BEHIND THE SCENES: BECOMING A CHAISEFITNESS INSTRUCTOR
Thinking about taking the plunge and becoming a fitness instructor? The industry continues to help shape and change the lives of thousands of professionals all across the world. As part of our “Behind The Scenes: Becoming a Fitness Instructor Series” BurnThis Ambassador Julie Zuckerman spent time with instructor Seiji Gammage of ChaiseFitness.
ChaiseFitness is a New York based Dance/Cardio/Pilates hybrid exercise studio that centers around bungees hanging from the ceiling and a newly developed spring based chair. Since launching, the company has expanding into online streaming videos so that enthusiasts can enjoy the workout anytime and anywhere!
Seiji opened up to us about the certification program for the classes, what it takes to become an instructor at this quickly growing studio and what drove him to change careers and become a full time instructor.
Q: How did you find ChaiseFitness?
Seiji: My friend was teaching a “mock class” as a new instructor and was able to bring a bunch of friends to participate. I went and ended up really liking how challenging it was and how my dance background was beneficial. After the class, Lauren, one of the co-founders came up to me and asked me if I had even thought about becoming an instructor.
Q: What was the interview process like?
Seiji: Lauren and I continued to talk after my first class and my interview was more like a long, relaxing conversation about my background and interest in becoming an instructor. Lauren is very laid back and has such a great personality it was hard to not want to come work with her. That was four years ago when ChaiseFitness was one small Upper East Side studio and I knew Chaise could be something big. And look at it now!
Q: What did you do before Chaise?
Seiji: Before I became an instructor, I was a dancer. Most of the things I have done in my life I have stumped upon – and dance was no different. I started dancing late, in college, but I had great mentors and ended up going to graduate school for a Masters in Fine Arts and had some really great opportunities along the way.
Q: What made you make the switch?
Seiji: As I got older I realize the dance world changed and so did I. I knew I wanted to continue to move, and challenge my body but I wasn’t sure how. It’s about the same time I took my first ChaiseFitness class and the rest is history!
Q: Are there auditions?
Seiji: Yes, and all potential candidates must take 10 classes before starting certification. Many of our instructors have dance backgrounds but it’s not a requirement. It can be more challenging for those that don’t but very possible.
BT: What’s the certification program like?
Seiji: I run the certification program with my colleague Catherine and it’s a 6-week program where we teach the two most common classes: Reinvention and Cardio Chair. The certification program has evolved and we have found a great recipe. There are typically 5 graduates from each class.
BT: What’s a typical week for trainees?
Seiji: There are 6 hours of instruction with Catherine and myself to learn routines, technique and the chair. Then trainees must take 2 classes a week and do 2 hours of self-practice where they learn their own body and then bring friends to learn how other people move and learn. It’s more than a chair- you really need to master the pedal weight, accommodating different body types, male and female preferences and learn the class structure.
BT: What’s your personal workout routine?
Seiji: I like to lift and I do ChaiseFitness classes. I’m excited because I’m creating a class for our new Financial District location targeted towards males which I think has reenergized my creativite passion for fitness and I think others will like the new class too.
Check out Seiji and other fantastic instructors at ChaiseFitness: Book a class now!