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Interview: Charlotte Tegenmark (Andersson)

How did you get to aerobic? When did you start with it?
The first time I participated in an aerobics class was in 1991. A friend brought me to a class in Stockholm and Staffan Perman was the instructor. I didn’t know who he was then but I got completely hooked. I started to go to a lot of different aerobics, step and funk classes and did the SAFE instructor education in 1993 with Staffan Perman and Jesper Magnusson as teachers.

I started to teach myself in the autumn of 1993 at World Class Fitness Center in Linköping, the city where I went to university.

How did you actually get to Prague and how long time did you spend here?

When I graduated -98 I got a job as Sales and Marketing Manager for World Class International, at the next World Class center that would open abroad. This happened to be Prague.

At first I was as a Trainee for a year, at World Class Brussels (6 months) and World Class Budapest (6 months). I moved to Prague in January 1999.

In 2004 I decided to go back to Sweden so I quit my job at World Class. However that was right before the first Nike Dance and I got the chance to work on this project. Therefore, I stayed another half year and moved back to Sweden in April 2005.

So, in summary, I was in Prague for a bit more than 6 years.

Interview: Charlotte Tegenmark (Andersson)

When are we going to see you in the Czech Republic again?
Oh, I don’t know. I was going back to Prague quite a lot during the first two years after I moved back to Sweden, but I have not been in a long time now.

Is aerobic your full time job? Is it possible to make your living just giving aerobic lessons in Sweden?
No, I have never had aerobics as a full time job. In fact, I never taught very many classes a week. The most I did was when I was a student and had four classes a week. Nowadays I only have two a week.

As far as I know there aren’t any instructors in Sweden that work full time giving classes. Some work full time in the fitness industry, but then they have to combine teaching classes with for example teaching at educations, or working as a personal trainer.

Where do you get inspiration and energy for your lessons from?
My main source of inspiration is music. Six years ago I started to mix my own music and since then I have experimented with different ways to synchronize my class with the music and vice versa. I have found some ways to really use music effectively and this is what gives me the most energy.

I also find inspiration in different music and dance styles and I often use music that is not that typical in aerobics, like swing or tango or samba, to get inspiration for new choreography. I also watch dance video clips to capture the different styles and then remold it to fit in aerobics.

Do you have some idol, somebody you look up to?
Oh that would be many and for different reasons.
The ”old” gurus Marcus Irwin for methodology, Staffan Perman for power and communication. And many many for choreography, creativity and style: Balazs Fuzessy, Anastasia Alexandridi, Robert Sörenssen, Sasha Oshkin (I only saw him on video but really like how he matches choreography to music) and I also really like Roman and Lenkas classes – stylish without being to complex.

Do you still do dance aerobic or have you started with body and mind lessons, zumba or some other new style?
I teach Zumba since two years. I really like latin and I used to dance salsa a lot when I lived in Prague. My passion is still in DanceAerobics though .

What is „in“ in Sweden right now? Is there something new everybody is crazy about? (there was incredible zumba mania two years ago here)
No class i particular but a lot of ”news” are introduced every year. Mostly it’s basic and physically challenging classes, inspired by curcuit training, intervall and crossfit. Freestyle classes like aerobics and step are decreasing more and more unfortunately.

How do you take care about your health?
I am working out with a personal trainer. I got back problems in the end of the autumn and I am now working a lot on my flexibility and core stability. Things that I have not put that much focus or effort into  before.

What makes a good instructor? What should s/he be like?

The best classes, I think, are those that are thoroughly prepared, with well put together choreography, nice transistions and smooth logic teaching. It takes quite some preparation time to make good freestyle classes. So I’d say that a good instructor is ambitious, eager to improve and wanting to find ways to make his/her classes a great experience for the participants.
In class, a good instructor is outgoing, friendly and ”present” with the group.

What gave you all the years spent with so many people on your lessons?
It gave me a lot of energy and joy. I think it’s a fantastic feeling when people enjoy my classes, and I can inspire others. The feeling is intensified at conventions when there are a lot of people participating.
Teaching at conventions also improved my confidence as an instructor.

Is there some difference between Swedish and Czech clients on your lessons?

When I started to teach in the CR many instructors (and participants) asked why I didn't do symmetric classes and worried about the balance between right and left leg. That was a big difference before: in Sweden most classes were asymmetrical, in CR classes were symmetrical. I think nowadays classes are more similar.

Author: Alena Palasová

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23. 09. 2013, 08.52:18


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