Emily Mara, New AKT Hamptons Director and Trainer of the Month.

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1. Where are your from?

I was born in London, England but only lived there until I was five. I’ve lived all over but spent most of my childhood and adolescent years in Stowe, Vermont.

2. Education?

BFA in Musical Theater from the University of Central Florida.

3. Why dance?

For starters, my Mom was a dancer so it’s in my genes. Besides that, dance has always had a way of bringing out the best in me. Expressing myself through the art of movement and being able to communicate and touch an audience without the use of words is something i’ve always found incredibly powerful. It truly is the universal language.

4. How did you find AKT?

I found AKT through an auditions website. They were looking for dancers in the fitness industry. I auditioned, got hired, got hooked and have been here ever since. That was over two years ago now!

5. What do you love about AKT?

The energy, the sweat, the disco ball and the fact that the time truly does fly by. It’s an incredibly fun and feel good workout while being challenging and hardcore at the same time.

6. What are the new client common pitfalls? 

Getting overwhelmed or frustrated when you can’t pick up the dance on the first day or two of a new combination. My suggestion is to one, have patience with yourself, two, know the steps don’t have to be perfect – the trick is to keep moving and stay on the beat, and three, focus on the feet first and add the arms once you trust your footing enough. Don’t stress, it’s supposed to be FUN!

7. How to make it through an AKT workout?

Listen to your body, drink water, be sure to modify when needed, and stretch when the instructor does throughout the class. We have mini stretching intervals incorporated into the workout for a reason, you gotta show those muscles some love.

8. What is your advice to an AKT newbie?

One, pace yourself. This is a hard workout with very little breaks. The class moves, for real! Remember that your stamina and endurance will increase significantly the more you come. It’s also important to remind yourself that YOU WILL GET BETTER! It’s amazing to see how people have progressed over the past two years I’ve been working here. Think you have two left feet? The more you come and the more you train your brain to pick up steps and retain choreography, the better you will get.

9. How do you recover after an intense workout?

Protein and lots of water! Some of my favorite go to’s are hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken or salmon, and most recently our Viking Waffles (I’m obsessed!)

10. What are your plans for the summer?

I plan to get outdoors as much as I can! I’m the Director of the Hamptons so I’m fortunate enough to spend the summer out East which means I HAVE to take advantage of all the outdoor activities I can partake in. When I’m not training and teaching I plan to go stand up paddle boarding, take a surf lesson, beach runs, and one of my favorites, trapeze!!!

11. Tell us a funny fact about yourself.

Funny fact about myself… I used to be the lead singer in an 80’s hair rock cover band called Shotgun Mascara. The entire band would dress up in wigs and Guns n’ Roses type of attire. My band name was Cherry Smash. So random but it was so much fun!

13. What’s your favorite jam of the moment?

I’m loving Lean On by Major Lazer right now. Don’t want to take it off my playlist.

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