Today we’d like to introduce you to Chloé Gruber.
Chloé, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My LA adventure began fresh at 18. I started dancing at 3 years old, and found my passion at a very young age. When I was 15, I became home schooled, and started traveling the country alone almost every weekend to further my dance education. I knew there were more opportunities for me outside of my hometown in Ohio. I knew what I wanted to do at such a young age, and to pursue that, I had to become independent fairly young. My parents supported everything I did, and let me go after my dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Before moving to LA, I graduated HS as a junior, signed with a dance agency and made the move to LA in 2013. For around 4 years, I was given so many incredible opportunities as a dancer. I did a little bit of everything I wanted to do, but I was never satisfied. Any job that I landed, my first thoughts would be “so what’s next?” Growing up in the competitive dance world for 10 years, I fell most in love with “sharing” my talent. I wanted to educate the next generation of dancers. I wanted every audience to feel something rather than just watching tricks and technique on a stage. I wasn’t getting that same satisfaction in the LA dance industry. I was taking jobs I didn’t want to take, for the sake of “making it” out here. I wanted to prove a point to everyone that said I wouldn’t become successful. And for that, I valued pleasing other people over my own happiness. About 2 years ago, I had to reflect on the past 4 years, and really think about what made me happy. I knew that dance was my entire heart and soul, but I wanted to do something that allowed me to help others become the best versions of themselves. Everyone is a work in progress and by sharing, educating, and motivating others to see that, gave me clarity on what I really wanted to do. Being a dancer, I got involved into fitness. Dance & fitness had a lot in common, but I found there would be more opportunities in that field. I spent every dime I had on a training, learning, and getting certified to become a certified personal trainer. For the first time in 4 years, I was excited about the future. My life changed from a psychical, mental and emotional standpoint. I interviewed at almost every chain gym in the valley and was told “no” by almost all of them, and that I didn’t have enough experience. I was told “no” a good 500 times in the dance world, so a couple more didn’t phase me. Back in Ohio, I started teaching group dance classes at 15, and trained in a group setting, so I concluded that group fitness is where I would succeed most. I always said my dream job would be to coach at Orangetheory Fitness. I contacted as many people as I could to find a way to make this job a reality. I got in touch with the right people at the right time, auditioned, and got the job. A year later, I became one of the head coaches in the LA area. Showing up everyday on my A-game is one of the most challenging things, but if it were easy everyone would do it…and all my life I always went for what no one else was doing…so why stop now? I get to help change hundreds of lives every single day, and celebrate all of their little victories along the way. The feeling of seeing other people accomplish what they thought they could not do, is the same feeling I got when I performed on stage. Satisfaction, success, and purpose. I then knew exactly what MY purpose in life would be… and that’s to help people see theirs.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a whirl-wind of a roller coaster! I moved out not knowing a single person, and having to become an adult overnight. Not only is it a struggle to find your way and lock down a career, it can be financially challenging as well. I didn’t know very many 18 year olds living out here, if any at all, so I didn’t have much guidance of how to sustain the cost of living. Luckily, my family helped me until I was able to support myself. There were days I would have to schedule off of work, in hopes of booking an audition. I would have to sacrifice any income being earned, for the chance of getting a dance job. I’ve done the whole roommate situation to try and save money. I’ve lived with friends, family friends, strangers, shared rooms…I pretty much did it all. I’ve worked retail, taught extra dance classes, walked dogs, worked dance competitions, just to make ends meet. I was told “no” hundreds of times, was told I was looked too young, but didn’t look old enough for more mature jobs. I was “competing” against hundreds of girls who dance and look exactly like me and it became mentally exhausting. Navigating from dance to fitness was probably the toughest transition, but I knew quitting or moving home was never an option.
Please tell us more about your work. What should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Right now I am the head coach at Orangetheory Fitness in Woodland Hills, CA. I coach around 15 group classes a week. It is a 1 hour full body HIIT class (High-intensity interval training) that is backed by science and uses heart-rate monitor technology. The best part about Orangetheory is that in can range from athletes, to people with no fitness experience. Anyone can do it, and I think that’s the coolest part. Everyone can change their body & lifestyle in some way. Seeing people change their life around is the most rewarding thing to me. I think what sets me a part is my own personal experience. I flipped my life style around and no longer treated working out and food choices as a “diet” or a temporary fix. I changed my life, and by showing others that I did, I hope they see that they can too. I practice what I preach!
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For me, success is waking up every day and being excited about your life! Combining passion and career is one of the most liberating feelings. I know so many people who hate their jobs, don’t know what they want to do, and I just want to be a example of someone who didn’t settle for that. You just have to have the willingness to go for it. Take a leap of faith. I always say “If not now, then when?” I never took the safe route. The safe route for me would have been living at home, going to college, and getting a job that I didn’t want. For some people, that works for them which is great! But for me, none of that satisfied me. I use to think success was proving people wrong, but it’s not. It’s choosing yourself first, finding what makes YOU happy.
- Instagram: @chloegruber
Photos taken by Dani Neff.