By Tani Richter
What are “flow” arts? I discovered hula hooping as a flow art in the year 2013 as a freshman at Grand Valley State University. I knew rather little about this well known kid’s toy other than it was a struggle to keep it up on my waist. I started out with a hoop having a diameter just about as wide as I am tall (5’2”), weighing about 3 lbs. It took months before I could comfortably keep it around my waist. As my cardio endurance increased, the inches around my waist decreased: I was hooked! I began searching my new addiction on social media and quickly learned this hobby wasn’t just for kids. It took almost a year before I “found my flow”. As muscles evolve to memorize certain movements, finding transitions between certain tricks can make it seem almost effortless, giving a sense of illusion or “flow” as a professional dancer may portray. Almost six years later, my skills have exponentially progressed along with my determination. I found myself performing with Bangarang Circus and Circus&Lace of Grand Rapids, bringing joy to children (and parents). The most amazing discovery? Hula hooping is merely one flow art! There is also contact staff, poi, wands, fans, and my new favorite: aerial arts. I have been developing my skills in aerial silks and lyra for almost 2 years now and aim to continue growing strength throughout my body and mind with flowing on the ground and in the air. Flow arts will forever be my favorite way to not only express myself, but also challenge myself. I hope to share my passion with interested clients to shake up the “normal” workout routine and bring a more fun way of exercising into the mix.
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In September of 2017, Quest Fitness underwent a huge change. We moved from a small garage to a big new 1600 square foot location. This was a big leap, but very worth it! In the last year, we have continued to grow, first by adding a new Yoga class with Dani, then bringing in our own massage therapist, Meg, and finally bringing in 3 great trainers, Erica, Kenny, and Tani.
Quest has also managed to put on some amazing events, as well! My favorites so far have been World Tai Chi Day and the seminar led by celebrity trainer Danny Kavadlo. But now it is time for the next big event: the anniversary of the opening of Quest Fitness! To say thank to everyone out there, we are opening our doors not just to our many loyal clients, but also to the entire public. Stop in and meet the entire Quest Crew, meet with a trainer for free, try out a class at no charge and even get a massage from Meg! The event will be September 15th starting at 8am until 6pm. No appointments are necessary, just swing in and see us. Snacks and beverages will be provided and we will be holding a raffle for more great prizes! I look forward to seeing you there!
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Tani Richter is a NASM certified personal trainer at Quest Fitness. She is genuine and devoted to all of her clients as they progress through their fitness journey.
-Interests: circus training/performing, biking, hiking/camping, water sports, tai chi, yoga
-Focus: general fitness, calisthenics, circuit training, hula hoop fitness
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Kendrick Oss works as an ACSM certified personal trainer at the Quest Fitness gym. His mission is to provide a wholesome experience to all of his clients as they seek to achieve their personal goals.
-Interest: Medieval Combat (Dagorhir), Tai Chi, Calisthenics, Digital Painting, Gaming
-Focus: General Fitness, Basic Calisthenics, Circuit Training
To call the event with Danny Kavadlo an “experience” is a great understatement! First lat me say, running this event with my Calisthenics mentor and friend was an amazing honor! The day started with sign ins and meeting some new friends from out of town, all the way from Wisconsin. For putting this together with short notice, we had a great turnout. As the class started we went around the room each one of us introducing one another, and everyone seemed like minded with Calisthenics and fitness.
We started the class with squat progressions, beginning with the most basic, using a bench or partner to assist. We progressed through full squats, archer squats, split squats and even the pistol squat. I’m thinking everyone’s legs got a little cooked there.
Once we finished legs, we hit the push-ups. Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking. Not everyone can do push-ups, but in this class we prove that wrong. We started with the knee push-ups and moved into elevated push-ups, and like every thing else we focused on perfecting the movements and queues to aid others. Then we hit the floor working on classic push-ups, staggered and archer push-ups, feet elevated and many other including the handstand push-ups.
We finished the morning by taking a trip to the bar… the Pull-up bar. Yes, I fully understand that pull-ups are difficult, but we had something for every level of fitness. Getting started on the pulls we hit Aussie Pull-ups, a.k.a bodyweight rows. I have to say, everyone here killed these! Then, we moved on to flex hangs and pull-up negatives. We had a strong group, because again everyone nailed these. We discussed the chin-up, pull-up and other variations like the commando pull-ups. Of course we finished this section with the mighty muscle-up. Then, we took a much needed lunch break, took some photos, signed books and chatted it up.
Upon our return from lunch, we hit hand balancing, starting it off with frog and crow poses. For some the hand balancing was a bit new, for others it was a chance to show their skills. We knocked out the tripod, and the headstand, and for a few attending the Elbow Lever! I was impressed with everyone’s performance.
When we moved on we hit some ab training both on the ground and on the bar. We all hit the basics with knee tucks, knee raises and leg raises. As we progressed, a few people tried Skin The Cat, Back Levers and even the Front Lever! These are not easy if you are curious.
To finish off the workout, we hit flags! So many people got their first flag! We covered a large variety of them, too! I cant tell you how overly impressed I was with everyone! “The beauty of the experience is that no matter what level a practitioner was at, everyone can do a push, pull, and squat exercise. You need not be able to do a full human flag in order to train with Danny Kavadlo or learn from the experience,” one of the attendees, Gerald Browning, stated.
When we hit the closing of the seminar, Danny gave an amazing lecture on calisthenics progressions, building programs and even being a better trainer. A lot of great questions came out from the group as we wrapped up and chatted it up. Because of the great turnout and the level of fun we had, Danny and I decided we may try to make this an annual event with new material each time. I want to absolutely thank everyone who made it out, and a special thanks to Danny for flying all the way out here to teach the class!