iGnite Leader Spotlight: Betty Cunningham
Meet Betty Cunningham, our dancing queen! Through her upbeat, fun and always energetic style, Betty has been iGnting the lives of our members since 2011! Her enthusiasm, passion and love for life, people, dance, and fitness is what iGnite's the lives of everyone she comes in contact with! Check out Betty's Q & A and dance on!
I grew up in Richland, Washington in a family of 8 girls and 2 boys and there was never a dull moment in my childhood. I learned how to share in a hurry! I would not trade the experience of growing up in a large family for anything. You see yourself from the eyes of others at an early age when you are surrounded by siblings.
I met my husband Kyle while dancing in college for the University of Tulsa. We are honored and blessed to be the mother of three children, Michael, Richard and Cara. They are the love of our lives.
In addition to leading Dance Fit, do you have other professional commitments?
I work as a CPA in the role of CFO and financial consultant for several businesses. My expertise is in the automation of the financial backend of a business. I enjoy helping businesses become financially fit.
Tell us about your dance/fitness background?
I have a gymnastics, dance and cheer background. I cheered and danced my way through college and began teaching “Cheerobics” as an instructor at high school and collegiate cheerleading camps.
I started formally teaching Aerobics at the Waist Basket in Austin before many of our members were born. But I am only 37- ha!
Top Three Favorite Exercises & Why
1. Bounding Movements – example – Scissor Jumps, Squat Jumps, Bounding skaters. These exercises elevate your heart rate and engage a large number of muscle groups. Research shows that the impact improves bone density and your joints.
2. Kicks – strengthens and stretches the hamstrings and increases your heart rate!
3. Tricep Push ups – Engages upper body and core. Prevents chicken arms. Way better than Crepe Erase.
What do you love most about being an iGnite Leader?
The fantastic community of women and Neissa our fearless leader.
What have you learned the most from your iGnite Leadership experience?
It’s not about the “workout” it’s about the “experience” of the work out.
Is there a goal you are working toward?
My goal is to have more women experience the joy I feel when dancing in Cardio Dance or Dance Fit. I think Cardio Dance is a bit like surfing, which by the way I have been trying to learn. It can be a bit overwhelming at first and it’s easy to walk away with the feeling that it is too hard and too fast. Once you let yourself feel the music and just move, you are hooked. It is a fantastic work out and besides Aerobic dance is back!
As it relates to your classes, what would you say is your “special sauce”
Energy! I was considered “Hyper Active” as a child. I was just misunderstood! Energy is the grateful feeling that you are alive!
Aside from loving on iGnite members and empowering so many women to be healthy and fit and love dance, what is/are your passion/passions?
My passion is my family. Somehow I raised three wonderful children and I love watching them grow.
Who Inspires you the most and why?
My mother. The mother of ten, 93 years old, lives by herself, and fires her “caregivers” on a daily basis. “ I’ve got this” is her motto.
Do you have a favorite book you are reading?
Kathleen suggested “Younger Next Year” and I am hooked. I am giving this to all my family members for Christmas.
Do you have a life philosophy or motto?
Believe in yourself. God has blessed us with so many talents and each of are unique.
What do you typically eat throughout the day?
A food day in the life of Betty:
Breakfast – I love steel cut oats, that I throw in the microwave of course, and add coconut milk and nuts. I alternate between hard boiled eggs or scrambled eggs and oatmeal most mornings. Also, always hot lemon water in the morning, an iGnite specialty.
Lunch – A salad with protein. I eat out often for work lunches, just had a kale salad at North with salmon that was amazing. I also love the Super Bowl at Fresa’s on South Lamar.
Dinner – Thank goodness I married a cook. I eat a lot of grilled salmon or chicken for dinner. I generally eat light in the evening. Can easily have a smoothie with Vital Proteins with Collagen, Glutamine, Banana, fruit and kale and a piece of fish.
What is your favorite post workout recovery food/drink?
Nuun tablets in my water and a banana.
What does a typical week of “working out” look like for you?
Monday, Wednesday, Friday – run 5 miles at 5:45 am. Love Kathleen’s Power Up on Wednesday when I can get there. Tuesday – Dancefit / Thursday – generally a dance or weight work out. Saturday run long and yoga. Sunday weight work out or dance class at Ballet Austin.
What life, health, fitness, lifestyle, marriage, parenting advice do you have for women?
Try not to compare your children to their friends. Be confident in their unique gifts and abilities and embrace those gifts. Let your children find their way! Support them and love them and try not to enable them.
Betty's Class Schedule
Check iGnite schedule here
Dance Fit @ Alisa's Dance Academy
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