“Dancing is like taking a mini-vacation from everyday stress. At BollyX class, everyone gets to enjoy that vacation Rockstar-style.”
-Sonali Rathod, BollyX LIT Instructor
What is BollyX LIT? We had a chance to catch up with BollyX LIT instructor Sonali to get the low-down on what makes this low impact format special!
On discovering BollyX
Sonali clearly remembers the moment she came across an ad for BollyX on Facebook. Discovering “Bollywood-inspired dance fitness” was like a dream come true for her because bollywood music and dance had always been a part of her life growing up in India. She had been in love with dancing as long as she could remember. Learning about BollyX was the best thing ever!
“Dancing is like therapy to me because whenever I dance, I realize that it makes me feel happy and generates lots of positive energy for my mind, body, and soul.”
On becoming a BollyX instructor
Love of dance and a passion for fitness were key motivators for Sonali. After attending her first Zumba class, she knew she wanted to become a dance fitness instructor. As soon as she learned about BollyX, Sonali decided to sign up for an instructor training, and found that the program was an ideal blend of both dance and fitness. Sonali’s primary motivation in becoming a BollyX instructor was to spread the positive energy, joy, and happiness among her students that she had always experienced herself at a dance fitness class. And thus, her BollyX journey began!
On teaching BollyX LIT
Sonali trained to teach LIT (low impact training) with BollyX co-founder Fen Tung. At first, Sonali had her doubts, since she did not fully understand the concept, but after researching the format, her confusion vanished, and she fell in love with LIT and all its benefits!
The BollyX LIT format is designed for participants who need or prefer low-impact movement. According to Sonali, “It’s full of fun and has a lot of energy and most importantly makes your body move with ease and comfort.”
Sonali herself has a medical condition that requires her to abstain from heavy cardio exercise, so the format was perfect for her and for students with similar needs. Community mentor Rachel Westlake provided support throughout the training process, helping with choreography modifications to align with the LIT class format and guiding Sonali on her journey towards becoming a confident instructor in front of her class.
“Teaching BollyX LIT has opened up a world of new opportunities for me. I get to teach in local gyms and dance academies. I am no longer scared to talk in front of people I don’t know.”
On leading a BollyX LIT class for the first time
Sonali prepared so thoroughly for her first class that by the time she actually taught it at the Academy of Creative Arts in Burlington, MA, she was full of confidence and energy. Participants were astonished to learn that it was her first class! They were delighted by the modifications that the LIT format offers and fully enjoyed the entire experience.
Sonali’s Tips for BollyX LIT instructors-to-be
- Continual Learning: Each class is a different experience. Because being a great instructor is an ongoing process, you need to keep on practicing. You need to keep on learning and educating yourself about student needs and preferences for songs and low impact moves.
- Focus on Safety: Teaching BollyX LIT will make you more focused because you need to think about safety and precautions, and you need to stay informed on how to teach the format correctly.
- Leading with Confidence: The most important lesson you’ll learn on becoming a BollyX LIT instructor is how to be yourself and lead with confidence!
“What I like most about being an instructor is the opportunity to develop self-confidence in others, and to create a joyful experience in a fun way by building a BollyX community.”
BollyX for Life
Hearing her students applaud loudly at the end of class made Sonali realize that teaching BollyX is something she wants to do for the rest of her life – making participants happy by helping them work out in a fun way.
“My favorite compliments are ‘You are very easy to follow’ and “You make the workout seem so fun and your energy makes US feel energetic!’”
Watch a video of Sonali’s BollyX LIT class!
In fact, Sonali enjoys teaching BollyX so much, she can’t get enough of it – indoor and outdoor classes, and wherever she can play BollyX music. It has become an integral part of her life. Sonali is also grateful to her family for their support of her BollyX journey.
“People recognize me as a BollyX instructor outside of class. They say, ‘Hey I know you! You are the BollyX instructor!’ To which I reply ‘Yes!’ with a big smile. Thank you, BollyX, for helping me make my vision a reality, to be the dance fitness instructor I always wanted to be.”
Sonali teaches BollyX LIT on Saturday mornings at CrossFit Exclamation and on Sunday mornings at the Academy of Creative Arts, both in Burlington, MA. For further details and to connect with Sonali, join her BollyX LIT group on Facebook and visit her BollyX Instructor page!
Become a ROCKSTAR instructor today!