Get to know your personal trainer – Cassandra

Meet our personal trainer Cassandra! Cassandra began her training in dance at an early age. Her enthusiasm for movement has been a continuous evolution over the span of her lifetime involving many art forms such as jazz-ballet, gymnastics, cheerleading, yoga, contact-improv, modern dance, circus arts, ballroom dance, and personal training.  Her creativity lead her to Chicago with a scholarship to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After she received her BFA in Art and Technology, Cassandra decided to expand beyond her dance career and become certified as a Personal Trainer to help others overcome challenges she knows all too well. Her experience and certifications in Meditation also play a huge role in her coaching style and believes a proper mindset can help you achieve the highest results. Cassandra’s goal is to help all people simply ‘feel good’ in their bodies, to enrich the lives of others through movement, inspire, share knowledge, and make exercise fun for everyone! Learn more about Cassandra in our Q & A below:

What motivated you to become a trainer?  

My dance career was a huge motivation to becoming a trainer. More often than not, the limitations students have come from a lack of full mobility or lack of strength and sometimes injuries. Before one can dance, one must know how to move safely and freely. Exercise is a great way to retrain the body back to alignment which can enhance anyone’s performance, whether a dancer or not. I enjoy training because I get to witness growth and enhance wellness.

How would you describe your training personality? 

My training personality is somewhat meditative. I like to incorporate breath work and go on a real journey. Hard work doesn’t need to be stressful.  Like dancing, there is a rhythm to fitness. My goal as a fitness trainer is to help others find their rhythm so that the mind can let go and the body can release tension.

What advice do you have for people that are just getting into fitness?  

Exercise and movement is an importance component to optimizing health. It should be a part of everyone’s routine, like brushing your teeth. It is self care. My advice for people who are just getting into fitness is to begin by developing a healthy mindset. There are many benefits to exercise, like losing weight for example, but not all benefits are immediate. I encourage new trainees to celebrate the little successes along the way, like simply feeling good. Everyone has different limits and abilities. I encourage anyone new to fitness to find those limits gently and really check in with their bodies. Do what feels good and tomorrow do a little more.

What’s your favorite workout and why? 

I tend to gravitate more towards time based circuits that don’t require the dreadful “rep count down.” For example a 4 minute circuit of maybe 6 full body exercises that flow into one another with opportunities to hold a stretch, sort of a yoga-pilates-dynamic stretch fusion approach. Longer circuits that repeat 2-4 times. I tend to enjoy this type of exercise more because I’m not really thinking or counting, rather listening and responding more to how I feel. People often say things like “Wow, I didn’t expect to feel this sore, it really didn’t feel like work.” 

What do you like to do for fun?

For fun I like to go to dinner and out dancing at a Milonga, Argentine Tango social event, or to a swing dance venue that has live music. If I feel like staying in I usually work on a project at home. Right now I am working on rehabbing a 1960’s Mid Century Modern home in Blue Island, IL. I enjoy bringing out character in homes that have been neglected and historic preservation in general, it’s become a real passion of mine.

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