Get Fit with Kelly: Meet Kelly Kunst!

We are excited to bring you a new monthly series from Kelly Kunst, faculty member and director of Jazz Factor, our 6th-9th Grade youth jazz company. Check back on the first of each month to follow Kelly’s fitness journey

IMG_6326 Anyone who knows me at all knows that I love fitness. Like I really, really LOVE fitness. I want to move and sweat and get genuinely excited about going to the gym or doing push-ups in my dance classes. When I was asked if I was interested in writing a blog about my fitness journey, I got genuinely excited about that too.

A little background- I have danced for my entire life, got a degree in dance, and have been on faculty at JOMDC since 2003 teaching jazz, modern, ballet, broadway jazz, tap, contemporary, and stretch and strengthen. Dance is a great workout, but I also love moving in other ways. Yoga, pilates, parkour, gymnastics, you name it, sign me up! In the last several years, I have discovered a real love of weightlifting. There is an amazing satisfaction that comes from watching yourself get stronger and stronger. The more involved I get, the more I see the benefits. I teach 18 classes a week and direct a youth jazz company (and no, that’s not my only job!) and it keeps feeling easier and easier. I feel strong as I teach, even in my 6th or 7th hour of the day. I rarely get sick or injured. I used to get back pain and knee pain and my body feels better now than it ever has. I currently teach two stretch and strengthen classes for youth where I aim to create an awareness of their bodies and how to move and increase strength in a safe, efficient way so they can find the same benefits.

My awards! 4th place in Bikini Novice and 3rd place in Bikini Open at the Frederick Fitness Classic, my very first fitness competition
My awards! 4th place in Bikini Novice and 3rd place in Bikini Open at the Frederick Fitness Classic, my very first fitness competition
I have some big plans coming up this year and I would love to share my progress with my JOMDC family. This summer I competed in the OCB (Organization of Competitive Bodies) Frederick Fitness Classic and the NPC (National Physique Committee) Maryland State/East Coast Classic Championship in the bikini division and had a blast! This year I am working towards competing in the figure division which means a lot of hard work to build muscle mass. I am going to be in the gym nearly every day and eating in a smart way to facilitate muscle growth. This is a world that I knew nothing about previously, but I’ve found it to be a really special community of people who want to work hard and then step on stage to show off their hard work (a lot like my JOMDC family, especially the Studio to Stage junkies!). For me, it feels like a natural step after a life of dancing.

I am also getting certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. It’s my goal to share my love of fitness with more people!

Stay tuned for an update next month on my progress and journey! Keep dancing!