An Interview With Aerobic Instructor Dawn Christley!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an aerobics instructor? Dawn Christley talks about her role as an aerobics instructor!
"Good motivators will help you along, but what you get out of a class depends on how much you push yourself." -- Dawn Christley

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an aerobics instructor? Have you thought about taking a certification class? Well, for this instructor, it was kind of like riding a bike.

Ever since Dawn Christley was five years old, she loved being active. Everywhere she went she carried her soccer ball and wore tennies so that at any given moment she could practice. On school nights, she would do her homework and then was back outside to practice. A daughter of a preacher, Dawn even took her gear to church.

"In fact my dad used to run back and forth down the sidelines while I played, coaching and cheering me on. He never sat down while I was playing. He was soooo proud of his little girl." Dawn played soccer through middle school and was personally scouted to join a youth traveling team as she was the MVP of her league for several years.

Although, her father was "an extremely loving, caring, kind and compassionate person," Dawn stated that "he had convictions about how we are supposed to live our lives in a moral and Godly manner." Her parents didn't want her to miss church, so the traveling team was out of the question and once she was older, her father felt that the game was not lady like.

When Dawn was 16, her father passed away, and "after this, my mother tried to keep the guidelines my father had set in place for us." In high school Dawn played basketball, volleyball and cheered. She would play pick-up soccer games whenever possible, but never played competitive soccer again.

Aerobics Classes

Dawn started teaching aerobics classes about ten years ago. She first became interested in teaching when she herself took aerobics classes to stay in shape while pregnant with her first son. She enjoyed the classes so much that she inquired about becoming an instructor. She also did personal training for a short period of time.

Dawn teaches just about every type of aerobics class with the exception of Yoga and Pilates. She said that they are too slow-paced for her to teach; however, she would like to take some of these classes to improve her flexibility. Dawn enjoys everything about teaching aerobics classes, but she says that the thing she loves most is knowing that she is motivating others.

She also says that teaching is an outlet from her full-time job as a Real Estate Agent where business attire and attorney's offices are the norm. While teaching, she can, "let go and hear the music."

Dawn loves both her full-time and part-time jobs, and is very dedicated both. She says that she gives the same fire, aggressiveness and passion to her clients as she gives in her aerobics classes, and always gives 110%.

Dawn encourages everyone to take aerobics classes. There is a class out there for everyone. Aerobics can help you to achieve many fitness goals including increase cardio endurance, help in maintaining weight control, increase weight loss, increase muscle tone, and help with strength and conditioning. When trying to loose weight, Dawn suggests that you add aerobics classes to your normal weekly work out at least three times per week.

Choose a class or classes that are interesting to you because you are more likely to stick with it and not get bored. Dawn reminds us that, "you can change the intensity of any class." She also suggests that people looking to add aerobics classes to weight training regimens should take at least two classes per week.

Kickboxing and Boot Camp classes are good for guys and ladies looking for a good class to coincide with their regular weight lifting regimen. Dawn stated that, "these classes are also good for people not used to doing aerobics because you don't have to know the jargon and you don't have to worry about being coordinated. You run and throw punches."

People with injuries should avoid "hi-lo and other high impact classes."

Dawn's workout regimen consists of teaching almost seven days per week and lifting four days per week. She says that if she doesn't lift, her muscles will shrink away. She allows herself the flexibility to work lifting into her work schedule. She thinks of her work outs as Day 1, 2, 3, and 4 rather than Monday, Tuesday?

She does Chest and Back, Shoulders, Legs, Bi's and Tri's one time per week. As far as a nutritional program, Dawn says that she follows a general rule of thumb to expend at least the same number of calories as she takes in per a week. She does watch what she eats as far as carbs, fats and proteins, but says that it is hard to maintain a strict nutritional program with two boys who love pizza.

She describes food as fuel for the body: "if you put junk in your body, you won't have energy, just like if you put junk in your car, you won't go very far." Dawn does have a "goodie" every once in a while and confesses that she eats what she wants in the weeks when she teaches 14 classes because she knows she will burn it all off. When she does meal replacements, she enjoys Met-Rx Whey Protein shakes and bars.

Dawn believes her key to success in the fitness industry is, "passion, love and passion for fitness." She loves to teach and work out. Fitness is her "anti-drug, her high" as she describes it. She says that where there are some people that have to force themselves to work out, she has to force herself to stop in order to go back to work.

Her advice to anyone wanting to become an aerobics instructor is to "take a lot of different classes from as many different instructors as possible. What makes a person a good instructor is taking what you like from other instructors and making it your own." She also states that not only do you learn from other instructors' strengths, but you will also learn from their weaknesses.

She says that, "you have to learn to be a good follower before you can be a good leader." One other key point that she made was that instructors need to learn the beat in 32-count music. She suggested that instructors listen to this type of music as much as possible, "play it in your car, at home, while you work out. Eventually you won't have to count it out, it will become second nature and you will be able to feel the beat."

If you are ever in the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham, NC) area and are looking for an inspirational aerobics leader or Real Estate Agent, please feel free to contact Dawn Christley at She would be more than happy to help you in any way that she can!

Good Luck and God Bless!