If you’ve been reading our newsletter for a while, you may have noticed that we started highlighting some of our very own dancers in a Student Spotlight series. Since we’ve heard great feedback about how these stories are helping you connect with your fellow fitness-goers, we decided to expand this feature to include profiles of people you might feel like you already know: our instructors! You may see their smiling faces each week in class, but we have a hunch there’s still plenty more to learn when it comes to these inspirational teachers.
Kicking us off, we’re profiling Dance Party Boot Camp, Cardio Pop and sometimes Striptease instructor, Timaree Schmit. Timaree’s been on the Philly Dance Fitness team for more than five years, but fitness is just one piece of her repertoire. Read on to learn more about her life as an instructor and where you might find her out and about in Philadelphia.
PDF: What’s your Philly Dance Fitness origin story? How did you end up becoming an instructor here?
Timaree: I was among the first instructors on board. Deb [our President and founder] and I had known each other as fellow kickboxing and dance teachers at the same gym, and she invited me on board. It was a great decision!
How long have you been an instructor? Which classes have you taught during your time here?
I’ve been around since late 2011, first teaching Piloxing, then Dance Party Boot Camp (which we developed for PDF), Cardio Pop, Pilates, Power Stretch & Sculpt and Striptease.
What’s your background in dance?
Originally, I was a hip-hop dancer, and about eight years ago I got into burlesque and go-go. It’s a long story involving a whipped cream bikini dance contest and a now-closed lesbian bar. The rest is history.
What do you like most about being an instructor?
I adore my students so much — they’re the entire reason I’m in this field. They give me back so much. Together, we create a giant ball of energy and all leave feeling infinitely better than when we started.
Has being an instructor changed you in any way?
Getting paid to workout is dope. I recommend it to anyone who thinks it sounds remotely interesting. It’s my church, my therapy, my way of keeping in shape. And I constantly am meeting new, rad people through this job.
Tell us a little more about yourself. What else do you do for a living?
I have a Ph.D. in Sexuality Education and write for several outlets, including Philly Weekly and Philly.com. I’m also a nightlife producer and burlesque performer who goes by HoneyTree EvilEye. Everything I do is super fun and important to me.
Where do you perform?
I’d love everyone to check out a burlesque show sometime. Every Monday we’re at The Victoria Freehouse for “Full Front Street,” and on the first Sunday of the month we’re at Franky Bradleys for ‘Honeygasm.” I’ve got a ton of other shows, but those are great places to start if you’ve never been.
What do you do when you’re not in the studio teaching?
I work seven days a week, so it’s hard to say that I have hobbies, but I have a lot of passions, which I have cultivated as income streams.
Tell us another fun fact about yourself.
I have an absurd sweet tooth — one sure-fire way to my heart is through candy.
You can find Timaree teaching Cardio Pop on Thursdays at Midtown at 7:30 p.m. and Dance Party Boot Camp on Sundays at Rittenhouse at 11 a.m. She’ll also be leading our Burlesque-themed Frisky Friday dance party coming up on Sept. 30th at Midtown.
– Interview by Anna Jose, summer marketing intern