Meet Anna, and her journey from professional dancer to FAT coach

What is your Health and Fitness background?

I went to my first ballet class on my 6th birthday and haven’t stopped moving since then. I became a professional dancer at age 18, performing both in New Zealand and Internationally. At this time I took up multiple aerial circus apparatus which required far more upper body strength than I had. Turning to fitness to build strength and to protect my body from injury, I fell in love with how strong I felt both mentally & physically, the rest is history.  PS, do feel free to laugh at my ‘dancer running’ and complete lack of sports knowledge.

What are your top 3 pieces of advice to build a Healthy routine?

1. Find movement that you enjoy - exercise should be invigorating.

2. Check your motivation. If you are using negative thoughts connected to your body image to motivate you, chances are you wont find a consistent or sustainable movement routine. Create positive motivations, like “I want to feel strong”  “I’m excited to unwind from my day” “I’m still going to to be climbing mountains when i'm 80”.

3. Listen to your body. Some days you might only have half the capacity of what you did yesterday, and that's okay.

What are your 2022 fitness lifestyle goals?

Get out of the city and into the hills more - definitely my happy place. I’ve knocked out a few very cool hikes this year but I have a pretty big list of mountains to climb.

What is your favourite and least favourite exercise?

Favourite is burpees - when I have the energy to nail them, I literally feel invincible.

Least favourite, ropes. These are just always a struggle for me no matter how fit I think I am.

Which advice would you give to a FAT first timer?

It’s not always easy to throw yourself into a fitness class, there is often a fear of the unknown, and a bit of self doubt lingering around. FAT is a genuine, inclusive community of people who want to be active, get some endorphins flowing and see some friendly faces. There's options for all abilities - everyone gets their workout. If you need to, just stop, catch your breath and get back into the workout when you can. You’ll love it.

What do you want to learn in 2022?

My Nana had major health scare last year and made the decision to go ahead with a very risky open heart surgery, when I visited her she told me this:

“I said to the doctors, if you see a race and you know you aren’t very good at running you still give it a go. You might just win!”

That sentence has shaped my 2022 goals. I’m getting myself out of my comfort zone & learning how to give new things a go - some things you’ll be bad at, others, you might just find yourself loving.

What is your most important advice on nutrition?

Food is a big part of my life and culture, so I’m not a big fan of restrictive nutrition. Everything in moderation I say! Personally my weakness is Whittaker's creamy milk chocolate, and I'm constantly reminding myself to drink more water.