Thursday, April 9, 2009

Instructor Bios

Current Instructor/Co-founder

name: Nicole G., Reformed Cheerleader
age: 28
occupation: illustrator, pet portrait artist, educator

your expertise
i like to be in charge of jazzercise and cardio

favorite thing to work out to:

say what you will : Peaches and Le Tigre

fitness history: i was a cheerleader in the 8th grade, but sadly was not skilled enough to compete in a high school cheerleading setting. The urge to stretch, kick as high as possible, yell like a dude, and dance choreographically still live in my spirit, even if i could never perfect a Herkey or a Pike jump.

how you came to homorobics:
Here’s how it started:
I am in the process of quitting my only real dayjob, and instead am going to primarily work from my house as an artist.
This means that, during projects, the only physical exercise of any sort that I can count on is walking from bed to desk to fridge.
I decided one day to join the gym down the street from my house, and so walked down there to investigate. I found, upon applying for a trial pass, that there were no television sets in this sorry excuse for a gym (which was the same size as a hotel’s fitness room).
I inquired:
Why Would I Pay You Thirty Dollars A Month To Ride A Bicycle If I’m Not Going to Watch TV While I Do It? I May As Well Just Ride My Bike For Free!
I left, dissatisfied.
and then...
Still with the urge to move myself around, I put on an Aerobic Dance record a friend had given me as a gag gift years earlier.
As i layed on the floor of my tiny living room, doing leg lifts to casual instruction over smooth jazz with my dog looking on in silent judgement, I realized
"This is too bizarre to do by myself. This needs to be art somehow. I need to do this in front of people."
I’d been waiting for someone to restart Punk Aerobics in Portland, and as no one had ponied up, Sarah and I joined forces, at which point she rechristened this Homorobics.

reasons for wanting to do homorobics
and/or Sidenote about a gym:

I used to go to 24 hour fitness with a friend, and though I enjoyed their cable t.v. selection and eliptical machines, I always left feeling shitty about myself.
There were constant signs posted above water fountains and by the locker room which were supposed to be hopeful. They had a woman who was *maybe* a size eight, looking on admiringly at someone a muscular size two. I would have to ask, at times "Is one of these people supposed to be fat? " just to make sure I could understand what was happening in the photo.
I thought,
If I’m Feeling This Weird Pressure Everytime I Go to 24 Hr Fitness, Then How Would It Feel For Someone Who Actually Is Bigger Than A Size 10 To Come Here And Be Shown Themself As An Example Of A "Before" Picture? (not to mention being referred to as "The Biggest Loser", a club and show sponsored by 24 hr Fitness).

Why is our radical, awesome, queer and body positive community funneling dollars into such an industry?
One that perpetuates the shittiest garbage in the land?

So. Homorobics for me.

some reasons to exercise that have nothing to do with weight loss:
you can ride your bike farther and longer without feeling like you’re dying
physical therapy
dancing stamina
you can sing and dance at the same time without getting winded
burning off anxious energy
building community by sweating with your friends

Special Guest Instructor/Cofounder

name: Sugar Gertrude Rose, free jazz drummer who gets hella laid
age: 31!!
occupation: television producer who gets hella laid
freedom sweatpant dance
favorite thing to work out to: - Dr. Dre, Tupac and Lil Kim- Le Tigre for the parts where you need to feel like you are on steroids.

any fitness past?
NONE - well i rode horses competitively for 8 years - and was kind of strong from that.

how did you come to this/ why homorobics/your relationship to exercise?

I finally realized that I love myself and my body and that exercise is actually has the potential to be this magical thing that fully takes care of me but that I have had massive anxiety and hatred around it because of how it has been presented to me throughout my life and especially in my youth.

I was wrongly diagnosed with Asthma at one point because whenever I went to run in front of my class or PE teacher I would lose my breath, sweat, feel faint and linger on the edge of tears… turns out, guess what, (I just realized this at age 30) that I was having massive panic attacks because everyone was watching me fail.

I had to define myself against people that exercised because in my experience they were all anorexic oppressed/body obsessed jerk-faces and I started to take stock in identifying as ’fat’ or ’chubby’ because in my mind it meant I didn’t give a fuck about everything they were trying to make me be. I realized early that the diet beauty and fashion industries were trying to make a slave of me – so my rebellion was to pack on the pounds and let them show. ( still a good tactic in my mind)

After college I ironically ended up working in the fashion industry and got an inside perspective on how truly fucked up it all is- that it’s a lot about a few woman-hating fags convincing 16 year old girls from Kansas and Eastern Europe to eat toilet paper and cocaine. I felt re-affirmed in my body nonchalance.

But the irony lies in the fact that I am actually really into treating myself well. I spend $100s of dollars on vitamins and supplements each month and eat lots and lots of kale. Exercise is such a natural part of being in a human body – I mean we were built to walk like 15 miles a day right?—but I have had this total mental block about participating in anything athletic because I usually hate the people and culture associated with it.

Now I am attempting to help create a space full of people that I like and respect, doing a very nice thing for themselves, and further strengthening our community… so that we can all feel fucking rad and powerful and even if it is just as minor as getting our blood to circulate actively once a week. Its better than where I am at right now – which is that every time I have to fill out that thing at the doctors office about how many times do you exercise a week- I have to lie.

My goal is to get my heart rate up once in a while – maybe get a little endorphin high out of it- lift some weights because it looks hot and practice my dance moves with friends. I also genetically sweat a lot ( my dad used to looked like he had gotten soaked by the hose when he gardened) – so it’s cool for me to be in a place where I can really sweat it out..

more on Sugar’s specialty
My specialty is something that I call ’freedom sweat-pant dance’ which just means a thing where you mostly get to move how your body tells you and you can where whatever makes you feel comfortable/ cozy and/or hot. I tend to think that being comfortable is super hot.. I also am teaching some actual structured dance moves that I practice in my basement in front of this big mirror and some re-enactment of song lyrics that lets the thespian in all of us get a work out too.. it’s like acting out whatever the singer is telling us about for example – playing a deep jazz sax or having some sweet cocaine of a strippers ass in south beach. That kind of thing.

Much Loved Former Instructor

Leslie  "Deep Lez" Drill Sergeant


Full time art enthusiast

area of expertise
Lezzie boot camp full-on strength training, Tae Bo, bedroom cardio, homoerotic pilates, drop to your hands and knees and work that ass!

any fitness past?
Absolute aerobics class junkie with a Tae Bo obsession. I used to spend all my free time at the gym taking abs classes and pilates until I learned to love the muffintop! I have an on-again/off-again non-monog relationship with elliptical machines everywhere. Sets my heart pounding, yet gentle on the knees!

reasons for wanting to do homorobics
how you came to homorobics

Exercise keeps me positive and in touch with my body (yeow!). I love exercise, but hate going to the gym these days. Winter makes me what to slit my wrists and dancing only happens at night, but Homorobics is a daytime synchronized dance party full of hot queers in spandex and what could be better than that?!

some reasons to exercise that have nothing to do with weight loss:

Stress levels drop, I have tons more energy and feel way hotter when my body is pumped with endorphins!

favorite thing to work out to:

Peaches, Ludacris, Missy Elliot... sex-tastic mixes on my iPod. Seriously, I make my own workout mixes, in various intensities, that’s how hardcore I am! Feel it!

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