Instructor Spotlight: Bonnie Bushnell
Q+A with Bonnie Bushnell:
Dancer & Fitness Instructor
What sparked your interest in yoga, Pilates, barre and/or functional fitness?
My choreographer suggested taking Pilates to strengthen my core and alignment and I noticed immediate results. From there I began trying different barre and work out classes in addition to my dance technique classes and found a passion for fitness where I wasn't just spending a half an hour on the elliptical (not to mention saw way better results)!
Why did you decide to start teaching these practices?
I have always loved teaching dance and after regularly taking Pilates and Barre classes, I wanted to share my passion for fitness. I believe working out contributes to a healthy mental wellbeing.
What fuels your inspiration and creativity?
I take a lot of dance and work out classes on my own to stay in shape and inspired! I also like to make an outline of the class before I set it, and try different ways of getting in and out of exercises. I want the class to flow as steadily as possible, it's like choreography in a sense.
Favorite pose or workout?
Any kind of plank variation. Side planks with a weight, hip dips, glider mountain climbers... They'll get you. My regulars know.
Favorite jams to listen to while teaching?
Right now it's Britney Spear's "Work B**h," Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow," and Demi Lovato's "Sorry Not Sorry."
Favorite affirmation and or/quote?
There's room at the top!
Favorite “healthy” treat?
Siggi's plain yogurt with raspberries and honey, AKA breakfast.
Wellness is important to you because…?
I always feel better when I eat healthy and stay active. Endorphins are real!
Three words to describe yourself today?
Energized, calm, and determined. I just took a class though, see above about endorphins.
Coolest place you have been?
Places you want to visit?
Cassis, Sydney, Portugal, Israel, New Orleans. I'm a little all over the map so to speak!
You feel most ecstatic and confident when you are?
After one of those killer work outs where you work until fatigue! Like 10 minutes + a few sips of water after that.
Your Patronus is?
Three words that describe your style?
My teaching style is inclusive, dynamic, and challenging.
What challenges have you grown from and overcome while teaching and/or practicing yoga, barre, Pilates or functional fitness?
Everyone processes differently so cues that resonate for some don't resonate for others. Sometimes you have to get more creative with how you phrase something even if you are giving the same alignment cue. If not everyone is straightening their legs I'll try different wording: "straighten the leg" becomes "find length in the knee" becomes "try to reach the toes across the room." But "extend the leg for long, lean muscles" tends to get the job done. Who doesn't want that!?
Ice cream or FROYO?
If I had to pick, ice cream.
A state of mind, not a destination (I may or may not have read that in the bathroom at Align).
Favorite Brooklyn cafe?
The Civil Service
Coffee or tea?
Last movie you saw in theaters…?
La La Land.. But I'm going to see a new movie in the theater tonight I swear!
What brings you the most joy?
Whether I'm on stage, in rehearsal, or in a class, any dance combination where I fully lose myself brings me the most joy.
When can we take your class?
Monday's at 6:30 AM! See ya there!