Continuing our #designedtomove series, this week we spoke with Krystal Dwyer about her challenging life as a dancer, and her successful transition to the fitness world.
Where is home?
I am originally from Oxford, Massachusetts. Very small suburban town 40 minutes southwest of Boston. My home for the past 7.5 years has been New York City. I moved here right after college to pursue a career in dance.
What was it like adjusting to life in New York City?
Adjusting to life in NYC was not easy at all. My first year I was dancing at Alvin Ailey in their independent study program, working part time at the Gap, and trying to make ends meet. I was living in Astoria, Queens with 3 other girls. We all had a great relationship so that was the easy part! I only stayed at Ailey for a semester, I left to get a second job and to take dance classes on my own. I was very emotional and stressed the majority of the time, just trying to understand what this city was all about. Transitioning from college life to ‘real-life’-phew, that us bit a walk in the park. Having my roommates at the time was a lifesaver, because we were all going through it together. I would have to say my first year in New York was the worst, but I stuck it out and it got so much better as time went on. “It always gets worse before it gets better” my dance teacher once said.
Describe what you do for a living?
I am a fitness instructor and trainer. I work as a few places that are just amazing. I teach at Flybarre, which is a specific barre method. Light weights, longer reps, high intensity, full body workout. I also teach at CityRow — complete full body workout with low impact interval training. You are on and off the rower throughout the class, and targeting certain muscle groups when you are off the rower incorporating free weights. I am also a trainer with Zoomtion Fitness that runs a few private gyms throughout the city. I travel around the city like a ping pong ball all day and I love every second of it!!!
What was life like as a dancer?
I started dancing at 7 and continues all the way through high school. When I graduated I was off to college to major in Psychology. After a year and a half, I realized that there was something missing in my life. Of course it was dancing, so I transferred to Dean College and ended up receiving my Bachelors in Dance. Making that decision led me to NYC ultimately. When in college I auditioned for the independent study for Alvin Ailey, and I made it! Receiving that was the sole reason for moving to the city. Dance was my life, I knew nothing different. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of that part of my life. It will always be a part of me. It was a way to express and release myself even just for a moment.
What made you decide to transition your focus from dance to fitness?
It was actually very simple. I was dancing on a cruise ship for 6 months, and when I returned to the city I knew that it was time to make a change, something new, challenging, and of course something I enjoyed doing. I was a manager at Club H fitness, and when I returned I told them I wanted to become a fitness instructor and wanted their help! I wanted to continue auditions, and taking dance classes but I no longer wanted to work “dead end jobs.” I loved taking fitness classes, so I reached out for advice and guidance and a few fellow friends/fitness instructors helped me. I guess I don’t miss dance too much, because I am still moving and expressing myself, just a little differently this time around.
What were some adjustments that you had to make joining the fitness world?
Starting at the bottom, learning the ropes, and of course learning about myself and what kind of instructor I wanted to become.