So if you’re not going to make the perfect playlist, then how can you at least get close? Let’s start with the beginning.

There is always a beginning, a middle, and an end to everything. This includes your playlist. Here are some good questions to ask yourself when you begin to put it all together.

  • What is my warm up going to consist of?
  • Will it be fast or slow? Perhaps a little of both?
  • How is it going to flow?
  • Lastly, how is it going to end? Will it end with a wild and exciting song or one they can all just melt into the floor with?

Furthermore, if I really want to go deeper, I may even choose a theme. Perhaps something like an all-female voice playlist, all-male or a mix of duets. An 80’s playlist. A playlist with just dubstep, rap, country, hip hop, or R&B. You get the idea. A theme. This theme can even continue on in the rest of your class. For example, if you decide to go with the 80’s theme then maybe you can add in fun 80’s clothing. You don’t have to go all out for this. It could be as easy as a headband or a leotard and leg warmers. If you don’t want to go with a theme, then be sure to mix it up so all genres get a little air time. This includes male and female voices. Look for opportunities to add in instrumental versions only. Sometimes people simply don’t need words to move.

Once you’ve decided how you want your warm-up playlist to flow, it’s time to start looking for your music. Some really awesome resources I’ve found are Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, and iTunes. I’m sure there are plenty more platforms; however I usually have more than enough music from all of these places that I really don’t need to look elsewhere.

If you get stuck and can’t seem to find the jams that hit the spot, then start looking online for people you know who share the same music platform as you. See what they are swirling to. See if they have any playlists they can share. I find people typically love to help out in this area.

Along those same lines, another place of great musical inspiration is social media. Find those dancers you love and see what songs they are dancing to. If it’s not posted, then use the Shazam app to snag it. Instagram songs are sometimes the best songs because you get to witness how someone else’s body has responded to it. Therefore this can help you discover the magic of variety. Plus, you don’t have to rely solely on your own opinion.

Use technology to the fullest. Network like crazy. Share songs with friends as often as possible. Throw all possibilities into a playlist. Leave nothing behind. Even if it’s something you aren’t very fond of. You may just be surprised at how someone else will absolutely love it.

After gathering your music, start to plan your warm up. Personally I change my warm up every week. I use my Liquid Motion movements to warm them and get them in the Liquid mood. It essentially becomes a twenty-minute Liquid Motion movement guided dance. I do throw in abs, pushups, planks and other conditioning moves as well.

Sometimes I write it out and practice, but most times I just go with the flow of the music. Either way, I’m still prepared because I know my playlist very well. I’m not saying this will work for you. What I am saying is, don’t be afraid to try new things. Look outside of the box.

To add to this, if you ever worry about your students getting bored, it’s usually a sign that you are bored and not them. It’s also a sign that you’re ready for growth. So try that new song out. See if something new happens.

Your beginning is now done. Next comes the middle. What’s in the middle? The teaching section. The part where you dig into the Liquid Motion movements and sequences.

This is where I usually have some low background music going. It keeps the energy moving. Here is where I would advise not to play anything really sad or dreary. This is where you want your students to be engaged and having fun. Nothing can bring a person down faster than one of those tear jerkers we all occasionally love to move to. Ask yourself what mood you want for this portion of the class. Think about your own demos as well. What makes your body move better?

Music plays a huge role in helping students find their flow. Having something prepared for this middle portion of class is a pretty big part of my planning. I usually write it out in my curriculum so I remember what song to play with what movement or sequence I’m teaching. This helps prevent me from picking a song that can totally kill the vibe. Plus I waste less time looking for music in the middle of class and use more time teaching.

Lastly, we have our ending, the conclusion of class. This is where the students get to try out everything they’ve learned. This is where they get freedom to explore it. I look for songs that are different each time. I rarely play the same song twice. I even try to space out when I use the same song between classes. I may only use a song one time and then ditch it. I give them variety. We are all different. Therefore we will all like different songs.

It’s important to allow for the opportunity to try on new music. Most people don’t do this for themselves. Often they don’t even know they might actually like a certain genre until you play it for them. Play it all and then some.

When the final song comes, I usually tend to go for something that feels meditative. This is where I have them cool down and stretch while I review with them the things they have accomplished. This is a time for celebration and for closure. Abruptly ending class tends to leave people feeling a bit undone. I find that closing in this way helps to set the mood for my students for the rest of the day. It also gives them something to look forward to for the next week.

Well, there you have it. This is not by any means all that I would like to share about music and playlists. There is so much more to it. I’m still learning. I will never again pretend to know everything there is to know about building playlists. However I know every day I practice building, I get better.

I would love for you to follow my playlists. They go back several years to when I used to teach for S Factor. I hope you find some music you enjoy. Mostly I hope you find something out of this that is helpful. Music is meant to be heard and shared. I hope you share yours with me! I’ll be looking forward to seeing some playlist posts on the Liquid Motion Certified Facebook page!!!

XOXO

Krystal Bryce

Spotify: KrystalBryce

SoundCloud: Charley Avery

I Should Have Been a DJ (At least, I Believed I Should Have)

By Krystal Bryce

Once upon a time, I thought I knew all the music that had ever graced our ears. I truly believed (with every musical note in my body) I was the only one that could decipher which song would make it to the top in every single genre. Once upon a time, I learned I was sadly and irrevocably mistaken.

My abilities to know exactly what people needed and liked to hear were not as superb nor as extraordinary as I had once concluded. It was shocking to my music-loving soul that me, myself, and I were not, in fact, the “All Knowing” nor the “Grand Poobah” of the music world.  Furthermore, not only was I totally and completely unaware of the vast magnitude of vocal and instrumental sound that existed in the world, but I was also unaware of what it would take for me to make a playlist that would please a classroom of 25 dance-hungry students. Little did I know.

My first teaching position was with S Factor Houston. I had just been put through the literal teacher-training ringer. We trained six days a week for eight grueling weeks. There were a total of six of us. We worked diligently to become the best possible S Factor teachers we could be. At the time, there was nothing else in the area to compete with. There was a lot of pressure to succeed, as pole dancing was a new experience for women and men to dabble in. The management and teacher mentors decided it would be best to start out by having us teach parties.  In one of my earliest parties, I remember playing music that I thought was FABULOUS!! Like drop your panties FABULOUS!! However, a party it was not. It lacked luster. People were frowning! I was mortified! I seemed to be the only one enjoying the tunes of Massive Attack, Morcheeba, and Portishead.

Now let me assure you, I had been told – more than once in fact – that the people coming in to dance at a party were not looking for music that wasn’t being played on the radio. They wanted familiar tunes. Music they could identify with. Music like “Pony” by Ginuwine or “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails. Now that was the stuff. It only took me one time to discover I had to definitely make it about my students. I’ve met people and talked to students who have left teachers because they didn’t like their music. We all know you can’t please everyone. Conversely, however, you most definitely can pay attention to what your students respond best to. This then helps you attain stunning playlist skills that keep them coming back.

I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned over the past 11 years of teaching sensual dance with you beautiful sensual people. Firstly it’s not as serious as some of us make it out to be. I can tell you that I am constantly making playlists. My journey for the perfect sensual, naughty, flirty, dangerous, scary, mysterious, grown and sexy, silly, down to earth, relaxing, awe-inspiring, chill-provoking songs never actually ceases. I start working on my playlists sometimes two to three weeks in advance. Right now you’re probably wondering if I take my own advice. I used to stay up at night worrying over the playlists I was making for classes that weren’t even on schedule yet! I don’t do that anymore. I promise. Even though it’s not that serious, it is part of who you are as a dancer and a teacher. It’s a part of your teaching signature. Your signature is what makes you unique. It’s what brings your students back again and again. Music can be a huge tool when making connections with others. How do you get a nice balance of your personal song choices as well as what others enjoy? Be on the lookout for the next Liquid Motion Teacher Blog to find out how I build my playlists every week.

XOXO

Krystal Bryce

 

Featured Instructor of the Month: Mel Heins

Mel Heins is co-owner of The Salt Mine, a Pole Fitness Co-Op in Salt Lake City, and leads the Instructor-In-Training Program for the studio. In 2008, at almost 40 years old, Mel walked through the doors of Studio Soiree and quickly became obsessed with the strength and beauty of pole dance. She made it a goal to become an instructor. A year later, she was certified and taught her first class.  With no dance or fitness background, Mel has always had the heart of a teacher. She loves learning new movement, as well as teaching and helping others surprise themselves with what they can do. She is certified in Liquid Motion 1.0, 2.0, and Heels.

1. You’ve been in the Liquid Motion family for quite a while now, almost from the beginning! That gives you a unique perspective on how the company, and the industry as a whole, has changed over the years. Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion and how it has evolved from your point of view.

Oh my! I have been in the pole industry for 11 years now. Teaching for 10. I met Jeni about five years into my pole career when I stumbled upon a free Liquid workshop at Pole Con LA (I think it was the 2nd Pole Con!). There were about 40 of us in that big ballroom. I remember Jeni having us all “go black” – empty our heads by screaming. I had NEVER experienced anything like that in my life. It was super freeing. Then she and Danielle Mayzes took us through the Wall Sequence and the Liquid Crawl. I saw my life change right there. During the freestyle at the end, I was so into what I was doing that I never even made it through the whole sequence. It felt GOOD. I was so FOCUSED, my judgmental thoughts about myself disappeared; it was revelatory, epiphanic. After the workshop I stopped by the booth, where the super-friendly Jeni was perched. I basically forced her to come to Salt Lake City because we needed her. My studio was the very first Liquid Motion Workshop outside of the east coast! I had the opportunity to work with Jeni and Danielle at Pole Expo, offering a helping hand during workshops. This was way before certifications and manuals. We spent downtime rolling around on the hotel room floor playing around with windows and threading, now a fundamental of what Liquid is today! It has been so satisfying watching the company grow and yet still retain the core values that Jeni started with. I actually got super emotional at my 1.0 cert when I opened the manual and saw all the hard work over all the years right there in front of me. I know how much blood, sweat, tears, and hours and hours are in those manuals!

2. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?

I read a book a long time ago about how each of us is a circle. Some people feel like they need to make other people’s circles smaller to make theirs bigger, as if the size of their circle was directly related to the size of someone else’s circle. This book talked about how there is infinite space for us all to grow our circles as big as we want – that someone else’s circle does not determine the size of your own. I am confident that my circle is big, and my job as a teacher – and as a human – is to help others realize the bigness of their own circle. So, that’s my number one directive. When I teach, I make sure each student has a “win” – that moment of shining or getting something with an AH HA! Whether it’s finally activating your glutes or doing an exceptional Buttercup, I will find a way to celebrate that with you. 

3. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?

There have been so many for me; I REALLY love teaching!!! A recent one that sticks out is my starfish class. At the Salt Mine, my Liquid students call the studio “The Liquid Lagoon.” Our lights are blue and it’s dark and lagoon-like. So, a lot of my analogies have to do with sea creatures and the ocean. One day, I was teaching side crunch progressions – relatively simple movement from Liquid 1.0. However, everyone was getting confused and couldn’t figure out which limbs went where. So, I had us all start on our backs in what we call Starfish. I walked them slowly through the side crunch progression, then I said “OH MY GOSH! We are back in STARFISH!!!” We must have done this at least 10 times, just repeating, “Starfish, Crunch, Cobra, Thread, Side Crunch, OH MY GOSH I’M BACK IN STARFISH.” My students all started to yell, “OH MY GOSH, I AM A STARFISH AGAIN!” and various exclamations of Starfishiness. In those moments, I realized how much my students trust me. That I was NOT going to let them fail. They would have continued doing this simple movement for hours if I told them to. Having a room full of people trust you that much is a precious gift that not everyone gets to have. I am so lucky! My Venmo account was full of payments from students with star and fish emojis and “I’m a BEAUTIFUL Starfish” comments. I actually broke down while we were cooling down because I was so grateful. And now, every single student knows those side crunch movements soooooo well!

4. What has been your biggest hurdle or learning experience?

Myself! My fears. My head tries to tell me that I’m not good enough! I took my 1.0 cert in March, and I did not teach my first class until May. Why? Because I had myself convinced that I wasn’t fluid enough and that I didn’t know enough about the methodology to speak authoritatively about it. I wanted to make sure I honored Jeni’s baby! All these crushing thoughts had me delay. Mind you, this is movement I have been following for about 6 years! When I finally taught my first class, I realized what a waste of time that delay was. I had all the tools I needed; I just had to get out of my own doubting head! I still have moments of insecurity, but I acknowledge them, move through them and teach anyway. I prep and train much more since I took my Liquid 1.0 cert. Because we are such a community, I feel like I have a whole team behind me and I need to present my very best self. 

5. You’re a well-established studio owner and instructor. What tips do you have for running a dance-based business, as an owner or as an instructor?

Half of my career has been as an owner; The Salt Mine is celebrating its 5-year anniversary this year!!! As an instructor, my biggest piece of advice is to educate yourself. Take certification programs, watch anatomy lessons and lectures, learn other disciplines (I am TRX and Stott Pilates trained as well as pole and Liquid certified). Take classes from your fellow instructors. Sign up for specialty workshops. This all costs money, so my second piece of advice is KNOW YOUR WORTH! When we opened The Salt Mine, I had been an instructor getting paid $16 per class – with a little extra if I had more than 4 students. Our first decision was that instructors could decide what they were worth. They set their pricing and they make sure their students pay them; they run their own business. This makes me hustle! Students will go to a cheaper studio if I don’t keep in touch! But, this has allowed our instructors to thrive and to make a more livable wage.

As an owner, SAFETY comes first – for your instructors and students. You need to create a place where every person feels ok to be who they are and become who they want to be – and, ya know – fire extinguishers and crash mats and equipment checks and insurance and all that too….

I don’t think anyone just decides to open a pole studio because it is a good business to be in. We open them because we LOVE DANCING! DON’T FORGET WHY YOU OWN A DANCE STUDIO! I take two classes a week from my instructors because I NEED to feel like a student and because I still need to learn how to move. I know we think there is never enough time – so, make time. Remember – YOU LOVE THIS!

6. What are your goals in your own personal movement journey? Has Liquid Motion had any impact in the way you approach these goals?

I love to perform but have gotten away from that and hope to get back to it. Performing gives me a goal, a focus, and a timeline  If I don’t have that structure, I tend to get a little lazy. As an instructor and studio owner, I don’t make time for myself and my progression.  Liquid has given me so much to learn, and the support and community to help me learn it!  With my Liquid classes, I get to the studio at least an hour ahead of time so I can move through sequences, play around with what moves can flow into the next, work out what conditioning exercises my students need, set the lighting, and get my songs ready. Liquid Motion has given me the desire to better myself.

7. What’s your all-time favorite song that makes you want to get Liquid?

Just one?? OH Lord. I have never been super into music; my pole playlist was the same for years! When I started teaching Liquid Motion at our studio, it turned me into a music junkie! I am always looking for melty songs that move me in some way. I also rely on my students for what moves them! They are all younger than me and have such gems for us. But, the song that I could play on repeat and move to forever to is “Killing Strangers” by Marilyn Manson – something about a heavy drum beat is just so sexy to me.  I usually freestyle to that song.

8. Do you have any hidden talents?

I am a finder of lost things. My adult kids still call me to help them find lost items. I walk them through their memories and help them see exactly where the item most likely will be.  This supernatural ability has my husband thinking I am a witch. I will neither confirm nor deny….

9. You appear to have a positive, empowering approach to life. It’s refreshing and infectious. How do you keep yourself motivated, even when things aren’t going your way?

I am just one big ball of happiness all the time! I love life so much! ALL of it – ups and downs, ins and outs. How do I keep this positive disposition? I remind myself that everything is temporary. The winter? Temporary; spring will come soon. Sadness or grief? It will eventually turn into something else. Even this life – all the good and all the bad – is temporary. So I just go through things knowing they will eventually change. I have always had a spark of joy at my core and I have chosen to fan that spark. I do understand that not everyone has the same verve that I have, but I feel that my job is to share some of my light with those around me – as annoying as that can be sometimes! Some people may think this attitude makes me shallow or a “Pollyanna.” I do still feel deeply and get angry and sad; however, at my core that spark of joy burns super bright.

10. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about trying out the Liquid Motion class for the first time or thinking about taking a Liquid Motion certification?

In certification welcome emails we get from Liquid Motion, there is a list of items to bring – water, knee pads, pen and notebook, etc. The very last item is always the same thing – an Open Mind. This is something I always make sure to tell a first timer. Have an open mind and listen to your body. Just move and don’t judge your movement. 

As for the certs, my students have all heard me rave about the Liquid Motion certifications – about how much you get at the actual cert, the beautiful manuals, the community, the videos, the marketing material. I LOVE it all! I have been through several certification programs in the fitness industry, and nothing comes close to all the perks that Liquid gives us. It really is like a family; we encourage each other, share and lift up….it is much more than just a 16 or 24-hour certification. I could literally go on and on.

I took all three Liquid Motion certs offered (1.0, 2.0, and Heels) within months of each other – March, June, and October. It is a lot! I noticed (and so did my students) that my teaching style changed for the better after I took 2.0! It gave me a lot of confidence in the movement and helped me create my own really great classes. Even though 2.0 was a mental struggle for me, I would not change the way I took the certs.

 

Featured Instructor of the Month: Nicki Royce (Willow)

Nicki Royce, also known as Willow, teaches independently in Dayton, Ohio, and has always been drawn to sensual movement. She feels moving boldly and unapologetically provides freedom in a world that tends to praise smallness and agreeability, especially in women. You can find her class information by searching “Liquid Motion With Willow” on Facebook.

1. As one of our veteran Liquid Motion instructors, you’ve been through the whole Liquid Motion certification process, taking every training program available thus far. That’s an impressive feat! Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion.

Back in early 2014, while very active and hungry to grow my dance skills, I became struck with agonizing chronic back pain. While in treatment I would do my prescribed Pilates exercises, and after, I found myself exploring floor movement. It felt good, it kept me dancing, but lacked structure. A year later I took a Liquid Motion class in NYC and was hooked. I got certified as soon as the first certification was released.

2. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?

We live in a world that says don’t take up space, be small, be silent, hate yourself, be fearful. But we have the right to take up space, be bold, move and feel freely, and love ourselves. All art is dependent on it. It can be hard to counter those messages, but, be big. Be powerful. Own who you are and own the space you are in.

3. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?

It’s always an honor to be told someone took ownership of their body, was inspired to create, or felt safe to be themselves due to my class. I especially love when I can witness the transformation before my eyes. Seeing students eventually move closer to the front in class, stand taller, move bigger, dress different, and become a leader to others in the room. Nothing like this really existed in my city when I started, so witnessing the fulfillment of this need I had in myself also get fulfilled in others, really felt like the beginning of a movement.

4. What has been your biggest hurdle or learning experience?

A challenge for me is getting out of my own head and just being present and connected, at times. It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in providing the perfect experience for each class, and I have to let that go to be in the moment fully with others. My biggest learning experience has been paving a path based on my personal values and realize my worth as an instructor and entrepreneur along the way. I think it can be easy as an artist to allow others to assign your value; nobody can do that but you.

5. You’ve created a wonderful student base as an independent instructor. Do you have any tips for others who may want to start teaching in the future?

Fear and doubt love to dress themselves up as excuses. If you have the desire to teach you just have to act on it. Know what you bring, remind yourself often, and continue bringing it. Push through perceived failure. Push even harder on the days you feel like quitting. Know that giving of yourself in this way is very vulnerable, it will change your own dance practice, but it’s insanely rewarding. Also, know your value and make sure you are paid accordingly for your time and expertise. Take risks. Be consistent and reliable. Never stop learning and being open to growth and lessons along the way.

6. What are your goals in your own personal movement journey? Has Liquid Motion had any impact in the way you approach these goals?

I have taught dance for pushing two decades, so my personal goals currently are around rediscovering my own movement practice, exploring, building more style, and simply having fun. I’ve always prescribed to quality over quantity, and Liquid Motion has helped solidify that in me even further. Style, breath, and full articulation of movement are what I love seeing and working on. Liquid Motion has helped me come at all of it in a much more empowered way.

7. What’s your all-time favorite song that makes you want to get Liquid?

I’m music obsessed. The first ones that comes to mind are Liquid Diamonds or Give by Tori Amos. If I’m feeling some kind of way, The Hills by The Weeknd can snap me back to life really fast too.

8. Do you have any hidden talents?

I’m pretty funny. It tends to surprise people once they get to know me since I’m a pretty quiet, observant person most of the time.

9. You are very candid in your social media posts about your personal growth and all the ups and downs that go along with that. It is inspiring to see people being real on a platform that usually lacks true authenticity. How do you think that the dance/pole/movement community can benefit from this kind of approach to social networking?

So many have confided in me over the years about how scary dance is when you didn’t grow up dancing. Pair that with society’s standards of beauty and perfectionism, and it leaves too many not enjoying art, their bodies, or the freedom to learn something new. Knowing of these battles, and fighting my own, I know there’s nothing to gain by pretending I’m immune. When I stand before others to lead I know it isn’t about me. It’s about them, so trying to maintain an image of perfectionism is only going to put an enormous amount of pressure on myself, and discourage those who are observing. It takes courage to start, vulnerability to grow, and persistence to grow skill with an art form. That’s not easy. Giving off the perspective I’m an exception to that formula, when nobody is, isn’t what I want to model for anyone, especially those who need to feel safe with me.

10. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about trying out Liquid Motion for the first time?

I think as an adult, opportunities to play and explore movement can be pretty rare or inaccessible. Our world is also very disconnecting from our full range of senses. Being able to have a safe, accepting space to indulge in these things is truly a gift. So, if you have the opportunity, take full advantage.

Featured Instructor of the Month: Krystal Bryce

Krystal Bryce is a Liquid Motion addict with a love for seduction and expressive release through movement. She has been a teacher of sensual dance since 2009 and has no plans of stopping anytime soon. You can find Krystal’s classes in Houston, Texas.

1. You’re a very active member of the Liquid Motion family, and we love your passion! Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion.
Actually, this is an interesting story. It was 2015, and I was teaching at S Factor in Houston, Texas. The Annual Melee on the Bayou competition had just finished taking place. My students were all abuzz and could not stop talking about this amazing dancer who did all this stunning, smoldering floor work. They mentioned this new thing this dancer was doing was called “Liquid Motion®.” Since my students seemed to be completely enamored by this beautiful dancer, I decided I should check into her a little more. I signed up for the Level 1 Certification in 2016 and I haven’t turned back since.

2. You have quite a few different certifications under your belt. Why did you choose to get Liquid Motion certified?
Liquid Motion gave me more vocabulary for my body. The way it was (and is) broken down and explained was something I could get. I’m an adult learner of dance. I never had professional dance training as a child or young adult, so learning to dance is a little more challenging for people like me. I also found that since my body loved it so much, I wanted to share it. Therefore the certification just made total sense.

3. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?
Be present in all that you do. If you are present when you move, you will find your zone. Finding your zone is the ultimate bliss. BE PRESENT.

4. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?
Having a student tell me I saved her life. I gave her confidence. She found a reason to live again. Nothing can ever beat that.

5. What has been your biggest hurdle or learning experience?
Allowing myself to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect.

6. You’ve been teaching for a while and have extensive experience. Do you have any tips for others who might be thinking about teaching in the future?
I think one of the biggest things is to listen to your students. Not just what they are saying with their mouths, but what they are saying with their bodies. Are they scared, are they embarrassed, are they angry, confused, happy, or just plain done? When you are concerned about whether you’re “the best” teacher, you aren’t paying attention to your students’ needs. Furthermore, you aren’t allowing your personality to come through your teaching. Relax and enjoy your teaching journey. If you do that, your students will stick with you through thick and thin.

7. Where do you see yourself going in your movement journey? What are your goals?
I always feel like a beginner. I never feel like I have mastered anything. I don’t think that is a bad thing. I mean if we master something, then does that mean it can never change? Because I think change is important. Change helps us grow. My goals are to continue to move and continue to seek knowledge in how to share movement. I don’t care to be the best. I just want to always inspire people to live to the fullest.

8. What’s your all-time favorite song that makes you want to get Liquid?
There isn’t just one. There’s about a million. However I can always sink into “IDGAF” by Diamond Saints (feat Yaarrohs). I tend to love the naughty genre. If there’s such a thing…I’m all about it.

9. Do you have any hidden talents?
I can bake cakes from scratch like a mofo.

10. You often post on your social media about personal growth and development. What one piece of advice would you give to someone to step out of their comfort zone and try Liquid Motion?
You will open up a door to magic. That door will lead to another door, and that door to another. Don’t pass up an opportunity to be a part of something magical. Make it happen for yourself.

Featured Instructor of the Month: Kimberly Nobrega

Kimberly lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband, son, daughter and their dog. When not in the studio, her passions include traveling, reading, writing, cooking and being at the ocean. Kimberly is a graduate from Framingham State University with a bachelor degree cum laude in Art History with a minor in fine arts/cinema. Kimberly regularly teaches both Liquid Motion and pole dance classes at North Shore Pole Fitness in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

1. Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion. Were you always a dancer or is this a more recent endeavor?
When I first began my Pole fitness journey I found Liquid Motion by chance. My parents gave me a Groupon to a studio near me that I wasn’t taking classes at and based on my schedule their Liquid Motion class offerings was the only thing that I could use it for. I have had about 15 years of tap, ballet and jazz training, but it had been about 20 years since I had formally studied anything. I took it to see what it was all about and never looked back!

2. Why did you choose to get Liquid Motion certified?
Once I took my first class I was hooked. I loved that it was both challenging and rewarding. I definitely didn’t “get” all the moves on my first try, but I found it really satisfying just to be moving. I noticed how I maneuvered my body in Pole, floorwork, Lyra and even just getting out of bed in the morning was changing. Being fluid, being consciously aware of how my body moved and feeling more connected to myself was making a huge difference. I started going from one class a week to two or three religiously. That really made me think I should look into certification. I wanted to really get an in depth understanding of what the methodology was.I opted for the license because I wanted access to additional online content and tutorials. It also was greatly beneficial in putting together my showcase and competition pieces. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to teach it and I am looking forward to continuing my certifications.

3. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?
My big thing is “technique first, finesse later.” A lot f people get intimidated and aren’t sure they can “move like that” because there is a very connected, fluid and sensual way to how you execute this movement. But I don’t teach sensuality. I teach you the proper technique and body mechanics to add these movements into your dance vocabulary. Once students feel confident in how their body operates completing them, that’s when I see them make it their own. I teach men and women, people who have dance training and people who don’t, people who are flexible with great range of motion and those who have limited range of motion and flexibility- the beauty is that they all still can move and do this program. I empower them to be confident and own their own unique movement. Once we have the technical stuff down, then we finesse it out and they really make it their own. It’s an all-inclusive and all skill level dance movement which means everyone will always be challenged as well as have some “wins” and that’s an amazing thing to be able to offer all people.

4. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?
Any time I get someone who takes a class for the first time and they come back again and again- that’s huge! I strongly believe this is something everyone should try at least once. I can’t think of anyone who didn’t get something out of a Liquid Motion class experience. People shy away because they aren’t sure it’s something they’ll be successful at, but by the end they’ve always had a move they really loved and one they want to continue to work on. I love when they leave more confident in themselves than when we began at warm-up.

5. What has been your biggest hurdle or learning experience?
My biggest personal hurdle has been my Plow. I had an emergency c-section when my son was born and I lost feeling in my lower abdomen. It’s really difficult in Pole Fitness and floorwork sometimes to do things because I can’t feel that area to trigger active engagement consciously. It means some things that require inverting I have to drill over and over until I create muscle memory for myself. Luckily, I have a great support system and resources to keep training this. I used to be really frustrated by it, but I changed my perspective: because I struggle with some moves I now know who to help others who have similar struggles and I also can give options on how to pull things off.

6. As a fairly new instructor, you’ve had great success so far. Tell us about your transition from student to teacher. Do you have any tips for others who might be thinking about teaching in the future?
I wasn’t sure when I got my certification and license if I’d have the opportunity to teach. I offered up my help substituting at first and still pick up those opportunities any time they are available. I live by the class outline format and it’s honestly what got me past the nervousness of teaching my first class. Liquid Motion gives us a ton of resources to have us set up for success so I lean into those. That helped me build my confidence in teaching. I stay a student by taking the class with other instructors so I’m always learning too. I constantly talk about Liquid Motion on my social media and in real life at least a few times a week to share this methodology- that’s really helped me connect people with the classes, regardless if they are mine or with another instructor. As my class sizes increase toward or at capacity pretty regularly I started doing recaps of the class online. It works two-fold: the students in attendance have a reference for the content we covered and can reach out directly to me with any questions and it gives people who are interested in trying a class insight to what to expect so they feel more comfortable giving it a go. If you are thinking about teach- go for it! The certification is incredible and you really are given so much support right from the start on how to be successful. Plus, other Liquid Motion instructors are always willing to help you and our resources in the Liquid Motion library are top-notch.

7. Where do you see yourself going in your movement journey? What are your goals?
I can’t imagine not having Liquid Motion in my life. I’d love to become part of the Liquid Motion Master Trainer team one day because I am so passionate about sharing this with people and empowering them to get deep into it. My current plan involves continuing my personal Liquid Motion education through our certifications and I’m working on being able to bring it into other studios who don’t have it yet or want to offer it to their students to see if there is an interest. I’d also really love to bring Liquid Motion to your more “traditional” dance and fitness platforms because the benefits of what we teach are really supportive and transferable to people whose fitness focuses are in those spaces as well.

8. What’s your all-time favorite song that makes you want to get Liquid?
My Liquid Motion playlist has a ton of variety and I’m adding to it weekly. But “Wicked Games” by The Weeknd has a soft spot with me. During my certification in Philly we used it for the Wall Sequence freestyle and I don’t think I’ve ever had a freestyle that I connected with like that. I had never heard the song before and had no idea it was over 5 minutes long. But there was something about the energy of the people in that room and that song that was just fire! When I feel like I’m in a rut, that’s my go to in order to recenter myself. I also can’t get enough of playing with “Wrong” by Max because of how I can play with the tempo- plus it makes me feel extra sultry!

9. Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m an artist by trade. My true love is ceramics, but I draw, paint and sculpt as well.

10. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who might want to try Liquid Motion?
Absolutely try it! Regardless of your fitness level or if you have any prior dance experience or not, this class is for you. It’s an amazing compliment to any fitness routine because it’s a total body workout that is guaranteed to be challenging as well as rewarding. Sometimes it looks like a lot of slinking around on the floor, but it’s going to make you use your body in ways that are going to be really beneficial for you and you are going to build both strength and endurance. The worst thing you walk away with is a great workout that helped you learn something new- so there is nothing to lose!