Spicing Up Our U Street Team: Meet Adriana Sanchez!
There’s a new face around our U Street location, and you’ve probably seen her firing up a group of early morning RX participants or leading a spin class or two. Her name is Adriana Sanchez, and she’s our new Group Fitness Manager at U Street!
Adriana has been with us for a little over a month now, after relocating from Houston, Texas to join the VIDA family. She’s got a background in dance, performance (she was one of the star majorettes, or baton twirlers on her high school team!) and has natural leadership skills that make her a perfect fit for our group fitness department.
After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 2003, Adriana was pursuing a career in her major, Engineering, but wasn’t crazy about the field. She started taking group fitness classes during a 10-day trial period at a gym outside of Houston, and quickly developed a passion for the high-energy environment.
“I found an instructor I really liked, and I basically became his groupie. He encouraged me to start teaching, so I got certified and started teaching strength training and kickboxing classes at 24 Hour Fitness,” she says.
She’s now been teaching for over 13 years and says she loves empowering others through group fitness.
“I have a performance background, so I’m used to being on stage. I love being able to deliver a captivating and motivating experience for my students and help them achieve things they never thought possible,” she says.
While working as the Group Fitness Manager for Lifetime Fitness in Houston, Adriana started working closely with a personal trainer and learning more about kinesiology and exercise science. She quickly learned that her interest in engineering, i.e. the way that things work, applied to human movement as well.
“I really wanted to work one on one with people and be able to help them reach their fitness goals by correcting muscular imbalances, identifying joint dysfunctions, and creating customized programs designed to fit each individual’s specific needs,” says Adriana.
She started incorporating little things she learned through studying personal training into her group fitness classes, which improved the quality of her classes by giving participants more options and modifications. In 2007 she got her personal training certification and started accepting clients of her own!
At this time Adriana decided to not only focus on improving her clients’ fitness levels, but to take hers to the next level as well. She started training for her first fitness competition, and after several months of clean nutrition and training stepped on stage for the first time at the Europa Supershow BSN Hot Body Contest in Dallas, TX. This 2007 show was the first of many, and she has since become a top-ranking Figure Athlete in both local and national shows. Her most recent and impressive accomplishment is placing top 3 as a Professional Fitness Athlete in the World’s Fitness America competition just last year!
During her time competing (and having to take a year off for an ACL injury,) Adriana combined her love for performing with her passion for empowering others by becoming a competition coach. She assisted with posing clinics and coached participants through proper nutrition and training, all while building her own independent personal training business full time.
To say she’s well rounded in the world of fitness would be an understatement! Before leaving Houston she was coaching for fitness competitors, training her own clients, running a series of outdoor bootcamps and was the designated fitness specialist for several large Houston companies in their wellness centers. So what made her move halfway across the country to start over somewhere new?
“I started to really miss the club environment. I wanted to challenge myself on a personal and professional level and I started to consider relocating to a new city. I came across the VIDA job listing, applied online, and got a call requesting an interview very soon after!” she says.
After packing her bags and saying goodbye to her Houston family, Adriana made the move across the country to bring her wide range of experience and plenty of new ideas to VIDA. She’s excited about the new opportunities she faces in a brand new gym and city and has been off to a great start so far!
“Everyone has been so welcoming. I’m excited to get to try some new concepts here and the opportunities I have to grow my skills as a fitness professional,” she says.
Some of these ideas include new small group training programs with an Adriana-twist, and bringing her own style and flavor to our already popular VIDA classes. She currently teaches VIDA RX, VIDA Xtreme, Cycle, Spin & Sculpt & Zumba at U Street, and is looking forward to running the Marine Corps Marathon this October!
Pop in and try a class with Adriana if you haven’t yet, and join us in giving her a warm welcome to the nation’s capitol!