I am delighted to have recently completed the ReelRobics instructor training programme. In 2021 I plan to bring ReelRobics to my home town of Larne.
I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the instructor training, especially learning routines and creating my own. Christina was a great source of guidance and support throughout, and despite covid restrictions was only just a message away when I had any queries.
I have always loved Irish dancing and traditional Irish music and although, I only took up dancing at the age of 10, I continued to dance competitively until senior level, winning to championship level throughout N.Ireland.
I am also passionate about exercise for both physical and mental well-being, having seen these benefits in my own life.
I hope I can use my experience to bring a fun aerobic workout to those who attend my class.
ReelRobics The Netherlands
Born and raised in Amsterdam, I developed my love for Irish dance after seeing Riverdance at the Eurovision in 1994. It took a while to find an Irish dance teacher in The Netherlands and in 2001, I took up Irish dancing with The Redmond School. After competing successfully on international level for several years I decided to pursue my dancing dream. I moved to Limerick to study the MA in Traditional Irish Dance Performance at The Irish World Academy. After completing my degree with First Class Honours I was fortunate to become one of the part-time tutors on the BA in Irish Music and Dance and Blás International Summer School.
I went on touring as a professional dancer with ‘Ragús – The Show’ for nine years including tours in Japan, Europe and China. I have very fond memories of the good times we had on tour: the great buzz that Irish music and dance brings to the stage and making friends for life!
Having retired from touring life and settling back in The Netherlands I’m currently working as a physiotherapist in my home town Hillegom. To keep dancing and pass on my passion, I completed my TCRG exam in 2016 and started teaching Irish dance for the Redmond School.
I’m very excited to join the ReelRobics team! Anyone can join the class and work-out at their own level which I find a tremendous format. Combining my dance and physiotherapy experience, I’m especially interested in improving injury prevention and body awareness in Irish dance performance. I’m delighted ReelRobics also caters for “retired” dancers like myself, creating a fun way to keep fit and enjoy dancing. Looking forward to bringing the craic and cardio to The Netherlands !
ReelRobics East Midlands
I am so excited to be bringing Reelrobics to the East Midlands, and share my passion of Irish dance in the form of a fun, fitness workout. I have enjoyed training to be a Reelrobics instructor and cannot thank Christina enough for her ongoing support and guidance throughout, especially during the covid restrictions.
I have always been brought up with Irish dance and Irish music due to part of my family originating from Blackrock, County Cork. I can always remember my first Irish dance lesson in my local church hall at the age of 7 until the age of 12years, and as a dancer have never lost my love for Irish dancing, at the age of 12 I had a break from the Irish Dance world to concentrate on the theatre side of dance Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz etc. I then went to find out what life was like at sea on the cruise ships and travel the world. At the age of 25 I returned to land and the Irish dance world.
For me dancing is important for our physical and mental wellbeing… and I cannot wait to encourage more people to take Irish dance for fun and fitness or as we call it ‘Craic and Cardio’ … it is never to late to start learning something new , and what a great way to meet new people through joining the REEL movement.
Dia daoibh a chairde, my name is Aileen Mc Alister and I am delighted to be a member of the ReelRobics team. it is definitely exciting times as we begin to expand globally and It is my pleasure to have qualified as a ReelRobics Instructor in Dubai.
Hailing from North Antrim, I was a festival Irish dancer for over 11 years, but then moving away to University in Belfast I no longer had time to keep it going, so kind of unofficially retired. I still kept involved with my dancing school and would’ve popped in and out supporting my sister at the various dancing festivals throughout the country.
It was while in college I heard about Christina’s ReelRobics classes so thought it was the perfect way to keep dancing while living away from home. I found the classes to be great exercise, full of fitness and good craic so much so that I would’ve encouraged different friends to join me every week to give it a go. Christina used to laugh at the random new people I had with me each class- even then I was committed to promoting and supporting such a unique fitness class.
Inspired by Christina, I decided to host my own Irish dancing classes while at St. Mary’s University College, Belfast called ‘Ranch Riverdance’ which proved popular with many local and International students who wanted to learn the basics and become immersed in Irish culture, music and dance.
My favourite dance to perform was the Hornpipe and Treble Reel, the rhythm, beat and intricate steps were what I enjoyed the most. I loved getting on my heavy shoes and belting out a step or 2. I also really enjoyed learning the many original and traditional team dances and believe I can bring this element forward to our group exercise classes.
Overall, I enjoyed the social aspect of Irish dancing, practicing 3-times a week competing in the local dance festivals across Northern Ireland to championship level. Although for me it was always more about taking part, having fun and making friends rather than winning. This is why ReelRobics appeals to me so much as it is non-competitive and incorporates all the core elements of Irish dancing and exercise in a fun, light-hearted way. There’s no right or wrong way to do it just go along with the flow and Irish music.
As a keen follower and supporter of Christina and ReelRobics since the beginning of its creation, I was eager to sign up when I heard there would be the opportunity for Instructors to qualify and take their own classes. Clearly, without any hesitation, I signed up and here I am ready to take on Dubai and the online world of Irish dance fitness.
So, if you’re at all interested get involved, have a try and I will be sure to welcome you when you join any of my classes.
Tabhair aire, Aileen
Irish dance has played a huge role in my life. I joined a Festival Irish Dance school at the age of 5 and competed for around 15 years. I was lucky enough to perform alongside my local traditional Irish music group throughout the country and my passion for dance took me as far afield as America and Italy.
After I left the competitive world of Irish Dancing behind to pursue my Primary School teaching career, I was looking for something to fill the void and I decided to try a Reelrobics class. It was like a breath of fresh air! No adjudicators and no judgement, just dancing for the pleasure of moving to music. Even after many years, each Reelrobics class is just as enjoyable as the first. I love the social element of group exercise classes and I found Reelrobics to be so welcoming and inclusive to all.
I’m a firm believer in finding a form of exercise that you enjoy. After a long day at work I find Reelrobics boosts my mood and energy levels while providing a great cardio workout.
The progression to becoming a Reelrobics instructor felt very natural and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do.
Stephanie Henshaw Vandervelde
ReelRobics West Canada
I am excited to bring ReelRobics to Canada for the first time ever. Looking for my own creative outlet during Covid I found and fell in love with Christina’s online class format and knew if I wanted to keep taking classes I was going to have to bring them to my own time zone and quickly signed up for the ReelRobics training Program.
I grew up in British Columbia competing in Irish dance from the age of 11 retiring at the age of 24 after reaching Open Championship level and competing in 5 regional and 3 National Championships.
It quickly came to my attention upon retiring from the competitive scene that there is a lack of class options for adults and retired dancers wanting to stay involved in Irish dance. I have taught Adult Irish classes in the past and saw the need for an easier to follow curriculum that didn’t require the dancers to stress about missing classes or remembering choreography.
I am excited to bring ReelRobics to Calgary and Western Canada by offering drop in and subscription classes both in person and online so everyone can get Reeling and build lasting friendships through our love of Irish Dance.