We are so excited to profile master teacher and teacher trainer, Katina Griffin,this month. The backbone (so to speak!) of TDM is our teachers; their high level of training is what we mainly attribute our success to. Katina is such an integral part of that success that we thought you should get to know her better!
How did you first find TDM?
I had moved out to Marin from the small town in Maine where I grew up and was exploring the dance and fitness scene in the Bay Area. Growing up I was a competitive cheerleader and did all kinds of dance: ballet, jazz, modern, tap…you name it! I was studying pilates here in Marin, when my instructor suggested I try something called a “barre” class. I took one class, bought a 30 day new client unlimited, loved it and never looked back!
What made you want to be a teacher?
During that initial 30 day unlimited, I got so much more in touch with my body and began to better understand movement. That enabled me to begin to carry myself differently. I felt stronger and more comfortable in my skin. This happened in just 3 weeks! One of my favorite parts of teaching is having clients tell me that they feel good about their bodies for the first time in their lives and knowing exactly what they mean because I feel it too. That’s how I know that I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing– which is also a great feeling!
Can you speak a little bit about teacher training at TDM?
The first and most important thing is a total cliché but couldn’t be more true,” You get out of it what you put into it.” The more invested you are in helping students meet their goals, the more rewarding its going to be. This includes everything from having a precise understanding of anatomy so that you can teach a better class and give more individualized adjustments to not being afraid to let your personality shine through so you can lead a fun, energetic class. All of life seems to be a “you get out of it what you put into it” proposition and it’s just as true here! Our training is rigorous and includes master classes, interactive workshops, in-depth assessment of positions, mock classes and many hours of both assisting and observation. This level of training allows teachers to go into class prepared and confident. Also, both as a teacher and a teacher trainer, I really emphasize the importance of knowing each students name. This not only facilitates a more personal connection with your students, but it helps you to learn what specific adjustments and modifications they may need, which enables you to provide a more individualized experience.
What are you a stickler for in class?
Straight legs and people being present in their bodies! You have to meet your body where it is at that day, and every day is different. Some days you feel strong and some days tired; it is important to work with the body and energy level you have that day. No matter where you are on any given day you can work thoroughly and thoughtfully, and that is where the transformation happens!
Ok, the nutrition question! What is your nutritional philosophy?
I generally like to eat fresh whole foods, but for me its not so much about specific foods as it is a practice of learning to accept and love my body in all its different rhythms.
What’s a perfect day in the neighborhood?
Two local businesses that I love are Bare Escentuals and M Clothing in Corte Madera. I always find great stuff at both even when I’m not looking! I love all the jewelry at M and the Moxie Trail Blazer Lip Gloss at Bare Escentuals. Even better, they are both run by amazing local business women and Dailey Method devotees!
Finally, tell me something that people would be surprised to know about you?
Well, I’m sure they would be surprised to know that I broke my back in a sledding accident, so I know first hand how hard it is to heal a major injury and am extra grateful to feel strong and healthy–also, I’m a great speller!