Meet the Y: Andrea

I learned to polka dance at age two and first started taking dance lessons in my hometown, Waukegan, Illinois. Whether it was jumping into a pile of leaves from my swing or building snow people in a blizzard, I have always been physically active. The cold in the Midwest provided me with tremendous vigor. Although usually not picked in group sports due to my size, I often won short distance races. Every Saturday from age 5-11 I took three hours of dance lessons and loved every minute of it. But my lessons ended when my mother became ill and I became the caretaker of my four younger sisters.  My dad said to become a cheerleader….so I did. 

At age 18, I moved to California and discovered backpacking in the Sierra Mountains and Big Sur, body surfing in the Pacific Ocean and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder” - written in 1977. A 100lb. weight set with a rack bench was purchased and my training to become a female body-builder launched. I listened to a radio show by Captain Carrot about nutrition and studied books by Adelle Davis, the health guru of the 60’s. I re-connected to dance at Cabrillo College in Aptos, Ca. while continuing weight training and adding alternate days of swimming. 

After earning a BA in Theater/Dance at UC Santa Cruz, I was honored with the Performing Arts and Fellowship Award from the University of Illinois. With an MFA in Dance, I set roots in Austin and formed Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre (AADT) in 1990. In addition to the many performing arts projects and arts-in-education programs AADT has produced, I have also choreographed for film, television and commercials including, “Waiting for Guffman,” Richard Linklater’s recent film “Everybody Wants Some,” and two Super Bowl commercials – one this year for Shiner Beer and one previously for HEB with Emmitt Smith.  Some of the other stars I’ve worked with include Dolly Parton and Sigourney Weaver.

My first connection to the downtown Austin Y family was back in 2013 through my creative–based Community Voices workshops. These workshops provide an opportunity to explore subjects of importance to people using movement, theater games and story sharing. With a strong desire to connect with the community and use my skills and knowledge of the body, I became a Personal Trainer in 2003 through the Cooper Institute.

My passion is to empower and motivate people to achieve well-being and fitness in their lives, learn more about their bodies, and have fun while doing it!  My experience includes working with people of all ages, abilities, and fitness levels.  Whether you want to kick-start physical fitness from zero, re-inspire your current fitness routine, correct chronic muscle imbalances, rebuild from an injury, or achieve physical conditioning for life, work or sport - together, we’ll create a unique training program that best leads to achieving your goals. I specialize in bringing together a variety of approaches for building strength and endurance, enhancing joint mobility and flexibility, increasing balance and deep core support, and gaining a better understanding of good form and alignment.  

Andrea is available afternoons and evenings Tues.-Fri. and Sat. mornings.

You can schedule a free consultation with any of the Y’s wonderful personal trainers HERE or call 512-542-9622.


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