A dancer since age 4 and a cheerleader through highschool and college, Danielle was never one to shy away from exercise. It wasn’t until her college roommate asked her to tag along to conditioning sessions at gym that her love of all fitness truly began.
“My roommate was a softball player and she was always at the gym for
conditioning,” Danielle said. “She dragged me along and I was hooked! We used to get
our other roommates together when we couldn’t make it to the gym and do
Tae-bo in the lounge.”
Though her college cheerleading career at DeSales University forced her to stop taking dance classes, her love of dance never waned. When she came back to Northeastern PA after graduating with her nursing degree, she tried out for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers Dance team and made it. She danced for the Pioneers Dance Team for three years.
Since leaving the team in 2008 Danielle has taken on new adventures, including teaching dance to both children and adults.
Sharing her love of dance with children is one of Danielle’s passions. She began teaching hip-hop, jazz, and tap at Dance Contours in 2011. Her friend and former teacher Jennifer DeNapoli opened the Wilkes-Barre dance studio and found it was a perfect fit for Danielle. Although she has stopped teaching since having her daughter Aleigha last year, she hopes to return to it soon (and maybe get Aleigha into a class herself 🙂 )
Loving dance as much as she does, Danielle took a few Zumba classes with Jess 1 when S.W.E.A.T. first opened. Knowing Danielle’s background from the children’s dance studio where she taught, Jess invited Danielle to start the studio’s first hip-hop fitness class.
Danielle was surprised and a little nervous. She had never considered teaching hip-hop as a fitness class and was worried that no one would show up.
“I think most people are some what apprehensive about trying something new, especially when they hear ‘hip-hop.’ But I told them ‘if you like to dance then you will love this!’”
Nearly three years later and Danielle’s hip-hop class continues to be one of the most popular classes that S.W.E.A.T. offers.
Week after week, dozens of people show up at 6:15 on Wednesday nights to shake their stuff to Danielle’s routines. They have fun burning calories and toning and don’t even realize how hard they worked. Danielle loves every minute of that one hour class.
“The high I get from seeing my clients work hard, bust their butts, be drenched in sweat and still have a smile on their face is amazing. They thank me, and then come back for more!”
Knowing that her clients will keep coming back for more is great motivation for Danielle to continue making challenging routines and bringing her energy to class.
Creating new routines every few weeks is quite a challenge. Danielle finds inspiration in the songs that she loves from the radio and online. As she often tells us in class, she choreographs her routines while driving in the car and sometimes time constraints don’t allow her to practice much before bringing them to class.
Though Danielle often says she wishes teaching fitness classes at S.W.E.A.T. could be her career, she enjoys helping people in a totally different setting. As a nurse, Danielle’s daytime job is caring for patients at an outpatient surgical center. Being a nurse is both challenging and rewarding, but in a very different way than being a dance teacher or fitness instructor.
“It’s a great feeling seeing my patients get better and go home and hearing them thank me for making them feel calm and comfortable, when they are nervous and scared. It makes it all worth it.”
All of the many roles Danielle plays are equally satisfying and important in her life. For those of us at S.W.E.A.T., we are certainly glad that she enjoys sharing part of her life and her dances moves with us.
“I need my clients, week after week, to motivate me and give me the confidence to keep doing what I love. I need them just as much as they need me!”
And Danielles favorite part of teaching hip-hop fitness? The clients of course!
“Week after week they come, with a smile on their face, ready to make fitness fun! We laugh, sing, scream, yell. It’s a party at Club S.W.E.A.T.!”