Thursday, July 24, 2014

Alex Poulis

Next up, the woman, the legend, the baddest, Alexandra Poulis aka Alex aka Miss Alex aka Queen of the Dog Moms aka Queen of Fitness aka Twerk Team Captain.  They say that we can tell who we are by the 5 people we spend the most time with.  If that's true, I am a lucky woman.  Over the past year, Alex has been a superb cheerleader, role model, teammate, and all around best buddy!!  I could talk about this girl forever, but I'll try to keep it brief.

We look extra cute at Easter!

Alex strikes a pose with her loaner car!  #flawless

Where You Can Find Alex
Joy Of Dance in Barrington, NH
The Works Family Health and Fitness Center in Somersworth, NH
Click here for Alex's website!
She also has a Facebook page:  Getting Fit With Alex

Tuesday morning hip hop class.  Ain't we cute?

How We Met
I took Alex's hip hop cardio class at The Works last summer, and one Friday Diana Post's Zumba Gold class was cancelled.  I adored this class, and since I was on my Shaun T/Billy Blanks/Richard Simmons at the time, I researched other Friday Zumba classes and found one in Dover.  I pulled up to the place (Paradise Fitness) and who do I see?  Alex!  I also remember asking her about a Thursday night class for Valentine's Day and turns out she taught a Thursday night class in Barrington.  She was all over the place!  Before I knew it, I was hanging out with her all the time.  At one point, I told her boss that I'd follow her all over the clock and the calendar and I'd pay whatever she asked.  To this day, I schedule my university teaching schedule around her class schedule.  Her classes are just that great, and I am always hyping them up to everyone I know.

Activities/Programs I Do With Her
First and foremost, we go to Beyonce concerts and fantasize about King Bey pulling us on stage to showcase our footwork.

If you ever see me around town, chances are that I'm either on my way to or from The Alexandra Poulis Experience (modeled after The Beyonce Experience). On Monday and Friday, I'm in 7am Zumba.  Wednesday is 7am barre class.  Tuesday is 9am hip hop and Thursday is 9am Zumba and/or 5:30 Zumba.  She currently teaches my adult tap class on Wednesday nights and adult hip hop on Thursday nights.  Again, if you see her, you'll probably see me.

Alex is also a classmate at EverProven Crossfit (We're teaming up for the Witch City Throwdown!), a fellow Spartan on Team Bow Down (look for us in Amesbury on 8/10), and we're supposed to go to bikram yoga if we can ever get our act together.

I love how everybody else is working hard!

Our fearless leader!!

What I Value About Her
Alex's classes are ALWAYS fun.  At the beginning of class, she introduces herself, welcomes new friends, and says, "If you don't want to jump, don't jump.  If you don't want to turn, don't turn.  Just keep breathing and keep smiling." During class she tells us that we're doing a good job, reminds us to have good form and to breathe, and she always ends class by thanking us for coming and wishing us a good day. She's never afraid to laugh at herself when she messes up the moves, and I think this makes it easier for the rest of us to forgive ourselves if we goof up the steps.  As long as we're happy and doing our best, we're good!

Alex's classrooms are free of all forms of body shaming.  She never makes disparaging remarks about her or anyone's dancing ability or body size, not even in jest.  She always characterizes exercise as a joy, not as punishment for high-calorie food (this is especially cool during the holidays), and she's really good at helping the class modify movements.  I love how we can all be doing the moves in our own ways (giggling the whole time), and Alex cheers all of us on.  I admire this so much about her that I had her speak to my Feminist Thought students about feminist approaches to fitness.

I invited my Feminist Thought students to attend her class, and they all loved it!

Alex encourages singing and extra flourishes and dramatic faces in her classes.  It's a form of modifying!  haha  Besides making the class more enjoyable for those of us who show up all the time, I think it adds to the happy vibe of the class.  Everyone who comes to Alex's class is a friend by the time class is over.  I've never met an instructor who places so much emphasis on building community in a group exercise setting.

Alex encourages us how to shake it fast and show her what we're working with.

Alex's barre class is the truth!  In the time that I've been taking it, I've gone from knee push ups to the glimmer of toe push ups.  I'm a lot more flexible too!  She has been particularly great when it comes to side planks.  I am happy that my side planks are getting higher.  When I started, I only had enough room for an ant parade.  Now a whole line of rubber duckies can pass under me.  whoop whoop!! Operation Summer Muscles owes a lot to her.

She also makes monthly exercise challenges for us.  Here she is doing planks while I drink hot chocolate in her living room!

She makes excellent hot chocolate.
Get it, girl!!

Other Fun Stuff About Alex
She has two adorable dogs, Bo and Bella, and she is the only person who talks about and documents her pets as much as I do.

She teaches aerial dance classes and is good at swinging from trapezes.   Here she is at a burlesque show in Dover.

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