Inspired By Issue No. 11 - Emily O'Connell, FlyBarre Instructor & Dancer

I grew up outside of Seattle as a dancer. I trained across the board in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop etc. I moved to New York to study at Fordham and pursue my professional dance career. I did a lot of performing during and in the years after college. I never planned a transition to fitness, but it has ended up being a really great fit for me.

AM: What inspires you to stay active, what motivated you to become a FlyBarre Instructor, and what keeps you going?

EO: Even for the best of us, being motivated all on your own can be challenging. I started at FlyBarre as a client, just taking class. I was so inspired by the company and the instructors that I couldn't help but want to be a part of it. My journey was not without challenges though. The first time I auditioned, I was not selected! Instead of giving up, I let that motivate me more. I continued to take class and study the method so that I was  more prepared the next time around. I am continually inspired by my fellow instructors and by my clients who are so committed to their health and fitness and show up to work hard every day. The surest way to achieve your goals is to surround yourself with like-minded people! 

 Photo by Michael Skigen

AM: We all have those stubborn last 5 pounds we'd like to lose, what's your best advice for making it through until the end and sticking with a healthy lifestyle?

EO: I think it has to be about more than those 5 pounds. This is advice I have to give to myself as well, because I can get very caught up in the aesthetics of fitness. I went on a very challenging hike last summer and after every steep climb I was so proud that I wasn't breathless and that my legs still had the strength to continue. It was a major "aha" moment for me. What our bodies can do is so much more important than what they look like.

AM: Are you all about juicing? If so, what's your favorite Juice Bar in NYC? If not, what are you all about? :)

EO: I'm actually not all about juicing. I love juices, but I think of them as a treat. I think it's important to eat the entire fruit and vegetable. So much nutrition is in the cell walls and the fiber controls the release of insulin so your blood sugar doesn't spike. In general, I'm very pro-fat and anti-sugar. Bring on the avocado and nut butters!


AM: Which 3 foods are always stocked in your fridge? 
EO: Various nut butters (I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur--I've tried them all and often make my own), eggs, plain Greek yogurt


AM: Which songs are on your workout playlist right now?

EO: I just looked up my Spotify year-in-review and my top artists were Disclosure and Calvin Harris--spot on!!

Photo by Michael Skigen

AM: Tell us your top 3 workout spots in NYC.

EO: FlyBarre and Flywheel (duh!) and Y7 yoga.
AM: If you could, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self or a young girl today?
EO: Don't do workouts you hate. Exercise should not be a punishment so don't do anything that makes it feel that way! There are a million classes out there today. You're bound to find something you love and instructors that inspire you. When you find that something, you really CAN be one of those people who loves working out!
Take a look at Emily's Instagram feed here

Leave a comment

Recent Articles