The Powerful Pilates Coach
Danni is a Model turned Spark Cycle instructor, but she’s also a successful businesswoman in her own right. In 2018, she opened FIT LAB ZURICH, where she trains clients on Pilates reformers and TRX bands. Then Corona happened. But that hasn’t stopped Zurich’s finest coach. It has made her look at fitness in a completely new way.
We love Danni’s positive and supportive attitude. She’s our biggest fitspo! She works so hard and her schedule is nuts, yet she still finds ways to make sure all of her friends, hubby and Family in South Africa are fine, kills it on photoshoots, goes for hikes and squeezes in her own workouts.
Here the South African beauty reveals her career highlights and challenges, shares her thoughts on nutrition and how she stays strong in such a demanding industry.
Tell us a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up, what was your childhood like and where are you heading?
I spent most of my childhood in South Africa. From a young age I was into sports and would compete in various disciplines for my school. After school I joined a local modeling competition that turned out to be my stepping stone into the model industry. Aside of my bachelor’s degree that I was pursuing at the time I spent a few years travelling the world as a model. On one of those trips I also met my now husband who after multiple efforts finally convinced me of Switzerland’s beauty, leading me to move here.
You moved from South Africa to Zurich a little over 5 years ago. When did you first start putting the wheels into motion for Fit Lab Zurich? How did you become an instructor at Spark??
When I first moved to Switzerland I barely knew anyone and since my husband was working most of the time I had the time to find my own way around. Having always been into fitness I stared working out at Booster, which also turned into my first job in Switzerland. I used this opportunity to become a certified lagree coach and make new connections in Zürich. Then about three years ago, I was approached by Tilly (now a close friend of mine) to become a Cycling Instructor at Spark Cycle. Not shying away from new opportunities, I embarked on this journey with her and can now say that this has been one of the best decisions of my life. However, despite my engagement with Spark Cycle it has always been a dream of mine to have my own business. So after setting foot in Zurich I decided it was time to open my own Pilates and TRX studio. Launching your own business in a new and at the time still unfamiliar city was a big step for me. However, opening Fit Lab has been a major step in my career as a fitness instructor and has enabled me to meet many incredible women and also form meaningful friendships in this city.
You train clients every day in your own studio and teach at Spark. It seems like you constantly come up with new routines and make the workouts an experience every time. You truly create workouts that change the way people view fitness, how do you do it?
From a very young age I have been passionate about helping people. Spark and Fit Lab are not just workouts but I see them as an opportunity to share my power and my energy with likeminded individuals. It has always given me great joy to empower strong, ambitious women and the platform that I have built allows me to do exactly that.
What are your thoughts on nutrition?
Considering the amount of classes I give on a daily basis, nutrition is a very important aspect in my life. I make sure to nourish my body in such a way that I can perform at my very best and that I have energy throughout my whole day. However, I have always been someone that enjoys food, especially in a group of friends. Thus, despite my busy schedule I make sure to set some time apart for both my husband and friends to share a nice meal and also indulge from time to time.
What’s one thing you’ve done in your career that helped you succeed, and that very few other people do?
I think the most essential aspect to my job is to not solely focus on the body but much more the mind. Many of my clients primary motivation is ofcourse to come for a workout, but I try to create a space where they cannot only train their body but also free their mind. I am a firm believer that our overall health is just as much dependent on the physical aspect as the psychological. Thus, whether it is Spark of Fit Lab, I try to foster an environment that enables people to express their emotions and take whatever it is they need to leave with a smile on their face.
A very important topic; #BlackLivesMatter. How are you feeling, what are your thoughts?
This topic has been given a lot of attention in the media recently and I think it is great that it is being addressed globally. However, this is something that I have grown up with my entire life. I believe that we should see people for who they are on the inside and treat each other with respect regardless of any situation. At the end of the day we are all the same and have the same human desire for kindness and understanding.
Zodiac sign: Capricorn
Currently listening to: Greece – by Drake
How to unwind after a long day in home office: After a long day at work I like to take a moment for myself and have a bath and if given the time read a book.
Can’t live without: Coffee in the morning.
Most used emojis: ⚡⚡⚡ because it expresses power and motivation.
If you had to choose for the rest of your life: What style would you have your potatoes served? Mashed? Fries? Gratin? :) Always fries, if possible sweet potato fries
Mornings or evenings? Evenings, I am not really a morning person by choice.
Finish this sentence: “Money is: nothing unless you know the value by experience.”