Dani is an ACE Cert personal trainer, behavioral coach, and Ellie ambassador. We got to know her a little better, as she took us from her childhood, through her high school years, and into adulthood, when she sustained a terrible injury. Using that to fuel her love and passion for fitness, and combining that with her dream to make a difference, Dani shares some insight into how she went from ballet dancer to personal trainer and behavior coach.
But first, check out Dani’s strength-training workout!
Dani wears December's Polar Perfection.
ELLIE: How did you get into fitness?
DANI: Long story short, I was a professional ballet/modern dancer. I started training from four years old and went on to professionally dance out of high school. I loved being a professional dancer and never thought it would end. Unfortunately, at the age of 27, I had a terrible neck injury, where it caused extreme pain and nerve damage, and wasn’t able to move well. With a neck injury, I was constantly in pain and sadly had to give up my career as a professional dancer. Determined as ever, I wasn’t going to let an injury stop me, and I got back on my feet! I slowly got help and got better, and that’s when I wanted to make a difference. I took all that I learned as a dancer and wanted to help others who had similar injuries. Two years ago, I got my personal trainer license and started helping others as a personal trainer. I now work with many different clients and help others who have similar neck issues to mine. I’ve been able to help others and feel super rewarded doing so.
ELLIE: What helps motivate you?
DANI: Helping others with an injury similar to mine. Sometimes professionals aren’t really able to help or understand the pain, as they don’t have the injury. Going through all of this allowed me to find lots of tips and tricks, and I now use them to help clients feel better. It’s super rewarding and it motivates me to work harder to help clients with the same issues.
ELLIE: What keeps you going when you don’t feel like working out?
DANI: I’m used to being active, so routine helps keep me going!
ELLIE: How do you stay accountable?
DANI: By making a plan and sticking to it. Also, allowing for rest days on Sunday, as a treat. Everything is pre-planned, so I just need to do it. I’ve always been active, throughout my life, so sometimes it feels weird when I don’t work out. Once the workout is done, you feel a lot better.
ELLIE: Do you prefer to work out in the morning or evening?
ELLIE: What is your favorite pre-workout snack?
DANI: Coffee and whipped cream (everyone has their guilty pleasures)!
ELLIE: What does your cheat meal look like?
DANI: I love all food, a little too much. Mozzarella sticks and pizza.
Matcha or Coffee
Yoga or Pilates
Fall or Summer
World Traveler or Backyard Explorer
Gilmore Girls or Friends
Early bird or Night Owl
Tacos & Guac or Burgers & Fries
This workout routine was contributed exclusively to Ellie by Dani Brickman, ACE Cert Personal Trainer and Behavioral Coach. Instagram: @dani_brickmanfit.