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Ellie Houston


I have not been a modern dance student since I was 3. I did not play sports in high school. I was not raised in a salad-eating, bike-riding, holistic health conscious household. In fact, up until college I literally refused to eat vegetables and smoked a pack of cigarettes per day. I am not one of those shiny, jubilant fitness personalities that always has been and always will be unattainably toned, energetic and disciplined. I am just a girl who REALLY loves funk music.

One day in my early twenties while out dancing at a local live music venue in Berkeley, I discovered that I could not dance to more than one consecutive song without becoming winded. UNACCEPTABLE. Poor lung capacity would NOT be allowed to interfere with my ability to drop some serious funk on the dance floor. Over the subsequent ten years, most of the decisions that would bring me closer to my current reality as a full-blown endorphine-addicted professional fitness enthusiast were made out of unpremeditated efforts to find things that made me happy, and do them more. I became a swim coach, then a rock climber, then an adventure guide, a kayak and paddleboard instructor, a circus performer, cyclist, runner, triathlete and trainer. Fitness became a tool with which to facilitate the things that brought me joy. That is the role I believe fitness should play in everyone’s lives.

Working out for the sake of working out isn’t worth it. Why do you want to be fit? For your children? For your dog? For the trails in the Sierras? For the deep restful sleep it promotes? For the faster metabolism that shortens your hangovers? There is no wrong answer or bad reason. They are all just different shades of awesome.

What 3 things do you specialize in as a teacher?

  • Proper form and modification
  • Empathy (I test all my moves in my own workouts first...I feel your pain)
  • Functional movement


Describe the environment of your class:
The funk will be brought, and it will be dropped. HARD. Every. Single. Time. This sounds like an OKCupid profile but it's not: silly, upbeat and intense yet sensitive to your needs.

Why do you like teaching at fitLOCALfit?
It's a very comfortable and laid-back environment. The staff don't have to put on an overly enthusiastic "fitness persona" and the clients are fun and down-to-earth.

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