Today we’d like to introduce you to Galit Friedlander.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a native New Yorker, I trained heavily in my home city in both theatre and dance. I loved both, as expressions and extensions of me, and always kept L.A. in my mind as a place to explore professionally. Long story short, me trying to figure out how to spend a couple of weeks in Los Angeles turned into applying to transfer to USC… which ended up happening (no one, including myself, expected this move for me).
After graduating from college with a degree in Communication, I was working in Los Angeles as a professional dancer (makes sense, right). I found that in the times I would teach a dance class or help other dancers with fitness advice, I felt very powerfully in my path. This brought me to a space of clarity around my passion and purpose as a leader who motivates people to be their best and surpass their roadblocks while encouraging people to share their unique stories as artists.
Within my dance life, I had a long-time need to share stories and important insights from the dance world that took me YEARS to gain access to. When I tried to find podcasts that shared these stories, I was stumped to find one that considered the street dance perspective along with the industry perspective and that gave stories from the community and sector of the dance industry I was in.
I decided to/needed to/was compelled to create DanceSpeak: a candid Podcast that shares unfiltered interviews from the dance world. At this moment in my life, I am living a carefully-crafted dream: I spend most mornings and some evenings with my personal training clients.
I teach dance and at times am flown to work with different programs, I continue to host and produce interviews for DanceSpeak, and I work for the WNBA as the in-house Entertainment Director/Head Choreographer for their child/teen official dance team: the SparKids.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Hail naw, it has not been a smooth road! LOL. First off, figuring out with I would do transitioning from 4-years of college and jumping into the dance world was NOT EASY. I barely knew where to start and was given so many different pieces of advice that would at many times conflict with one another. I had to figure out my place in the dance world and how to stay true to myself in an industry that can seem to demand you ‘fit the role’ of someone you are not.
Other struggles included: losing my father less than a year after graduating school, getting into a really bad car accident later that year, and overcoming Lymes Disease… twice. I’m hesitant to speak about my father because I am by no means trying to trivialize nor glorify the loss. We were always extremely close, and he was very sick for many years with a disease that was never properly diagnosed but acted a lot like Alzheimer’s.
Losing my father was one of the darkest experiences I’ve ever gone through. AND, I truly had to make a choice whether to stay in a low space or keep living my life. I chose the latter, and I am constantly grateful for all the years we had together and how much he taught me. Later that same year, I was hit while driving down Sunset and my car was totaled.
To give a little context, I had not found my community of friends outside of college, recently graduated and felt disconnected from any support system out here, and it set me back more than I knew at that time. However, I knew it my gut, that the car accident was a literal wake up call to get grounded, find my people in Los Angeles, and not let myself get distracted by things that did not serve my purpose out here.
Around 2014/2015, I had finally started to hit a stride within my dance career. I was choreographing and dancing in my first promo tour (these tours usually consist of spot dates throughout the summer to promote a new album) and was getting dance work more and more consistently. I had been feeling slightly sick and sluggish for a while but attributed it to how hard I was pushing myself.
I decided after a few months to get a blood test from a doctor in New York to make sure my system is really okay. He’s also a Lymes specialist, and, well, found that that was what was impacting my system. I am beyond lucky that the Lymes was found and that I was able to receive an alternative treatment that would knock it out of my system. I was hesitant to slow down my life for treatments, but I had to, or else it could really knock me out. I remember spending a month in bed.
My energy seemed to drop the moment I slowed down and started to handle my health. It was scary to face how hard I was pushing myself when my system was so low. After a month, I was in remission for Lymes. It took me half a year to have a fifth of the energy I used to have. My saving grace is that I fell in LOVE with teaching and got back to my true passion for dancing without it being connected to ‘success.’
Ten months after being cleared of Lymes, it showed up in my system. It took two-three months of treatments to get it out of my system, but when it was gone, I had a feeling that it was gone for good and that my health was going to truly come back. I was right.
DanceSpeak Podcast – Train with Galit – Dance With Galit – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The heart of everything I do revolves around movement and being fully expressed in your life. As a dance educator, I work with dance teams and programs in Los Angeles and across the United States, giving workshops in hip-hop, street-styles, and conditioning/fitness for dancers. I have taught at world-renowned studios including Broadway Dance Center in New York and Movement Lifestyle in L.A.
I also work with private clients in a wide range of ways, spanning from improving on technique with pre- Prof. dancers to teaching basics to CEO’s who would like to learn at their own pace. Choreographing is something that I have done for nearly as long as I have been dancing. Being creative and sharing my art is a necessity for me.
Currently, I have two years under my belt as a choreographer and director for a WNBA official dance team (the LA SparKids). Working for the WNBA is in line with my passion for empowering others, ESPECIALLY WOMEN! (can I say that?) Additionally, I am extremely proud to have worked as an Assistant Choreographer for Prince’s Welcome 2 America Tour. It kind of, sort of, changed my life. My love for dance flowed into a propensity and passion for fitness from a young age.
I spent nearly every morning, and sometimes evenings, training my fitness clients around Los Angeles (and sometimes in different locations via Skype). And you best believe, I geek over bring fitness to dancers as well. It might be hard to believe, but many dancers are missing key points in their understanding of fitness and wellness, that would make a huge difference in their dance training.
What I’m most proud of with my personal training life is seeing my clients have breakthroughs in multiple areas of their life as they pursue their training journeys. Also, people tend to stick with me for a long time- they trust me to coach them, and I get to see them grow and thrive. I believe that I am known across the board for being authentic, well-rounded, and having a depth of knowledge and unbeatable care for what I do.
When I teach dance, I’m bringing 18 years of living in NYC, crossed with 8+ years in the LA entertainment industry, along with my knowledge from hosting over 88 episodes of my dance podcast (DanceSpeak), with my understanding of movement as a certified personal trainer. Inversely, when I personal train, I’m bringing over fifteen years of knowledge from having my body be my instrument as a dancer.
I also have a degree in Communication from the University of Southern California. I work hard, I love making people smile, and I stay true to myself.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One of the proudest moments for me has been working as the Assistant Choreographer for Prince’s Welcome 2 America Tour when it came to Los Angeles for 21 shows.
- Website: www.GoGalit.com
- Phone: 707-986-8313
- Email: GalitDanceLander@gmail.com
- Instagram: www.instagram/gogalit
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/galitinc
- Other: www.instagram.com/dancespeakpodcast