We recently had the pleasure of working and hanging out with LA’s newest fitness guru, Amanda Kloots. Before she landed out west, we followed Amanda’s workouts on Instagram and were jonesing to dance and jump rope with her. Let us tell you, it did not disappoint. Amanda leads an incredible class full of enthusiasm, gentle corrections, and can-do spirit but with the absence of an overly saccharine attitude—simply put, she’s incredibly nice and so cool. She keeps it totally real in a way that is motivating and effective.
Melissa: Welcome to LA! I know you have been here for a few months but tell us about your transition out west? How are you settling in? What are you missing?
Amanda: I definitely love the weather the most for sure. You know, you can’t beat that its January 31st and we are sitting outside here in our tank tops. I am a sunshine person and a sunshine girl who loves her vitamin D. So, I definitely love the weather! It’s so easy with a kid for example, yesterday I was at the playground with Elvis and it was just so nice. But I will say, I miss New York a lot. I miss the accessibility of it. I miss walking out my door and being able to do 10 things in a four block radius. Here you definitely have to be like ok, do I really want to go to CVS? I have to get Elvis in and out of the car, then go down the aisles, and then get back into the car and then he’s probably gonna cry on the way home so nevermind, I am not going and I am going to buy it on Amazon instead. Also, you are not as active throughout the day because you are driving so much. It’s a balance of getting things done and staying active.
Melissa: You’re also a new mom, how’s the baby?
Amanda: Yes, my son is almost eight months, February 10th. I love being a mom. I have wanted to be a mom my entire life. I was the little girl who was playing with babies. I come from a big family. If I could have five kids, I would. However, it’s been so hard. I am a working mom, my husband works and we have no nanny. We have a babysitter if we want to go out to eat dinner one night but it’s been really tough. It’s really hard to run a business that is fully about me. I teach my classes, do the videos, run my Instagram, and create products! I have a wonderful assistant that knows my life better than me so that is my only help. It’s been really hard being a full-time mom and full time boss lady all while still breastfeeding. It’s constant and Elvis doesn’t take a bottle. So finding the time has been hard. You lose yourself for a good long minute and I think I am just coming out of it and finding myself again. We moved to LA when Elvis was three months old, we have been staying with friends, we recently bought a house, we moved all of our stuff across the country…it has been so much adulting the last seven months. I am surprised my husband and I are together! [laughing].
I always start my day off with a positive thought. I think it just helps if you can roll out of bed and the first thing you do is look at your phone but search for a positive quote that you can keep with you throughout the day.
Melissa: You have 3 signature class styles but so much is rooted in dance, can you tell us about why dance and movement is so foundational to your workout philosophy? We know you’ve incorporated a mom + baby workout into your class offerings, was that always the plan or did he inspire you?
Amanda: I started off with this jump rope class. It was idea I had a while ago while I was teaching a private client one day a long time ago. I was looking at her and thought, we are going to use this jump rope for the entire workout and this class was born. I loved debuting my company and my business with this class because at the time and still to this day there’s no class like it.
In the world of boutique fitness, you have everything from working out in a freezer to working out in a heated room to working out with just a ball. I was taking an old school piece of equipment and utilizing it in so many different ways. So, I love this class it was sort of my baby.
Obviously, I was a dancer my entire life, so my AK! Dance class kind of conceptualized out of that idea while I was teaching privates and having a great time dancing, creating little combos. I say it’s kind of like Britney Spears back up dancer meets Jane Fonda, it’s so amazing! If you are not a dancer you can get it too. There are enough fancy hits and little counts and fun little accents that if you are a dancer, you appreciate it. I feel like it’s a dance class everybody can do. It might seem intimidating, but I promise you, you’re in good hands when you’re in my class.
Then my The Body class came out of teaching my private clients. I was teaching so many privates a day, that I was like, I need to maximize my time. So I took what I do in a private session and made it into a class. Its intervals of cardio to keep your heart rate up with toning arms, legs and your abs, all in 55 minutes! Then I got pregnant and I created my prenatal series and then after baby I created my mama knee classes. So, I don’t know I kind of find that my business evolves with me and what is happening in my life, but it all sort of works with who follows me because my followers are women my age going through similar parts of their life. It has worked. And in dances, you know, my classes are very coordinated and they are choreographed, I should say to the music and the beat. It’s really about following somebody and being in an atmosphere of connection and community. I love that.
Melissa: You are a former Rockette which is just plain amazing, that has got to be a wild ride! Can you tell us about what a normal day of an iconic Radio City Rockette is like? Don’t skimp on the details!
Amanda: Being a Rockette is definitely by far probably one of the hardest performing jobs I’ve ever done for sure. When I auditioned, there were over 1,000 girls looking for 12 spaces. The audition was over two days from 10am – 6pm everyday. You are dancing on a steel stage in three-inch heels. You’re doing, I think, ten different numbers in an hour and a half. Sometimes, the costume changes are a minute and you have two people on you changing your costume before you are back out on stage doing another number. It is super intense the rehearsal process. You have to get to rehearsal at 9:30 am for 10 am start time. You want to make sure that you’re warmed up and ready to go. They expect you to be perfect from the second they teach you something. I mean, even your learning it, you have to be on it. There’s no time to learn an extra step. I mean, it’s like, you learn it perfect! So when they tell you, “ok Amanda, your pinky was up here and it needs to be here,” that’s all you have to worry about its not the steps you already know. And that would happen, it’s perfect. The most shows I did in a day was five shows. I’ll never forget one week, I did a four show a day, a five show a day, and a three show a day so 12 shows in three days. When, I left the theater that day, I called my husband and said “Can you please have a double cheese pizza on the counter when I walk in?”. When I walked in the door a large double cheese pizza was on the table and I ate the entire thing. I was so depleted. You are sitting in ice baths after each show for your feet.
Radio City is enormous. Its half the size of a football field. Sometimes, I would have to get from stage left to stage right in 16 counts. It.s just so big. I love women but it’s a woman run organization and that can get intense. Lots of female energy and female hormones. I have some of my best friends still from those days but it can get catty and very cliquey. That’s the really hard part because on top of the physical demands then there were mental demands. Who gets chosen to do the photshoots? Who gets chosen to do the Today show? I did one year then I was on Broadway for two consecutive years doing Good Vibrations, Bullets over Broadway, Young Frankenstein, Follies among others. I do miss Broadway! I love singing, dancing and acting so much. On Broadway you get to be an individual and in the Rockettes you have to be exact. I am so equally grateful that I was able to do both.
Melissa: What are your daily particulars in the studio?
Amanda: I am horrible about bringing water and snacks! I would say my two go to’s are a great workout outfit. It’s so important. It just makes me feel put together. It’s my suit, right, if I was going to an office everyday. I love the brand All Access. They have great high waisted comfortable pants and they stay up. I also love Beyond Yoga, that’s another favorite of mine. I did a collab with them late last year and it was so much fun.
Melissa: What are your daily particulars outside the studio?
Amanda: I love my baby carrier by BABYBJÖRN. I don’t go anywhere without it. Elvis lives in that carrier so I live in that carrier. I can’t be without it. Right now, Elvis is going through a very “Mama I need to held moment” so thank God for that carrier. Obviously, my phone! As far as clothing, I am a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl. I love a great pair of jeans. My new favorite jeans are from Mother. I like the tees from Rag and Bone and my favorite sweats are from Aviator Nation. I own too many and wear them everyday.
I was taking an old school piece of equipment and utilizing it in so many different ways.
Melissa: What should everyone have in their workout bag?
Amanda: My jump rope for sure! I’m a mini speaker person. I love the one they sell downstairs. It’s called Lexon and its literally this big (shows with her fingers). It’s so small but has such a great sound. For me when I am travelling, working out in the studio, or working out at home, the phone speaker doesn’t put out enough energy for me. I like a mini speaker, one that is so lightweight you can throw it into your purse. It’s my favorite! That’s all I need. For workout bags, I love the Dagne Dover backpack. It’s the best. They are waterproof, washable neoprene and they have so many pockets. It’s amazing. They come in all different sizes. I just love their stuff.
Melissa: You have so much energy! How do you keep so positive?
Amanda: Sunshine! I always start my day off with a positive thought. I think it just helps if you can roll out of bed and the first thing you do is look at your phone but search for a positive quote that you can keep with you throughout the day. I think this is a great way to start your day. People always ask me, “how do you get motivated to workout every day.” I always say my biggest thing is if you have ever been in a situation when you couldn’t work out, you had an injury, or your doctor tells you that you can’t work out. I had a C-section so I was not allowed to work out for 6-8 weeks. It was a long time, enough for you to literally be grateful for the days that you can roll out of bed, put on your tennis shoes and go for a workout. You take it for granted because there are so many people who are in wheelchairs or have injuries and can’t workout. The fact that you are blessed to walk, jump or skip and smile. I don’t take it for granted.